Bay Street Village & Towncenter on ABC's Local News 6/4/07

OSPREY - Osprey is starting to change. New homes, businesses and even a library are part of a new development on U-S 41 at Bay Street. It's called the Bay Street Village and Town Center project "Now that this movement is happening and people see there is activity there has been a tremendous amount of activity in the past week alone," says project head Ray Rodriguez. After years of talk and red tape it appears Bay Street Village is plowing forward. "This is a massive project and the county definitely wanted to make sure everything was done right. It took us close to a year."

Rodriguez says they'll bring in more than one hundred businesses. Already shops like Starbucks, cafes, boutiques, salons and restaurants have bought in. Also more than 500-condos and townhouses are set to go up ranging from the mid one hundreds upward to a million dollars. "It's like any urban community. You have a variety of product mix and a variety of square footages. Itís just like going to New York down town."

Besides the residential and commercial uses Bay Street Village will also become home to Osprey's first public library. "It helps the development and the library helps the development. They mutually help each other," says Sarasota County Community Services specialist Larry Arnold. Land has been donated to Sarasota County to house the 9th public library in the county. Either a free standing large library or a smaller high tech design implanted in the mix use." The opportunity for putting a library in a mixed use setting either in a stand alone building or actually within buildings that have residential or commercial." However County leaders do say tax cuts could put the library on hold for now. "We are guardedly optimistic depending on what happens in the state legislature tax reform. But we are excited about the options and hope they come to fruition," says Arnold.

But the progress shows they are one step closer to developing an area many say has been underserved for years. "Eighty five percent of people who live in this community will be able to achieve their daily needs here without getting into an automobile and the biggest thing that has really put us on the map is that we are a green community," says Rodriguez.



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