SARASOTA, Fla. (April 26, 2021) – After nearly a year of planning, architectural design evolutions, and a delayed permitting process, the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM) has officially started construction to renovate the building at 2901 Manatee Avenue in Bradenton. The renovation project began on April 22, 2021, at a ceremonial “wall-breaking” event. Once completed, the building will be used as a member service center in Manatee County, in addition to the existing facility on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota.

Representatives from RASM and Halfacre Construction Company, along with the project architect helped kick off the construction project with a ceremonial smashing of an interior wall.

“Today is a phenomenal day for the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee with the official start of construction on our north member facility. This project helps us extend our mission of ‘Reaching Further;’ in which, poetically, the future home for our Manatee County RASM members is on the same site as the old Manatee Association of Realtors®. After this major renovation, it will be at once both familiar and new to our Manatee members,” said Alex Krumm, 2021 President of the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

RASM acquired the building on May 6, 2020, and has since been working with Suarez Architecture and Halfacre Construction to develop design plans that will completely transform the building into a first-class facility. The renovation plans include full demolition of the inside of the building; making updates to the plumbing, raising the roof, rearranging walls, and installing new floors along with exterior modifications and landscaping.

Designed by Javi Suarez of Suarez Architecture, the 7,200-square-foot structure will house offices, two meeting rooms, an auditorium, a central lobby, and a member store. Renovations are expected to be completed in eight months, as long as that there are no delays in construction.

“We’ve gone through quite a journey to get to this day. It started many years ago with a plan to build new, and after construction prices started to go up, we decided to take a different path by renovating an existing building,” added David Clapp, Chair of the North Building Task Force and 2020 RASM President. “We found this building in October of 2019 and got to work. After several months to close the sale, a few more months to finalize our design plans, and some additional delays to get approved by the City, we are certainly pleased to get to this point. On top of all that, we still expect to save over $1 million by renovating this building rather than what we would’ve spent on building a brand new facility. The end result will be the same, the inside of this building will be all brand new. Our members will be proud of this new facility.”

The building will become the second, full-sized RASM member facility, serving REALTOR® members and the business community in the region. In 2013, Halfacre Construction Company built RASM’s Sarasota site at 2320 Cattlemen Road.