New Manatee River Bridge Spurs Home Market


The construction of Fort Hamer Bridge across the Manatee River from Parrish, which broke ground March 2015, appears as a strong catalyzing factor for several major new home building projects and for resale properties around East Manatee County.

Among the housing developments which will directly benefit from this new span is the proposed project of Medallion Homes of Sarasota in a 289-acre site in the master-planned Heritage Harbour. To pave the way for this development, a resolution was filed with the county board of commissioners to dissolve the East Community Development District (CDD) covering the project’s site. The developer has been holding the Heritage Harbour property for more than two years and has decided to develop it without a CDD.

More homes in the pipeline

New Manatee River Bridge Spurs Home Market

County officials estimate that a total of some 23,000 residences are either approved or pending approval for projects in the area known locally as North River covering Parrish and northeastern Palmetto. With all these projects in the pipeline, North Manatee appears as the current homebuilding hotspot in the county, surpassing county officials’ estimate of almost 18,000 new homes for construction in the greater Lakewood Ranch area. Adding to these the nearly 2,800 new dwelling units requested for approval in the unincorporated southwest Manatee, the county could be building up towards approximately 96,000 new residents, one planning official said.

The 2,300-foot Fort Hamer Bridge, which will cost close to $33 million, is expected to bring a positive impact to all these new developments. Besides providing another north–south connector for the Parrish area, the two-lane span can likewise help relieve traffic congestion at Interstate 75 and at the county’s two other bridges across the Manatee River.

Completion of the bridge, which is projected in 2017, dovetails too with the expected construction of the Lakewood Ranch Blvd. extension to Fruitville Road, a corridor to downtown Sarasota. With this extension finished, residents of both Manatee and Sarasota counties will have a route alternative to Interstate 75 in accessing such destinations as the Ellenton outlet mall and the new mall at University Town Center.

Pre-owned Manatee homes for sale

Several existing communities stand to reap the most from these infrastructure improvements, and prospective sellers appear encouraged by the potential market interest that these developments can generate on their properties. In Parrish, at least three new listings in the gated golf community of River Wilderness surfaced among Manatee homes for sale in May of 2015. These residences are designed with three bedrooms within floor plans ranging from 2,700 to about 3,000 square feet and are priced in the $300s and the $400s.