The past year was a fairly steady one for commercial real estate in Sarasota and beyond. It was a year of construction, newly announced projects and anticipation of the completion of others. The Vue Sarasota Bay 141-unit condominium tower, The 255 room Westin Hotel, the CitySide’s initial phase of 254 apartments in the burgeoning Rosemary District, the 24-unit condo and townhouse Orange Club and the 10-story De Sota’s 180 apartments all were completed in or around downtown Sarasota in 2017, adding new residences, lodging and retail space to the city. While an impressive array, these projects are expected to be dwarfed by those that achieve occupancy downtown in 2018, a list that includes the 180-room Embassy Suites & Spa hotel, Art Ovation 162-room hotel, the Elan’s 286 apartments and the Arcos’s 228 apartments, to name a few. The past year also saw slight improvement in the region’s office market, while the industrial market continued to strengthen as distressed properties that were perceived of as “bargains” by many investors were sold. Perhaps the biggest gain of 2017, however, was in the area of consumer confidence. Exiting 2017, business feels robust, the result of low unemployment, interest rates that remain very attractive despite incremental hikes and record levels in the stock market. This enthusiasm was felt locally as well. December 2017 could well be compared to December 1999 in Sarasota, when downtown experienced the first green shoots of what would become an unprecedented condominium boom and subsequent and associated growth in both retail and office space.