The current darling of the Sarasota apartment market is One Palm, a 139-unit complex that was completed in 2016 on a vacant tract at Ringling Boulevard and Palm Avenue downtown. There’s good reason for the project to be lauded. Of all the apartment projects downtown that have been planned or constructed since 2012, One Palm has arguably the best location – in the heart of Sarasota’s commercial core and within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, churches and civic amenities. It was also the first of more than a dozen projects to be completed, which meant it was best able to tap into pent-up market demand. Today, its apartments are fully occupied and a lengthy waiting list is growing. One Palm also has achieved rental rates not previously seen in Sarasota, at or above $2 per square foot. The newly completed initial 228-unit phase of the Cityside apartments, in the burgeoning Rosemary District just north of Fruitville Road and downtown, also is setting lease-up records at solid rental rates. Project developer Rosalyne Holdings is bullish on Cityside prospects and has filed plans to develop the 261-unit phase II. Hundreds of new units are scheduled to come to market by the end of this year, in projects that have pro forma rental rates of roughly $2 per square foot or above. Carter Communities’ 180-unit complex on Second Street; Framework Group’s 228-unit Urban Flats project, on Fruitville Road at the former Hibbs Farm & Garden site; and Greystar’s 286-unit Elan Rosemary will be carefully scrutinized to determine whether the anticipated demand is as strong as many contend among young professionals, empty-nest baby boomers and retirees alike. Most recently, 222 apartment units have been proposed for the Ringling Shopping Center site. If built, the rental units would pioneer as the first development constructed east of U.S. 301 in years, save the townhouse project under construction. Time will tell if the Payne Park site will attract renters at the relatively high rental rates the land price would suggest are needed for financial viability.