New Lights May Mean New Life South Of Stickney Point Bridge
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There’s a lot of interest these days in redeveloping and adding new lights to Siesta Key south of Stickney Point Road.
A pair of Siesta Key business owners, Aledia Tush, of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, and Dave Stewart, of Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar, are working with Sarasota County on a project to add lights and to make the area more enticing to new investors. Florida Power & Light already has conduits in position for street lighting, so the addition of new lights would not be a crushing burden to property owners, who would be taxed for both the initial work and the continuing maintenance. Lights were not installed when the conduits first went up because there was no procedure or mechanism in place to pay for them.
But new lighting could be just what the Stickney Point area needs. The most recently-constructed building in the 11-acre commercial district on south Siesta Key is 18 years old, an abandoned nightclub. A storage facility and a marina sit adjacent to the gray, vacant nightclub building. With only 14 commercial properties now in the district, many believe that new lighting would be precisely the catalyst that’s needed to attract fresh business investment. Several of the business owners have indicated that while their businesses do “okay” in tourist season, a revitalized commercial district appealing directly to local residents would be a great benefit during the “off” season. It would also benefit the residents. Old Stickney Point Road leads into a residential development and single-family homes on Siesta Key, and these folks probably do the bulk of their retail shopping by driving north to Siesta Key Village or east into Sarasota.
For the moment, however, no final decisions have been made either by Sarasota County or by Florida Power & Light. Sarasota County and Florida Power & Light completed a similar project at Siesta Key Village in 2008. Stickney Point Road and Stickney Point Bridge are named for “Uncle” Ben Stickney (1842-1912), a pioneer and early Siesta Key settler who became known for his generous hospitality and for the huge parties and picnics held at his Siesta Key estate.