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Joel Freedman, AICP*

Director of Land Planning
240 South Pineapple Avenue
10th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236

Joel provides land planning and land development consulting services to the private and public sectors. He specializes in providing strategic advice on how to approach a project from conception through construction.

Prior to joining Shumaker Advisors Florida, LLC, Joel was the founder and President of Joel Freedman Consulting & Development LLC. He was responsible for the management of the firm's planning projects, including Comprehensive Plan Amendments, rezoning, site and development review and permitting processes, and other land planning activities. Joel also assembled and coordinated all consultants necessary to be brought together as the design team in order to accomplish the project in the client's timeframe.

Government review and oversight of projects has continued to become more and more complex, time consuming and costly. Joel provides the expertise necessary to streamline the government approval process while at the same time ensuring the project meets all the goals of the client and the various requirements of the review agencies.

Innovative strategies are required for land development projects to succeed. Some of these strategies involve public/private partnerships, including extensive public involvement. Joel has experience with these types of cooperative projects and this experience has shown to be valuable when working through the various issues that arise in a joint venture project.

The following is a representative listing of Joel's project experience during his 39 year professional planning career.

  • Payne Park Village, a 135 single family lot subdivision being developed by David Weekley Homes.  The property was the location of a previously approved project which was modified to allow for the single family lot configuration.

  • The Sarasota Modern, an 89 room luxury boutique hotel under construction of 1.2 +/- acres of land in downtown Sarasota.  The project will include a 5,000 s.f. full service restaurant and 1,500 s.f. of retail space.

  • Ashton Meadows, a 41 lot single family cluster subdivision being developed by D.R. Horton.  A rezone was required for this 9.96 +/- acre project in Sarasota County.

  • Elan at Rosemary, a 287 unit rental apartment project in the Rosemary Design District in downtown Sarasota.  The project utilized the Rosemary Residential Overlay District bonus density allowing 75 units per acre.  The four story complex has an internal 448 space parking garage for residents and guests.

  • Choice Hotel, a 118 select service hotel in downtown Sarasota.The project obtained Administrative Site Plan approval with construction anticipated to begin within two years.

  • The Strand condominiums, a mixed-used project north of downtown along Whitaker Bayou in Sarasota, Florida.  The project, currently under construction, includes 156 condominiums with 50 wet boat slips.  In addition, there will be approximately 16,000 s.f. of retail floor area available in three outparcels.

  • 609 Golden Gate Point, an eight unit luxury condominium on Gold Gate Point.  The project utilized the special overlay district provisions allowing for small properties to develop at 25 units per acre.

  • The Pines of Sarasota.  A comprehensive plan amendment to Downtown Urban Edge was prepared and approved to allow for the expansion of this adult care facility complex to include up to 450 independent living units, new assisted living and memory care units as well as support commercial uses.

  • Rosemary Square is a mixed-use project in downtown Sarasota that includes 30 residential condominiums, 8,000 s.f. of office, 14,000 s.f. of retail floor area and a 6,000 s.f. performing arts company practice studio.  The four story building was constructed on property previously owned by the City of Sarasota.

  • One Palm, a mixed-use project in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  The project, currently under construction, includes a 144 room aLoft Hotel and 141 apartments.Grown floor retail space, the hotel and apartment entrances will be on the ground floor.  The project utilizes the existing 625 space parking garage on the site that also serves a 125,000 s.f. office building.

  • CitySide, a 450 unit market rate apartment complex located in the Rosemary Design District just north of Sarasota’s downtown core.  The project involved a comprehensive plan amendment and zoning code text amendment that created an overlay district allowing for 75 units per acre density, the highest in the City.Construction is anticipated to being in the spring of 2015.

  • The Jewel, an 18 story mixed-use project in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  The project includes 19 luxury condominiums, ground and second floor retail and office uses and an internal parking garage.  Development air rights from the abutting property were acquired to increase the allowed number of units.  The property is under construction.

  • Second Street Apartments, a 180 unit apartment complex in the downtown core.  This project utilized the former Downtown Residential Overlay District bonus density program.  Changes were proposed that required City Commission approval.  The project is anticipated to begin construction in 2015.

  • State Street Parking Garage, a mixed-use project including retail and residential uses and a 350 space public parking garage.  This project was a design build project with the City of Sarasota and A.D. Morgan, general contractors.  The retail and residential portions of the building will be finished and owned by private entities.

  • Shoppes of Bay Isles, Longboat Key, Florida.  The project involved the redevelopment of the existing shopping center.  The center, now completed, has a new 95,000 s.f. Publix, a free-standing CVS drug store and various retail shops.

  • Publix Grocery Store, Sarasota, Florida.  A new 45,000 s.f. Publix grocery store was constructed on the former Herald Tribute offices and production facility.  The store is located on the second level above a level of parking.Surface parking is also provided.

  • P.F. Chang’s restaurant, Sarasota, Florida.A 7,000 s.f. 280 seat P.F Chang’s restaurant is being developed on a former office building site that shares parking with an assisted living facility and 30,000 s.f. office building.

  • Ed Smith Sports Complex Renovation, Sarasota, Florida.  The project proposes the renovation of the Ed Smith Sports Complex to accommodate the Baltimore Orioles for the next 30 years.  Additional seating, clubhouse expansion and other on-site amenities are included in the renovation of this Sarasota County owned facility.

  • Longboat Key Club and Resort, Longboat Key, Florida.  The project involves planning services to the client proposing to construct a new 196 room hotel, 17,000 s.f. meeting facility, golf clubhouse, spa and 266 residential condominiums.  The complete redesign and reconstruction of the Islandside Golf course is also part of the project.

  • The Proscenium, a mixed-use project in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  The project proposed the construction of a 225 room Waldorf Astoria hotel, 211 luxury condominiums, 310,000 s.f. of offices, including a bank with drive-through facilities, 140,000 s.f. of retail space, 800 seat performing arts theater and a 500 seat movie theater.  Designation of the site as a Regional Activity Center in the City of Sarasota and development of a proportionate fair share agreement for transportation improvements per Florida Statutes.

  • Sarasota County Correctional Facilities Site Selection Process.  The project involves being a sub-consultant on the engineering team providing the analysis and site selection recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for Sarasota County’s future jail facility.  In addition, a new Community Corrections facility is to be located and constructed.

  • Pineapple Square, a mixed-used project in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  The project includes the construction and renovation of several buildings in the central core of downtown.  The project will include approximately 50,000 s.f. of retail space and 157 residential units with an internal parking garage.

  • Community Housing Trust/Child Protection Center, Sarasota, Florida.  This public/private partnership involved a Future Land Use Plan Amendment, rezoning and site plan approval for the subject property in downtown Sarasota.  The Community Housing Trust was developing 14 units of affordable housing on the same site that the Child Protection Center was going to develop their new headquarters.Sarasota County was the property owner and applicant.

  • Hotel Indigo, a 95 room boutique hotel located in downtown Sarasota.  The project includes underground and off-site parking for 122 spaces as well as dining area, bar and meeting rooms.

  • Ringling Square, Sarasota, Florida.  The project includes the development of 4,200 s.f. of retail space and 38,000 s.f. of office space, including a financial institution with drive through facility.  A parking garage with 144 parking spaces will also be developed on the site with the project.

  • Whole Foods Market Centre, a mixed-use project requiring rezoning, street vacations and site plan approval in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  This public/private project includes the development of a 36,000 s.f. Whole Foods Market, 26,300 s.f. of retail space and 94 condominiums.  A parking garage with 744 parking spaces has been integrated into this project providing public and private parking.

  • The Broadway Promenade, a 6 acre mixed-use project requiring a comprehensive plan amendment, revisions to the zoning code, rezoning and site plan approval in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  This project includes the development of a 35,000 s.f. grocery store, 22,000 s.f. of accessory retail space and 186 residential units.

  • Courthouse Centre, site plan approval for a 10 story mixed-use building in downtown Sarasota, including residential, retail, and office uses and a 430 space parking garage.

  • Florida West Coast Symphony Education Wing and 800 seat Concert Hall expansion in the City of Sarasota’s Cultural Center in downtown Sarasota.

  • Hyatt Hotel, conversion of the 5,800 s.f. ballroom into a 10,000 s.f. conference center in downtown Sarasota, Florida.

  • Sarasota Pavilion, Sarasota, Florida, renovation of a 396,000 s.f. shopping center (formerly known as Gulf Gate Mall) including establishing non-DRI status.

  • Hollywood 20 Movie Complex, a 20-screen movie theater in downtown Sarasota, Florida.

  • Sarasota County Interstate Business Center, 250 acre industrial and business complex Development of Regional Impact.

  • U.S. 41/Beneva Road Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan amendment redesignating the activity center from Village to Community.

  • Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Development of Regional Impact, Notice of Proposed Change.  Changes to the mix and intensity of uses, Sarasota, Florida.

  • City of Titusville’s Waterfront Utilization and Design Master Plan.

  • Sarasota Square Mall Development of Regional Impact, Sarasota County, Florida.

  • Springhill/I-75 and Archer Road/I-75, Mixed-Use Activity Centers in Alachua County, Florida, 500 and 200 acres, respectively.

  • City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Florida, Planner and Project Manager for site selection and planning of downtown transportation center.

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Institute of Certified Planners, 1984 to present
  • American Planning Association, 1978 to present
  • Florida Planning and Zoning Association, 1990 to present
  • Florida Real Estate Sales License, 1984 to present
  • Bay Haven Basics-Plus Elementary School PTO, Board of Directors, President 2012-2015
  • Sarasota Open Plans for Excellence (SCOPE), Board of Directors, 2013-2014
  • Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 1991-1999, 2001-2006
  • Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, Chairman 1996-1998
  • Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, Vice-Chairman, 1991-1994
  • Sarasota County Committee for Economic Development, Board of Directors, 1996-1998
  • Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Better Business Council, Board of Directors, 1996-1998
  • Ringling Shool of Art and Design, Corporate Council, 1996-1999
  • Volunteer Center, Board of Directors, 1996-1999
  • Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Board of Directors, 1995-2000; President, 1996-1998


  • City of Sarasota Downtown Community Redevelopment Area Extension Committee, 2013-2014
  • Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), 2007-2017
  • Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority CAC, Chairman, 2014-2015; Vice-Chair 2016
  • Sarasota County Tourist and Economic Development Board, 2004-2010
  • Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation Formation Steering Committee, 2004
  • State of Florida Correctional Privatization Commission, 1994-2002; Chairman, 1995-2002
  • Sarasota County Infrastructure Needs Citizens Task Force Member, 1997
  • Sarasota County Transportation Strategic Funding Program Citizen's Committee, 1999-2000
  • Sarasota County Downtown Trolley Operations Task Force, 2001-2002

News Releases

* Names that appear with an asterisk indicate a Shumaker professional not admitted to practice law.

Alternate biographies





  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning, magna cum laude, Texas A&M University, 1978
  • B.S., cum laude, Utah State University, 1976
  • A.A., University of Florida, 1973

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