Public restrooms are coming to St. Armands Circle

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SARASOTA – Tourists and Suncoast residents alike know when it comes to St. Armands Circle, you won’t run into a public restroom. But you won’t have to ‘hold it’ for long.

Executive Director of the St. Armands Circle Association, Diana Corrigan, says she gets roughly 40-50 calls and e-mails each year asking for public restrooms.

“Oh my gosh, we’ve been working on this for 20 years, and its not as easy as it sounds,” Corrigan says, “because we’re not like a mall. There are 68 landowners.”

She and Daiquiri Deck Co-Owner Matt Grover say the two biggest issues on the Circle are parking and restrooms.

“I think it’s an exciting time because both are being addressed by the City of Sarasota,” Grover, who is also president of the St. Armands Merchant Association, said.

A public parking garage is in the works and inside that garage will be two unisex bathrooms.

“And we are going to have two stand-alone bathrooms that will be built on the circle,” Corrigan said.

Grover says he never turns people away when they ask to use the restroom, which happens often.

“The restaurants out on St. Armands Circle take the brunt of the expense of public restrooms because people use what they need to or can,” Grover said.

But he says the addition will take a lot of pressure off retailers, whose bathrooms are less accessible.

“It makes the area a lot more convenient for the average customer, especially people who are mobility challenged or have small children,” Grover said.

It’s a huge victory for Corrigan, who has been pushing this for years.

“Well I guess when I leave my legacy is gonna be, ‘We finally got public restrooms,'” Corrigan said. “I never dreamed that would be my legacy, but it is.”

“Even though St. Armands Circle is sort of the diamond of Sarasota in terms of shopping, convenience is also very important,” Grover said. “I think it’s going a long way to satisfy a lot of the concerns that are out there.”

This project comes after permission from the city commission. By January 2019, there will be a total of six public restrooms on the circle.

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Hallie Peilet
Hallie Peilet is an Indiana University graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in music. She has had experience in several media outlets. Previously, she interned for WCIU-TV in Chicago, learning about production and live reporting. During her senior year at IU, she worked as a reporter and anchor for her campus news station, and as a multimedia journalist for WTIU/WFIU, the PBS/NPR affiliate in Bloomington. She grew up just outside of Chicago in Munster, Indiana, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new music, and watching Chicago sports. If you have an idea for a story, e-mail her at hallie.peilet@snntv.com.