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  • 19 Aug 2019 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    Sweet Sparkman Architects adds Michele Demperio as Firm Partner. Sweet Sparkman Architects is pleased to announce Michele Demperio has been named a Partner at Sweet Sparkman Architects.

    Click here for Article

  • 19 Aug 2019 1:20 PM | Anonymous

    Sarasota, FL (May 8, 2019) – Kellogg & Kimsey, Inc. is pleased to announce that Alden Jones has recently been promoted to the position of Project Manager. Alden has four years of construction management experience and earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida’s M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management.

    Alden first worked with Kellogg & Kimsey, Inc. as a summer intern in 2012. Upon graduation, he began his career with a general contractor in Tampa, FL. He then re-joined K&K in 2017.

    Alden has gained a wealth of experience in his previous position at Kellogg & Kimsey, Inc. while co-managing hospitality projects in Georgia and retail projects in Southwest Florida. Alden has amassed nearly $40 million in hotel project experience in his short tenure at the firm.

    In his new role as Project Manager, Alden’s responsibilities will be expanded to include pre-construction functions, accounting duties, and client relations. Alden will also be responsible for mentoring assistant project managers/engineers. His new role will continue to require management of new projects, supervision of subcontractors and field operators and working alongside Project Executives.

    Link to Article

  • 19 Aug 2019 1:18 PM | Anonymous

    The picture is – robust. In the past five years, Florida has added nearly a million jobs. The current economic expansion, which began in June 2009, is now entering its second decade, and Florida has never seen a job market like today’s. Employment in virtually every sector in every metropolitan area in Florida is up markedly since 2014, and wages are growing as well. Notably, the fastest-growing areas have been in better-paying sectors like construction, health care and professional services. [Source: Florida Trend]

  • 16 Aug 2019 1:26 PM | Anonymous
    Halfacre Construction Company, a Lakewood Ranch-based commercial construction company, recently completed a 13,365-square-foot welcome center addition and renovation for the First Baptist Church of Palmetto, which opened in 1892.

  • 31 Jan 2019 5:43 PM | Anonymous

    (VENICE, Fla.) January 25, 2019 – DMK Associates, Inc. (DMK), a local civil engineering and surveying firm, has adopted Ruscelletto Park as part of the City of Venice’s Adopt-a-Park Program for 2019. Ruscelletto Park was DMK’s top choice for the program because the firm designed the park in 2008.

    Participating in the City’s program is a natural choice for DMK, says Karl Kokomoor, President and CEO of DMK. “Our firm believes in building better communities and investing our time in this park supports that sentiment.”

    DMK staff will be volunteering their time throughout the year to help maintain the park. “We are pleased to be involved with the maintenance of a project that we helped create,” says Kokomoor.

    This is the first year for the Adopt-A-Park Program for the City of Venice, says Patricia Matero, the City’s program coordinator. “We love the background that DMK has with this park.”

    DMK Associates, Inc. is a full-service surveying, engineering, planning, and design firm with offices in Venice and Englewood. DMK has been serving Charlotte and Sarasota County for over 30 years in the public and private sectors.

  • 23 Jan 2019 5:01 PM | Anonymous

    Venice’s J.E. Charlotte Construction Corp. was recently awarded the contract for the exterior renovation of a 2,200-square-foot outdoor dining area for the Bird Key Yacht Club. The $340,000 project is slated to begin this spring, with a three-month schedule to revamp the space. The construction team will demolish the existing deck and add an extension and exterior design details, including a new stainless steel railing, tile flooring and updated lighting and cabinetry. An awning system will also be installed and the outdoor seating capacity will double to approximately 60 seats.

  • 04 Jan 2019 10:27 AM | Anonymous

    Construction workers, both salaried and skilled, are expected to be in strong demand in 2019. Florida contractors said they anticipate the acute shortage of construction workers in recent years to continue in 2019, even as they plan to add new projects and hire, according to a new survey and 2019 forecast released by Associated General Contractors of America. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

  • 04 Jan 2019 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    Judge throws out Aqua by the Bay lawsuit. Bradenton development cleared to begin

    More than a year after a contentious hearing and subsequent lawsuit over the planned Aqua by the Bay, a Manatee County judge has ruled that the massive housing project may move forward.

    Aqua by the Bay is a Medallion Home development that is slated to bring 2,384 multi-family and 510 single-family homes to the area along Sarasota Bay. There will also be 78,000 square feet of commercial space, according to the general development plan. Manatee County commissioners voted unanimously to approve the development on Oct. 3, 2017.

    Just one month after the board’s decision, environmentalist group Suncoast Waterkeeper Inc. and a host of other plaintiffs, including former county commissioner Joe McClash, filed a lawsuit against Manatee County, claiming that they were not afforded due process in the approval of the 529-acre development between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay.

    In a 21-page opinion, Circuit Judge Gilbert A. Smith Jr., however, said there is precedent that the public is not entitled to due process without being a party in the case.

    A Medallion Home spokesman could not be reached Wednesday to comment on how the ruling may affect the timing of the project’s construction.

    “Contrary to Petitioners’ assertions, courts have held that participants are not afforded the same due process protections as parties,” Smith wrote.

    The two parties in the quasi-judicial case were the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners and Long Bar Pointe, LLLP. Smith pointed out that members of the public did participate in public comment.

    The crux of the opponents’ argument was that the development, namely two concepts — a sea wall and an estuary enhancement area between the development and a shoreline of mangroves that would be 20 feet wide and 8 feet deep — that did not make it to final approval, would harm the environment.

    During the extended recess of the October 2017 hearing, developer Carlos Beruff agreed to strike those plans. Without those elements, the environmental impact of the project shrunk to 7.93 acres.

    Thirteen members of the public stuck around to provide public comment regarding the changes they had asked for, but the lawsuit claims they did not have the chance to have an expert review the adapted proposal. Smith said that’s not a right the public is entitled to, either.

    “Petitioners present no authority to support their contention that they are entitled to have experts review and present to testimony regarding updates to the [general development plan,]” Smith wrote.

    Beruff’s updates to the general development plan were enough to appease commissioners.

    “The applicant has done everything I have asked. I have no right to oppose this project based on who the applicant is,” former Commissioner Charles Smith said at the time.

    The lawsuit also alleged without evidence that county staff held backdoor conservations with the developers, acting “as a conduit of information from the developer directly to the Commissioner[,] influencing their decision outside the public hearing quasi-judicial proceedings.”

    According to court documents, Smith disagreed with their claim of “unfair, unbalanced communication.”

    “As members of the public, they are entitled to an opportunity to be heard by the Board, and they did speak at various public hearings. The record also indicates that they submitted written ex parte communication to the Board,” the judge said. “However, Petitioners have presented no authority establishing their entitlement to meet with County staff outside of the quasi-judicial hearing.”

    Suncoast Waterkeeper released a statement regarding Smith’s ruling on their Facebook page Wednesday morning.

    The Aqua by the Bay community spent more than 10 years working its way through Manatee County government before finally being approved. It was formerly known as Long Bar Pointe, which included plans for condos, hotels, a marina and a conference center.


  • 13 Dec 2018 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Willis Smith Construction selected as the Construction Management Firm for the Master Plan for the Garden

    Willis Smith Construction was recently awarded the construction contract for Phase One of the Master Plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The infrastructure will span along the botanical gardens’ 15 acres of Bayfront property. The project will preserve and protect Selby Gardens’ world-class collections and create a future with 50 percent more green space for the Gardens. Once completed, Selby Gardens will possess the first Certified Net Positive Energy Complex at any botanical garden in the world. Further, the onsite restaurant will be the first Certified Net Positive Energy Restaurant in the world.

    “We are thrilled to have Willis Smith Construction lead the construction of this important project,” says Jennifer Rominecki, President & CEO of Selby Gardens. “Their history of building community landmarks in Sarasota is unparalleled. They understand the needs and desires of the community and will help Selby Gardens fulfill our vision as a leader in sustainability around the world.”

    Phase One of the Master Site Plan will consist of a multi-story visitor services facility, the Sky Garden, that will include retail space, 221,000 square foot of parking and a destination restaurant operated by Michael’s on East. Each exterior wall of the Sky Garden will become a living facade to facilitate the green building technology.

    The Certified Net Positive Energy designation will achieve PETAL certification as part of the Living Building Challenge. This advocates regenerative spaces that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and communities that produce more energy than they use. A solar power system will be atop the roof of the Sky Garden. The solar arrays will be capable of generating 840 kWh per year. Underground water storage will house cisterns for rainwater collection holding 250,000 gallons of water for non-potable water usage.

    Plans for the future Jean Goldstein Welcome Center and Steinwachs Family Plant Research Center have been envisioned. The 27,700 square foot welcome and research center will include a welcome gallery, horticulture and herbarium shop, theatre, administrative offices, library, and laboratory. Plans also include the implementation of the “living” green wall systems within the facility. The improved facility will further enable Selby Gardens’ scientific research specializing in the conservation, display and study of epiphytic plants; continuing education; additional exhibitions and increasing partnerships internationally. The Master Plan will encourage and galvanize recognition of the work performed by Selby Gardens, while enriching the experience of guests from around the world.

    Pending permit and zoning approvals, Phase One of the Master Plan could begin as early as fall 2019.

    The Project Team will include Willis Smith Construction, Overland Partners, Kimley-Horn, and OLIN.

    John LaCivita, Executive Vice President of Willis Smith Construction stated, “As long as I can remember, Selby Gardens’ has always been a Sarasota landmark and a true diamond in the rough for the region. Being a native of Sarasota, Selby has always been special. When the opportunity appeared to be part of the team that would completely transform Selby Gardens for the future, it became my full focus. After witnessing everything Jennifer Rominiecki, President & CEO has achieved since 2015, I knew Willis Smith Construction had to be part of her collaborative team. Ms. Rominiecki is a true leader and has amazing vision. Our company could not be more blessed and honored to be part of the future of Selby, and we are looking forward to helping Selby Gardens and Jennifer Rominiecki reach their end goal.”

    Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc. is a construction management firm headquartered in Lakewood Ranch, primarily serving Southwest Florida since 1972. The company has a longstanding reputation for superior construction and offers its clients particular expertise in the areas of commercial, industrial, education, healthcare, museum specialty work and sustainable construction. Willis A. Smith Construction serves to promote excellence and integrity in the construction industry while contributing to the betterment of our clients and the communities we serve.

    If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Peggy Kronus at 941-366-3116 or email at

  • 07 Dec 2018 10:46 AM | Anonymous


    The Sarasota County Commission adopted the new Unified Development Code (UDC) on November 27, 2018 with an effective date of January 1, 2019. The UDC updated and combined the county's Land Development Regulations (former Chapter 74 of the County Code) and Zoning Regulations (former Appendix A of the County Code). Combining the Land Development and Zoning Regulations streamlines the ability to find significant regulatory information applicable to any given piece of property within unincorporated Sarasota County, and clarified the two regulatory codes as they were brought together. It also removed inconsistencies and addressed those provisions that were outdated, ineffective or obsolete.

    The County wishes to thank all of the participants that contributed to this effort. Your dedication to the community is greatly appreciated.Please stay involved and check back with the UDC web page for further refinements and additional tools that will be added to the site as the UDC is implemented.

    Sarasota County invites all interested individuals to access and review the UDC on the county web page at (Keywords: 'UDC').

    Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, religion, or genetic information. Persons with disabilities who require assistance or alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), or who wish to file a complaint, should contact Sarasota County ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236, Phone: 941-861-5000; TTY 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771, E-mail:

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