Sunday, June 28, 2009


That Kelly, one of Ireland's most prolific and successful real estate developers, would be in financial straits seemed implausible five years ago.

Then, his investment team spent $60 million to buy the former Quay, a largely derelict office and entertainment complex at Tamiami Trail and Fruitville Road. In its place, Kelly planned the 1.5 million-square-foot Bayside.

With it, Kelly brought a far-flung vision that would have connected Bayside with neighboring properties, including the 266-room Ritz-Carlton Sarasota hotel and the 40-acre, city-owned Cultural District. The development also fueled expectations that Sarasota would fulfill its cosmopolitan destiny.

That vision grew in 2006, when Kelly bought the last of the 48-unit El Vernona condo complex next to the Quay for roughly $20 million -- a tract that doubled the Bayside land. He even made a stab at buying the Ritz-Carlton, but balked when the price rose well above $120 million.

At the time, Bayside was but one of many grandiose projects Kelly's Dublin-based Redquartz Development Ltd. had completed or planned.

Herald Tribune

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