Bradenton Recasts Its Downtown


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April 25th, 2017 – The city center of Bradenton is fast shaping up as the downtown that the locals no longer used to know. This marked shift is for the better though. Way much better especially for Bradenton real estate for sale.

One face of the downtown’s transformation is happening right east of the River Dance condominium at 3rd Ave West. Site work is set to start this April in its nearby 102 12th Street West (Old Main Street) for the $17 million, Spring Hill Suites hotel.

Owned by Marriot, this hotel will rise in the 0.6-acre former site of the old theater of the Manatee Performing Arts Center which was demolished in December last year. Conceptual plans for the Spring Hill Suites show a blueprint for a 130-room, eight-story luxury hotel. Its amenities on the drawing boards include a swimming pool, a restaurant and a tiki lounge.

New Hotel Opens 2018

Bradenton Recasts Its Downtown

This hotel project is expected to be finished in June 2018, the same timeframe as the construction of a new City Centre parking garage to be built soon on 3rd Avenue West. As part of a coordinated development agreement, the hotel will get 100 parking spaces in this facility which will also feature retail spaces on its ground floor. Envisioned as an extension of Old Main Street, this parking garage will adopt an architectural style complementary with the downtown’s architecture.

Also at 3rd Avenue West, specifically at its intersection 9th Street West, a $1.52 million improvement project will be bid out later this year. This initiative by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) calls for installing dedicated right-hand turn lanes at 9th Street West southbound to 3rd Avenue West and Manatee Avenues. There will be a resurfacing of 9th Street West as well, and its existing lanes’ width will be trimmed to 10 feet.

From Roads to Artworks

FDOT bidding is likewise slated sometime this spring for the installation of pedestrian safety islands and crosswalks along 8th Avenue West. Additionally, this project will reduce the street’s lane width to 11 feet and designate turn lanes at each intersection between 9th and 14th Streets West.

In early March this year, a second installation of public art was put in place at the intersection of 9th Street West and 12th Avenue West. Realize Bradenton, a nonprofit promoting the city, commissioned this public art display to help draw pedestrians from Old Main Street down to Village of the Arts.

Best for Startups

Besides benefitting local residents and drawing more visitors, this display and the road improvements around it will also provide a further boost to the local business environment which has been flourishing recently. A new study released this April in fact showed Bradenton amongst the best small cities for business startups.

One of the companies which have recognized this advantage is SUNZ Insurance which is completing the transition of new headquarters to Bradenton from Sarasota. This company now occupies the building at 1301 6th Avenue West formerly occupied by First Bank.

SUNZ has transferred more than 100 employees from its former office in Sarasota. The company expect to have 100 more to come in after it completes the building’s renovations.