Hotspot Communities to Check Out in Palmetto


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September 17th, 2015 – Esplanade at Artisan Lakes and Fairways at Imperial Lakewoods, both in Palmetto, share some things in common though the development of the latter precedes the former by at least a decade. Property values in both communities may gain further strength in tandem with favorable goings-on at the nearby Port Manatee. Only a short distance northwest of the port, these two neighboring communities are likewise just off Interstate 75 that too is pivotal to the fortunes of many Sarasota homes for sale.

Already adding over $2.3 billion annually in economic impact and supporting more than 24,000 jobs, Port Manatee is still revving up as a leading economic engine in Southwest Florida. In June 2015, an agreement was signed for the construction of a $17-million refrigeration building, a cold storage facility of over 148,000 square feet that is touted to turn Port Manatee as one of the East Coast’s five biggest cold-storage ports.

Del Monte moving in

Hotspot Communities to Check Out in Palmetto

Local media reports indicate that this planned refrigeration facility will be principally used by Del Monte Fresh Produce which was earlier said to be considering a transfer of its cold-storage operation at Coral Gables, Florida, to Port Manatee. Del Monte is notably already a longtime fruit shipper and processor at the Palmetto port.

The Del Monte shift appears quite logical because of Port Manatee’s strategic location at the Tampa Bay entrance in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This makes the port the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal—providing shippers with speedier access to lucrative markets in the Pacific Rim. Port Manatee, in recent years, has substantially expanded its berthing facilities in synch with the current Panama Canal expansion to accommodate larger cargo ships.

The reestablishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba in July 2015 likewise augurs well for Port Manatee which is estimated to be three cruising hours closer to Cuba than the cruise terminals in downtown Tampa. Already, some cruise operators were reported considering a base in Port Manatee.

Rival looms for the UTC Mall

These new economic opportunities looming in Port Manatee is providing added impetus to a proposed major property development—Robinson Gateway—located in the northeastern junction of I-75 and Carter Road, just across Moccasin Wallow Road from the golf community of Fairways at Imperial Lakewoods.

Unanimously approved by the Manatee County Commission in April 2015, the Robinson Gateway project is programmed not only for 320 single family homes and 222 multifamily residences. It also touts of 900,000 square feet of retail space, which would rival that of the Mall at the University Town Center (UTC) that opened October 2014 down south at the vicinity of University Parkway and I-75.

The approved conceptual site plans for Robinson Gateway, for which development needs to start within five years, likewise include 600,000 square feet of office space and a 1,750- seat movie theater. In addition to the 542 residential units, Robinson Gateway is also proposed for 350 hotel rooms. Set for an expected build-out in December 2025, the project is likewise envisioned to incorporate some 40 acres of parks and open spaces, truly making its Palmetto area one market hotspot for Sarasota homes for sale.