Archive for February, 2011

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So, this week’s post is a bit of an aberration, as we are not only giving a direct plug for a restaurant, but one that isn’t even especially close to Laurel Park. However, Laurel Park Management and J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe do have something in common—a love of old Florida and a belief that the best of ol’ cracker life can coexist just fine with the modern city. Walk around Laurel Park and you’ll see people happily living in traditional bungalows only a stone’s throw from Main Street. Step into the Old Packinghouse Cafe and you’ll find a diverse crowd enjoying the traditional digs, honest food, and good music a stone’s throw from highway 75.

Known for good food, cold beer and live entertainment; it was used for packing locally cultivated celery beginning in the 1920’s. South of the Border offerings complement sumptuous southern dinners. A large variety of sandwiches are available, some prepared with “jerk”, a semi-mild Jamaican spice. And don’t forget to try the home made desserts, especially the bread pudding and key lime pie.

Celery can still be found here in the “Celery Plate with Dip” as can a bevy of other tasty menu items prepared fresh daily. Locals like the down-to-earth atmosphere of antiques and old photos, but it’s mainly the food they come for. Some favorites include: Black Beans and Rice, Cuban Sandwiches and Grouper Filet. Owner J.R., has been in the restaurant business for 25 years. He invites you to come out, enjoy a good meal at a fair price and have some fun. Six nights a week there is live music.”

The Old Packinghouse Cafe is located at 987 South Packinghouse Drive in Sarasota. You can reach them by calling (941) 371-9358 or checking out oldpackinghousecafe.com



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Think you know Laurel Park? Take a stroll on the Laurel Park Historic Walk and discover little-known stories about the ground beneath your feet and the houses next door. Here’s all the info you need, courtesy of This Week in Sarasota.

WHEN: Saturday February 19, 2011 @ 09:00 AM (and, really, every other day)
WHERE: Orange Ave. & Oak St. Sarasota FL 34236
COST: Free

Take a Walk in Laurel Park! – A self-guided tour of the National Register of Historic Places District. Tour map and information is available on the website: www.laurelparkhistoricdistrict.com

Laurel Park is one of Sarasota’s oldest downtown neighborhoods. Located between Orange Avenue and Washington Boulevard south of Morrill Street, it is approximately 50 acres stretching over nine city blocks. Single-family homes, duplexes and small apartment buildings dating back to the 20s line the original brick paved streets. Architectural styles include Frame Vernacular, Masonry Vernacular, Bungalow, Mission Revival, Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival. While primarily residential, the neighborhood includes some businesses and was once the home of Sarasota’s County Courthouse and Sarasota’s daily newspaper, The Sarasota Herald Tribune. The district is generally associated with events that were important to the early development of Sarasota from 1920-1957. Its architectural styles and varied pattern of development additionally contributed to making it a resource for the City and the State of Florida to preserve.


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We like to call Laurel Park Sarasota’s urban village. But what do we mean by that? Isn’t “urban village” an oxymoron? Not necessarily. At Laurel Park Management, we see “urban” as a condition of density and diversity, basically a place where a variety of people come together to make a variety of things happen. Urban places are often intensely built-up, like New York City, but they don’t have to be. And we see “village” as an approach to local life taken by residents, by those who get to know their neighbors, who stop to say hello when passing you by on the street, who lend a hand during times of need and invest themselves in the future of their community.

Due to its proximity to Main Street, Washington Blvd (301), Towles Court, and Burns Square, and thanks to its many involved residents, we think Laurel Park is indeed a budding urban village. At the heart of such a place is collaboration, exchange, sociality. We think a place grows great when the varied strengths of residents merge and mitigate individual shortcomings. Two heads is better than one, so to speak. And the shift to sustainability will unquestionably require a group effort.

Some say that technological and entrepreneurial developments, from the internet to social media and car-sharing, herald a boom of cooperation and interaction that may well rival the rise of cities in the first place. Don’t believe us? Check out the TEDtalks video above featuring Rachel Botsman. Interesting stuff…

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Silva Court pool

Looking for a place to live near downtown Sarasota? Afraid your budget will force you to choose between the charm of a historic building and being able to walk to Main Street? Why not have it all? Laurel Park Management rents a variety of unique affordable apartments—many in historic homes and buildings—all within walking distance of Main Street, the Bayfront, Whole Foods, and everything downtown Sarasota has to offer.

Today we are featuring the Silva Court Studios complex that nests just behind the Laurel Park Management office. Silva Court is a locally designated Mediterranean Revival Historic Structure that includes twenty-six residential rental apartments and two commercial storefronts. All of the apartments have been updated with wood flooring and new appliances, ceiling fans, and fixtures. The twenty-four large studio apartments and two one-bedroom apartments feature tall ceilings, generous natural light, full kitchens, and bathrooms with tubs.

Interested? Stop by the office at 235 S. Osprey and say hello, or contact us via phone or email (contact info is listed near the upper right hand side of this page). For more pictures of the Silva Court Studios, check out its property page.



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