A redevelopment project that could bring new life to east Main Street in Sarasota will be built in phases, according to a development team that just bought the property. Developers Jesse Biter, Eric Baird and Davis Chessler have a request for architectural proposals on the street right now and have revealed parts of their plan to reshape the northwest corner of Main Street and Washington Boulevard.

The development group bought the prominent plaza, which today houses the Regal Hollywood 20 and a YMCA gym, plus several government offices. But the mall space for years hasn’t been utilized strongly as a retail center. The development group plans first to improve the retail space in the mall portion of “BBC Plaza,” then rehabilitate the movie theater, and ultimately consider a major project on the north end of the 8.5-acre property that might include a hotel, multi-family housing, a conference center or other similar use.

The ownership of BBC Plaza is confident that a successful project will bring life back to the east end of Main Street,” reads a statement released to the press by Biter. “As an anchor to Main Street, this property deserves to have a modern look, improved retail storefronts, improved mall entrances and an updated and improved interior. BBC Plaza will also consider architectural thoughts for the outside common areas as well as the parking garage.”

Developers will meet on Dec. 22 with prospective architects for the first phase of the project, which includes revitalizing Main Street, improving the YMCA gym facade, redesigning mall entrances and improving retail space on the first floor between Ken’s WingHouse, Old School Bar and the former Applebee’s space.

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