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Why One Renowned Custom Builder Is Leaving Sarasota at Its Peak of Development

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Planning + Development

Why One Renowned Custom Builder Is Leaving Sarasota at Its Peak of Development

In a race to create housing supply, some developers are paving over paradise


April 4, 2022
Homes in Sarasota, Florida
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Sarasota is becoming a mecca of home building with high-demand from out-of-state buyers and low pre-existing inventory, but in the midst of its biggest boom, one local custom builder is choosing to walk away. Award-winning builder Josh Wynne is a multigenerational Florida native known for his detail-oriented designs and nature-inspired architecture, but his environmentalist values are increasingly being tested in an era of unfettered development across Florida’s poorly preserved towns and cities. 

In a fast-paced post-pandemic market, builders are in a race against the clock to meet heightened demand with increased supply, but more frequently, at the sacrifice of quality, Sarasota Magazine reports. Rather than preserving and protecting Sarasota’s historic architecture and pristine nature, developers are blindly overbuilding and destroying some of the region’s greatest treasures, Wynne says.

“I made my effort to stop and slow what was happening. I’m an environmentalist, a fisherman and an outdoorsman. Our waterways are crowded and polluted and access is nearly nonexistent. It used to be Sarasota was [made up of] people who refused to live in Palm Beach and Naples. Now it’s looking more like Fort Lauderdale, and I don’t want any part of it.”

“It doesn’t hurt that this is a difficult time to build, logistically, since there’s a shortage in tradespeople and labor and a million people vying for their time. My work turned into an effort to control mania and it wasn’t fun anymore.”

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