Several studies have taken place in recent years with a focus on Sarasota's economic drivers.  The studies present a variety of data reflecting employment trends, business anchors, community opinions and other information.  Click on the links below to access the studies.


Retail Market Studies
As part of the City of Sarasota Strategic Plan for 2014-2016, the City retained Gibbs Planning Group from Birmingham, Michigan to conduct a market analysis and determine the optimal business mix for several key areas of the city.  The analysis indicates that there is sufficient demand for additional retail within each study area.  Click on links in the blue table below to read each report.


Downtown Sarasota


  Rosemary District


 MLK Corridor

  St Armands Circle




 Downtown Pedestrian Generators

This 2011 study was conducted by Drs. Phyllis and Roger Barry with the assistance of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Assignment Downtown Council. It identifies the larger pedestrian destinations and clusters throughout the downtown area. This information is useful in a number of ways, including identifying where to locate a business to take advantage of existing pedestrian traffic.

Planning is currently underway to update this study in 2016.


 Economic Geography of Downtown

 This 2012 study was developed by Dr. Roger Barry and by Randy Welker.  The study examined various business sectors by employment as a measure of economic activity. It compares Sarasota to St. Petersburg, Fort Myers, Naples, and West Palm Beach.  Data was derived utilizing CoStar Property software with integrated ESRI programs.


Downtown Community Survey

In December, 2013 an online community survey was conducted to learn how the general public perceives downtown. Over 500 individuals answered a range of questions about how they utilize downtown in their daily lives.