The purchase of historic former dog track is a mutual win for local businessman, Eric Baird, and North Sarasota community.
SARASOTA, FL / MAY 1, 2023 / Local real estate investor, Eric Baird, has purchased the former Sarasota Kennel Club site for $9.5M. The site has been primarily vacant since greyhound racing was outlawed in 2018. Baird and his team have plans to develop the 26-acre site commercially. While the future of the site has not yet been confirmed, Baird plans to divide the site into areas to best serve the current needs of the North Sarasota community.
Baird Inc. has considered repurposing the existing parking lot into an offsite economy parking lot for the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). A shuttle would be provided for the short drive across the street to the airport. As passenger travel continues to increase and the airport embarks on their $73M expansion project, the need for affordable, reliable parking continues to increase. Currently, travelers only have the option to park on-site at the airport for costly rates. SRQ economy parking options are only offered by the airport during the holiday season and rates are based upon incremental demand. Baird hopes to solve this problem and provide travelers with an everyday economy option. The near-term repurposing as parking for airport passengers is in response to projections of continued robust growth of the airport wherein everyone benefits if alternative parking options are available.
Another potential use for the site is to develop industrial warehouses, self-storage, or high-end car garages. There is an overwhelming need for industrial space as Sarasota’s population continues to grow and warehouse space is largely unavailable in Sarasota County. The site’s proximity to SRQ, US-41, and US-301 makes it an excellent location for those looking to manufacture and ship goods to and from the area.
“Baird Inc. is actively working with engineering and land use experts to determine the highest and best use options for redevelopment of the site,” says Gerald Poye, Baird Inc.’s VP of Construction and Development. The Baird team welcomes feedback from local community members and businesspeople. Comments can be submitted through their website.
Eric Baird is the founder and CEO of the investment firm Baird Inc, which specializes in financing solutions to service the needs of small-cap and mid-market businesses. As part of the firm’s growing portfolio, it invests in under-utilized residential and commercial properties.