The former Nokomis Groves building was demolished in November to make way for a housing development. Sinking that could be related to dewatering on the part of the property east of Albee Farm Road has caused a delay in the work until the cause is determined.
NOKOMIS — Construction activity on part of the former Nokomis Groves property along Albee Farm Road is on hold pending the results of a geologist’s report on subsidence.
The subsidence — sinking — was detected by Sarasota County Public Works staff on Jan. 30 on the eastern part of the property east of Albee Farm Road, county spokesperson Brianne Leibniz said via email.
The engineer of record for developer Pulte Home LLC was notified the next day, she said, and the company was directed to cease operations there.
“Field crews have been tracking subsidence occurring on Kenwood Avenue and Orange Grove Avenue South,” Leibniz said. “As a safety measure, the county asked the developer (Pulte Home Company LLC) to cease all dewatering activities on the large stormwater pond just north of these roads.
“We are not sure if there is a link from the activities occurring on the construction site or if this is a natural occurrence.”
Pulte was asked on Feb. 3 to submit a geotechnical report from an independent geologist, she said. The results of the report will determine what happens next on the eastern construction site.
Pulte is clear to continue work on the west side, where dewatering had been completed, Leibniz said.
She dispelled rumors that springs or sinkholes had been found on the property.
“The incidents we are tracking are not considered sinkholes,” she said. “A sinkhole is a term reserved for subsidence that involves deeper geologic strata, which is not what is occurring here.”
“There are no natural springs on the construction property or in the vicinity of this area,” she added.
There are also no wetlands, an environmental report states.
Pulte acquired the five parcels that made up Nokomis Groves’ holdings for $2.625 million in November, according to property appraiser records.
A rezoning of the 44 acres had already converted it from county Open-Use Estates 1 to Residential, Single-Family 3.
The rezoning application shows that Pulte plans to build 138 dwelling units — 68 attached units on the west side and 70 detached units on the east side.
None of them will qualify as affordable or workforce housing, according to the application.
There are four existing wells and five septic tanks on the property, but all the units and the amenities will be connected to county water and sewer.
Pulte did not respond to requests for comment.
Leibniz said the company is researching the issues and should have more information in the next few weeks.
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