SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tenants of a historic building in downtown Sarasota are unsure what the future holds for the century-old building.
Earlier this week it was decided not to demolish the structure known as Mira Mar – yet. But city officials are now calling for security measures.
Signs are posted in and around Mira Mar Square explaining that the walkway connecting the north and south buildings is temporarily closed. These 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 “requested that the areas under discussion be shored up without delay” and that a shoring plan be developed with emphasis placed on the second tier link bridge.
During an inspection of the building conducted in May, a local engineering firm noted “extensive insect damage and wood rot”. The local developer who aims to demolish and rebuild Mira Mar shared with us several photos showing cracked concrete and crumbling wood.
In a statement, the chairman of Seaward Development said he was waiting to see if it was safe to continue as a tenant.
Camilyn Leavitt, who has been designing clothes in the Mira Mar building since 2014, says the uncertainty surrounding the building’s future has been stressful. But when it comes to safety, she says she has been reassured by her landlord that there is nothing to worry about.
“This building has been around a lot of hurricanes and storms over the past 100 years, so I’m not sure what’s holding it up, but whatever it is, it’s fine,” she said. . “I feel safe in this building right now.”
On Sunday, the owner’s engineering firm said the north building was stable but should be monitored regularly in the future.