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Sarasota's Historic Preservation Board tells Mira Mar owner not to demo just yet

The board voted unanimously not to give the proposed demolition project a permit in hopes the building could be refurbished.

SARASOTA, Fla. — A historic building in Downtown Sarasota is in a tug of war between historic preservation versus property rights.

The Mira Mar is 100 years old and the owner of the building and a developer called Seaward asked the city for a demolition permit.

They said the wood-framed building needs to be torn down and showed video of the damage to the framing exposed when 19 different sites were checked out inside the walls.

The owner and developer envisioned rebuilding the property and honoring the architectural elements of the 1920s.

“We had the perfect solution of working together to replace and rebuild the property to its original historic intent and that’s what we intend to do here on Palm Avenue, which is to not create a false sense of history but replicate the scale and the architectural elements of the existing two-story office retail space,” Seaward Development President Matthew Leak said.

The city's staff and several people told the historic preservation board they believe the building should stay and it's even eligible to be part of the national register of historic places. 

There are 40 tenants in the Mira Mar building and some of them attended the meeting to express their concerns about the condition of the building.  

The board agreed it was premature to give the demolition permit in a unanimous 4 to 0 vote.

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