SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tenants in a historic downtown Sarasota building aren’t sure what the future holds for the 100-year-old building.
Earlier this week, a decision was made to not demolish the structure that most know as Mira Mar – for now. But city officials are now calling for safety measures.
Signs are posted in and around Mira Mar plaza explaining that the walkway connecting the north and south buildings is temporarily closed. Those changes were made after a city building official walked the property earlier in the week alongside the owner’s engineer of record.
In an email obtained by WFLA, the city official “asked that the areas discussed be shored without delay” and that a shoring plan be developed with an importance placed on the second-level connecting bridge.
During an inspection of the building conducted in May, a local engineering firm noted “extensive insect damage and wood rot.” The local developer that’s aiming to demolish and rebuild Mira Mar shared several photos with us showing cracked concrete and crumbling wood.
In a statement, Seaward Development’s president said he’s waiting to see if it’s safe to continue being a tenant.
Camilyn Leavitt, who has been designing clothing in the Mira Mar building since 2014, says the uncertainty surrounding the building’s future has been stressful. But in regards to safety, she says she’s been reassured by her landlord there’s no need to worry.
“This building has been around for a lot of hurricanes and a lot of storms over the last 100 years, so I’m not sure what exactly is keeping it up but whatever it is it’s OK,” she said. “I feel safe in this building right now.”
As of Sunday, the owner’s engineering firm said the north building is stable but would need to be monitored regularly going forward.