SRQ Daily Jul 25, 2022

Halflants & Pichette Project Approved on Trail

Jacob Ogles,
[email protected]

A modern condominium building designed by Halflants & Pichette is set to transform the streetscape of North Tamiami Trail.

The site plan for Whitaker Lofts won approval from the Sarasota Planning Board. That allows for construction of a four-story structure with 19 condo units and almost 9,000 square feet of first-floor retail space. Across the street from Whitaker Bayfront Park, the curved façade fronting U.S. 41 will bring a distinct look to the trail, with deep balconies and a dramatic grand staircase. 

“The property is going to serve as a landmark piece of architecture for the city of Sarasota as you enter driving south toward Downtown Sarasota,” said Gabe Nisula, one of the project managers.

Nisula told the Planning Board the curvature to the building aims to complement the immediate surroundings. 

“Our solution for this site is to create a simple curve which reacts with the newly constructed roundabout at the intersection of 14th Street and Highway 41,” he said.

Ana Menenes, the other project manager, said activating the area both with shaded, ground level retail and an accessible courtyard would spur public activity in and around the new structure. That could be valuable related to the under-used Whitaker park but also retail along the trail the city has worked for years to revitalize.

“It will become a destination to everyone and it will increase visitors,” said project manager Ana Menenes, “not only in our site but the park as well as the area.”

The stairs will lead to an elevated courtyard but managers with Halflants & Pichette hope to preserve a grand oak already standing on property, and worked with the city arborist to do so.

Planning Member Dan Clermont at a public hearing questioned the fact the architecture plans for balcony overhangs to reach beyond the property line and into public right-of-way, but architects and city officials researched and said that complies with city regulations and state building codes. Ultimately, the project won unanimous 4-0 approval; Planning Board Member Michael Halflants of Halflants & Pichette recused himself from the vote.

An announcement on the project approval from Halflants & Pichette noted the architecture firm has a perfect record over 16 years of winning approvals in public hearings in front of city boards and commissions. 

NBP Paddlers Bring Home Three More World Championships

They did it in the long haul, the short sprint, and now, Nathan Benderson Park’s paddling program has swept its competition to take three more world championships, for a total of six. The park is playing host this week to the 2022 International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) 13th Club Crew World Championships. This biennial event brings together the world’s best crews after they won their national club competitions.

The NBP Paddling Program’s crews competed Saturday in the classic 500-meter dragon-boat sprint. They competed Tuesday in the 2000-meter oval competition, which has been called “stock-car racing on the water,” and Thursday in the 200-meter sprint. In the 500-meter sprints, three NBP crews took gold and top international honors. Two of those honors are considered unofficial until the medal presentation Sunday morning. The NBP Dragons community team’s senior-B (ages 50 and older) short boat was presented its gold medals Saturday morning. That boat also claimed a silver in the 2000-meter oval and a bronze in the 200-meter sprint.

NBP Survivors In Sync will claim its title Sunday morning in the 500-meter after its Saturday win. The crew snagged a world championship gold medal in the 200-meter sprint, and a silver in the 2000-meter oval competition Tuesday. The team paddles in the breast-cancer survivors (BCP) division with a standard 20-paddler boat.

The NBP Warriors, a team competing in the all-cancer survivors (ACP) division with a short-boat entry of 10 paddlers, will claim its third set of gold medals Sunday morning after its Saturday performance in the 500-meter. They took a world championship home in the 200-meter sprint, after claiming the world championship in the 2000-meter ovals Tuesday.

“Today was an exciting day of racing to watch three of our four crews sweep their races and end their week of competition with three golds,” said Stephen V. Rodriguez, the president of the Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy. “These are truly world champions who’ve been working hard all year to hone their skills on the water and to deliver a truly world-championship performance. We congratulate all of NBP Paddling for this win, whether they were on the water, supporters, or future world champions.” 

AeroVanti Air Club Announces $9.75M Funding Round

AeroVanti Air Club recently announced it has engaged Network1 Financial Securities Inc. to raise up to $9.75 million in a Series A fundraising round.

The company believes this capital infusion will position the charter aviation club, which has experienced 20X growth since launching in June 2021, to continue to scale its operations, grow its fleet, and expand its destination offerings and flight availability to its growing roster of delighted customers.

AeroVanti has completely reimagined air travel and is in the midst of redefining the entire charter aviation industry, a $25 billion-a-year industry. Through its unique, tiered membership model and competitive hourly pricing at a fraction of the industry standard, AeroVanti has created a completely new market segment in private aviation. AeroVanti members are not burdened by costly initiation fees, expensive hourly rates, capped miles or inconvenient booking restrictions like other membership-based charter services.

Its namesake aircraft’s (Piaggio P. 180 Avanti) speed and efficiency reduce operations costs without sacrificing luxury, and the fleet expansion will keep the member-to-aircraft ratio lower than the industry average, ensuring a magnificent member experience.

“Since launching last summer, we have relentlessly pursued the ultimate charter aviation experience for our members and to prove that luxury and convenience are not mutually exclusive,” said AeroVanti Founder and CEO Patrick Britton-Harr. “Amid remarkable growth, we’re always looking to enhance that travel experience. This includes our fleet and personnel expansions to acquisitions to support our increased operational efficiencies to adding more available and new destinations.” 

Click for more.

[Temporary Closure] 
Palmetto Historical Park & Agricultural Museum Closed in August

From August  1st through 31st, Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515-10th Ave. West, Palmetto, will be closed to the public. This time will allow staff and volunteers to make some needed repairs, change some exhibits, and spruce up the sites. They look forward to seeing visitors again when they re-open on Thursday, September  1st at 10:00 AM. 

EXCELLence Performance Steps Up to Silver with the Manatee Chamber

EXCELLence Performance is excited to announce that they’ve partnered with the Manatee Chamber of Commerce to become a Chairman’s Circle Silver Investor. The team at EXCELLence Performance is delighted to elevate their support of the Manatee Chamber as they continually recognize what the Chamber’s leadership has done to support and stimulate local businesses while fostering a strong sense of community. “The heart and soul of our business is helping other businesses grow and succeed,” said Tony Daum, CEO & Head Coach of EXCELLence Performance. “It is what we do. I cannot imagine a better collaboration in our community than to work with the Manatee Chamber to grow and improve businesses in our home and community. The Manatee Chamber is a top-flight organization, and it is a privilege to be a silver investor.” 

[Back to School] 
JFCS of the Suncoast Seeking Donations for Backpack Drive

The new school year is quickly approaching, and for many families, the required classroom supply lists can be overwhelming. That’s where JFCS of the Suncoast’s annual Backpack Drive comes in.

As one of the area’s leading mental health and human services agencies, JFCS has once again partnered with Hope 4 Communities to help prepare children in need for their next school year. Together they provide backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, family photos, vision screenings, school physicals, gift cards for school clothing and shoes, snacks for school, and more. These events are hosted at local churches throughout the community that provide homeless and needy children with everything they need to begin the first day of school with dignity.

JFCS has provided funding and 500 books from its “Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book” book donation drive to be given to children during the events. JFCS is seeking additional school supply donations so volunteers can fill backpacks to distribute to those families who missed the deadline to attend Hope 4 Communities’ Days4Hope events. Donations can be dropped off or delivered to our main office at 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. The deadline to donate items is July 29. 

For more info.

Manatee County Area Transit Invites Job Seekers to Get Behind the Wheel

The road could be yours as a Transit Operator in Manatee County. Looking to bolster their driver ranks, Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) leaders are hosting a special Job Fair this Saturday, July 30 from 9am to 1 pm at the MCAT Transit Complex, 2411 Tallevast Rd 34243. With a competitive starting wage of $17.80/hour and outstanding benefits, it’s a great opportunity to make good living while providing a vital service for so many in our community. “Serving as a bus driver for Manatee County Area Transit is a gratifying job,” said Transit Operator Pat Adams—who is the 2021 Manatee County Employee of the Year. “Each day you provide riders with a vital connection to services and goods. It is truly a rewarding feeling.”Drivers who hold a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) may receive a conditional offer of employment on the spot. Drivers who do not have their CDL can qualify for paid training. 

For info and to apply.

Summer Fun Under the Stars at The Bay’s Family Movie Night! , July 29, 7:30pm-9pm

Come early to enjoy a walk through The Bay Park, then find a spot on the Civic Green, set out your blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic if desired. We recommend you bring beverages and bug spray, but definitely don’t confuse the two! Once the sun sets, enjoy the free movie, popcorn and ice cream stretched out under the stars. Brought to you by our Founding Business Partners of The Bay! Run time: 1.5 Hours Date and time Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 7:30 PM EDT Location The Bay Park – Civic Green North side of the Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail.

Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Comedy Lottery , June 25 – July 30, 7:30pm

FST Improv Presents: Comedy Lottery Playing Through July 30 on Saturdays at 7:30pm. It’s the lottery where everyone wins! Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team of highly adaptable improvisers by selecting the night’s lineup from FST’s bucket of over 50 different improv games. Once the night’s games are chosen, our cast of funny people will be off to the races, spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. What will they come up with next? We have absolutely no idea. But one thing is for sure: every Saturday night, their destiny is in your hands.

Florida Studio Theatre’s Bowne’s Lab

Florida Studio Theatre: Maytag Virgin , June 29 – July 31, Varies.

A classic Southern love story. When the unflappable Jack Key moves in next door to the endearingly neurotic Lizzy Nash, sparks fly. Over time, neighborly nagging softens and a deeper connection emerges between the two high school teachers. As the leaves turn yellow and the months march on, kept secrets shake loose and the pair finds themselves facing the same question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again? Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly will play beginning June 29, 2022 in FST’s Keating Theatre. Run Time is 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre’s Keating Theatre

Tripletail Seafood and Spirits Wine Down Wednesdays , July 11 – July 31, 3pm-close

Every Wednesday from 3:00 to Close we offer discounted pricing on select bottles of wine. Explore our extensive domestic and imported wine list or just indulge in your favorites. Tripletail Seafood & Spirits will extend Savor Sarasota to Tripletails Summer Savor, through July. Taste Chef Traes extensive special Savor Menu of appetizers, entrée’s and desserts, with suggested wine pairings from our imported and domestic wine selections. Tripletail Seafood and Spirits Happy Hours menu. 3pm-6pm Every Day, Classic & Signature Cocktails, Wine and Beer $1 off plus some delish new Small Bite offerings.

Summer Movies at Sarasota Opera House , May 22 – September 23, Varies.

Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce the lineup for the 2022 summer movie series: HD at the Opera House and Classic Movies at the Opera House. HD at the Opera House featuring filmed performances of opera and ballet from around the world will open on Sunday, May 22nd at 1:30 p.m. with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, with tickets at $22, and $20 for Sarasota Opera subscribers. The Classic Movies at the Opera House series will open with In the Heat of the Night on Friday, July 8th at 7:30 p.m. with tickets at $12. (Tickets will go on sale starting Monday, May 2nd.)

The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Limelight Market , April 23 – December 17, 10am-3pm

Every 3rd Saturday from 10-3 The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime opens their outdoor space for guest vendors, dog rescues, and live music. Check out the 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar every Thursday – Saturday. Enjoy a delicious lunch and support local. Free, until you buy something amazing! 

Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch , January 2 – December 25, 10am-2pm

The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch is home to more than 90 curated vendors of the region’s best food and flavors, located at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch. It takes place every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at Waterside Place. It’s your weekend destination for organic produce, meat, poultry, seafood, bread, pasta, juices and prepared foods. Stay up to date on vendors and events by visiting

Circus Arts Conservatory & The Ringling: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, Varies.

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts. Some of the circus world’s most exciting acts have signed on for the annual show – a longtime partnership of the Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling – with performances presented over nine weeks this summer. The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes a wide range of acts, including duo lyra, adagio, hand balancing/contortion, rolla bolla, and more. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children 12 and under. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for just an additional $5 – an incredible value for a full day’s entertainment. Go to or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399.

Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

Florida Studio Theatre: The Jersey Tenors: Part II , July 19 – September 11, Varies.

Back with a new show, this opera/rock mash-up sensation blends iconic opera classics with Rock & Roll hits from artists like Queen, Journey, and Elton John, along with the songs from Jersey’s finest—Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Bon Jovi. From Frank Sinatra to Figaro, hear The Tenors’ original arrangements of songs celebrating artists from the stage to the screen, including “Walk Like A Man,” “Your Song,” “That’s Life,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and many more. The Jersey Tenors: Part II, created and conceived by Brian Noonan, will play beginning July 19, 2022 in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre’s Goldstein Cabaret

Humane Society of Sarasota County Adult Summer Camp , July 30, 3 pm – 6 pm

Do you wish you could attend HSSC’s Fur Fun Camps? Now you can! HSSC’s Adult Summer Camp gives adults the chance to learn about and interact with shelter pets and other animals, both domestic and exotic. Join us on Saturday, July 30, from 3-6pm, for exciting speakers, an inside look at the happenings in our facility, and “adult” snacks and drinks. Our Adult Summer Camp is designed for adults (but just as fun as the kids’ version) and will be held in the Education Center at the Humane Society of Sarasota County, 2331 15th St., Sarasota. HSSC’s Adult Summer Camp is open to adults, ages 21+. Cost is $40 per attendee (Pre-registration is required). For more details and to register, visit our Adult Summer Camp webpage.

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