New Redevelopment Funding to Spur Growth in SW Manatee


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, November 3, 2017 – Local government funding of as much as $5.8 million is expected to be available later this fiscal year for funding redevelopment projects in Southwest Manatee County. Combined with the upbeat mood of the local property sector, this funding could provide some added lift to Bradenton homes for sale in this area.

A tax district was launched exclusively for this area in 2014. Called the Southwest Tax Increment Financing District, it is also commonly referred to as “Southwest District” or “TIF.” It covers the area extending south from Manatee Avenue up to the Sarasota County line and from the Cortez fishing village to the Tallevast Road area.

Urban Corridors’ Promotion

Since TIF’s creation, the district’s taxable property values have increased, and the county has set aside half of the additional revenues for reinvestment in this district. County officials have also embarked on a program to attract business locators and developers of affordable housing within six “urban corridors” in the area.

These corridors covers Manatee Ave from 34th St W to 75th St W; Cortez Rd–44th Ave from 15th St E to 75th St W; 14th St W from 26th Ave to University Parkway; 15th St E from US 301 to University Parkway; and 1st St (US 41) from 21st Ave to Cortez Rd.

Properties on the flanks of these thoroughfares are now under a set of new land development codes that the County Commission has already approved. In a nutshell, these regulations are aimed at encouraging walkable and higher-density developments.

The county is already briefing real estate agents representing owners of parcels for sale within the TIF on the “menu of services” it can offer to prospective buyers. A brochure is also planned to promote the urban corridors to real estate agents, developers and business locators. Target locators which have been identified for the Southwest District include medical offices and sports-performance businesses which would create better-paying jobs.

West Bradenton Development Okayed

Aqua by the Bay

In the West Bradenton side of the TIF, meanwhile, the Manatee County commissioners in early October unanimously approved Aqua by the Bay, a major project of local developers Carlos Beruff, Larry Lieberman, and the Long Bar Pointe LLLP and Cargor Partners VIII.

Notably, the website of Beruff-owned Medallion Home already lists Aqua by the Bay amongst its roster of communities offering Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale, describing it as a “premier community coming soon.”

The county approval came in spite of strong opposition from local residents and environmentalists. Essentially, they were fighting for the preservation of the longest stretch of mangrove shoreline on Sarasota Bay adjacent to Aqua by the Bay. Because of this opposition, the county denied an earlier and much larger version of the Beruff-led project called Long Bar Pointe.

Pivotal to county approval this time was the Aqua project’s elimination of its two-mile seawall and lagoon, which environmentalists say would damage the local marine ecosystem. Aqua by the Bay is set for 510 single-family homes, 2,384 multi-family units and 78,000 square feet of commercial space. Its 529 acres between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay is projected for a 20-year build-out.

Preston’s Large Twins

Whiting Preston Developments

Two other big projects have been earlier approved in this West Bradenton area. This pair—Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay—are both being developed by Whiting Preston.

Lake Flores covers 1,322 acres set as a mixed-use community with 6,500 residential units. It is planned too for retail space of 1 million square feet, commercial space of 2 million square feet of commercial space plus 500 hotel rooms.

Peninsula Bay’s blueprint for its site of about 360 acres includes 1,950 homes (with 150 in a hotel) and 90,000 square feet of office and commercial space. It is also set for a dry storage good for 200 boats, a marina basin possibly including a county boat ramp and an eight-room bed-and-breakfast inn.