The Downtown Improvement District (DID)

Elevates Your Downtown Sarasota Experience

The Downtown Improvement District is a dependent special district of the City of Sarasota created pursuant to Section 189.4041, Florida Statutes, to improve the Downtown Core of the City of Sarasota and has as its goals the following:

1. Contract with the City to obtain a higher level of service for trash collection, removing litter and graffiti, washing sidewalks, trimming trees and planting flowers;

2. Contract with the City to improve the downtown ambiance with pedestrian scale lighting, street furniture, continuous streetscape reinvestment, and care of trees and flowers;

3. Make recommendations to the City Commission regarding the management of private activity in public spaces such as sidewalk vending, street furniture and performance, as well as monitoring code compliance in stated private activities;

4. Recruit and retain businesses by offering: financial incentives for new and expanding businesses; market research and data reports; retail/office leasing and sales information;

5. Welcome downtown consumers with uniform, high-visibility street guides and staff sidewalk hospitality kiosks with personnel;

6. Market downtown Sarasota by producing festivals, events, maps, newsletters, sales and promotions, image enhancement, and advertising campaigns.

Boundaries of the DID

The Downtown Improvement District is generally bounded on the north by Second Street, on the east by Goodrich Avenue and Pine Place, on the south by Ringling Boulevard, on the southwest by Palm Avenue or the properties on the southwest side of Palm Avenue, and on the west by Cocoanut Avenue. In addition, two parcels on the west side of Cocoanut Avenue at Second Street are included within the boundaries of the DID.
Downtown Improvement District Map

Goals and Objectives

The DID works diligently to make downtown Sarasota a vibrant district that everyone can enjoy. Here are the plans for how we intend to keep it that way.

Attainable Housing Initative

The Sarasota City Commission approved a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (22-PA-04) to increase the opportunity to provide attainable housing along commercial corridors and centers and within the downtown by providing a density incentive to developers when attainable housing is provided on-site.

This initiative is consistent with the Sarasota Transportation Master Plan (Sarasota in Motion) and promotes transit-oriented development that creates more vibrant, livable, and sustainable communities. City staff will carry out a public outreach process to implement the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, through a Zoning Text Amendment that will provide public input opportunities for regulations and details for the density bonus incentive and required attainable housing.

To learn more click here. If you are interested in attending the Town Hall Meeting regarding Attainable Housing click here. The meeting will be held on Jan. 19 and Mar. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Sarasota City Hall in the Commission Chambers located at 1565 1st Street, Sarasota, FL, 34236. To stream it live please visit

Parklet Dining

During the recent pandemic, the City of Sarasota, through an Administrative Order, authorized restaurants to temporarily expand their dining areas into “on street” public parking spaces. The City Manager has recently issued an extension of the emergency order allowing sidewalk cafes with parklets to continue using the parking spaces until March 31, 2023 provided all requirements are met and the newly implemented mandatory fee of $2,250 ($25 per day, per parking space) is paid.

In addition, the City is exploring options for a potential permanent program to be discussed at a future City Commission meeting. What are your thoughts? Would you like to see the program continued or regain the use of the public parking spaces? Let us know by reaching out to the Business District Manager.