RenzoPiano Building Workshop selected to design $275-$300 million Sarasota Performing Arts Center

sarasota arts rendering

Florida Construction News staff writer

Sarasota’s architect selection task force has selected RenzoPiano Building Workshop to design the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center (SPAC). The decision was made on June 1, following presentations the day before by the three finalists in the competition including Foster + Partners Limited and Snøhetta.

Gehry Partners, one of the finalists selected withdrew from the competition before the shortlist review was completed.

The task force is comprised of three foundation board members and a City of Sarasota-appointed designate.

The architect selection process started about six months ago and has reached the following milestones:

  • November 2022 – RFQ produced 43 submissions from interested firms.
  • January 6, 2023 – RFPs were received from 18 qualifying firms.
  • February 27, 2023 – 6 semi-finalists were selected to continue.
  • April 2023 – Site visits and reference checks were completed.
  • May 12, 2023 – A final slate was selected to present in Sarasota.

The Task Force is comprised of three Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation Board Members and a City of Sarasota-appointed designee.

The next step in the process is for the architect and city procurement staff to complete contract negotiations.  If an agreement isn’t reached, then the city will invite second-place Foster + Partners to enter negotiations.

SPAC plans include a 2,100-seat main hall, a 300-seat flexible performance space in the overall 165,000 sq. ft. structure.  There will be inside and outside education, event and rooftop spaces.

The project’s overall cost is estimated to be between $275 and $300 million, funded by private donations, grants and tax increment finance revenues on a district surrounding The Bay, the city’s 53-acre waterfront park site where the SPAC would be located.


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