The Historical Society of Sarasota County will present “The Great Developers” as the latest in its “Conversations at the Crocker” series at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Pioneer Park.
Herald-Tribune Real Estate Editor Harold Bubil will lead the program, with an introduction about important Florida developers of the past, and a panel discussion with several prominent developers in Sarasota and Manatee counties today.
Panelists include condominium developer Jay Tallman, Ritz-Carlton and The Concession developer Kevin Daves, and Pat Neal, head of Neal Communities. Special guest Rolland King will discuss his development of South Gate and other noteworthy Sarasota subdivisions in the 1950s and beyond.
“The history of Sarasota, and, indeed, all of Florida, is a story of real estate,” Bubil said. “Playing a major role in that long saga of boom, bust, progress and preservation are the great developers of the past, recent past and present.”
The panelists will discuss the process of development, how projects are chosen, and what can make or break them. They’ll also address the image of developers and development, which often has its detractors.
“I’ll frame the conversation by briefly taking us back to Sarasota’s settlement era then jump ahead the great Florida Land Boom of the 1920s, when dreamers, such as Owen Burns, created great cities from swamp and scrub,” said Bubil. “But most of our conversation will deal with what happened to Sarasota during the postwar boom, which has continued to the present day with but brief pauses — and one notable long death march — in the cycle of growth. We’ll concentrate on the achievements of the influential dreamers, builders and salesmen who have shaped Florida from the 1950s up until today.”
The 1901 Crocker Memorial Church is at 1260 12th St. in Sarasota’s Pioneer Park. The event is free to Historical Society members and students, and $10 for guests, who may pay at the door.
Organized by the Historical Society of Sarasota County and sponsored by SARASOTA Magazine, the “Conversations at The Crocker” series highlights specific aspects of Sarasota’s past and examines pivotal events and people who have influenced today’s Sarasota. Proceeds from this series help to maintain the Historical Society’s two heritage properties at Pioneer Park — the Bidwell-Wood House (1882, Sarasota’s oldest private residence) and the Crocker Memorial Church.
Docent-led tours of both buildings are available an hour before each of the Conversations at The Crocker events.
Co-chairs of “Conversations at The Crocker” are Lynn Harding and Marsha Fottler. President of the Historical Society of Sarasota County is Howard Rosenthal. Annual membership in the Historical Society is $30. For more information, contact site manager Linda Garcia at 941-364-9076.