Urban Corridor Plan Rolls in South Manatee


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, January 10th 2017 – The redevelopment plan along some of the dormant corridors in Manatee is starting to gain ground in the southern part of the county near the existing communities of Hawks Harbor and Whitfield Estates.

The first initiative under this plan came off the wraps in December with the announcement of the plan for Blu Harbor, a new waterfront condominium and yacht club. Also designed to contribute to the revitalization of its surrounding neighborhoods, this project sits on a 12.4-acre vacant parcel adjacent south of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside west of U.S. 41 fronting Bowlees Creek.

Unique Marina

Urban Corridor Plan Rolls in South Manatee

With an estimated cost of over $150 million, this project calls for the construction of four buildings with up to seven stories good for 212 condo units. Blu Harbor is envisioned as a gated waterfront community with island-inspired architecture and lush landscaping. Development is targeted to start this 2017, with build out projected in three to four years.

Besides its residences, Blu Harbor will likewise feature a private yacht club and a unique dual freshwater and saltwater marina featuring up to 132 boat slips. Additional amenities on the drawing boards include a swimming pool, fitness center, walking trails, a boardwalk, and fire pit.

The project’s developer, Sarasota Bay Harbor LLC, has been working with Manatee planners on Blu Harbor for about a year already and has also met with local neighbors about the plan. A company spokesperson also said the new condominium community has a prior county-approved development plan, but its developer seeks a design modification to reduce the number of condos and make the units more tempting to prospective buyers.

Few Hawks Harbor Choice

Bay Harbor coming onstream should help enliven real estate market activity in its neighborhood wherein homes curiously bear Sarasota addresses though under the jurisdiction of Manatee County. Adjacent south of the proposed project, the choices are quite limited at Hawks Harbor. It consists of only 54 homes with just six listed in 2016 among Sarasota homes for sale.

Four of these have already been sold, and the pair left is a choice on a three- or four-bedroom home at price tags in the mid-$900s and the $1 million range. One has a floor plan of about 3,500 square feet and the other with approximately 4,000 square feet.

Hawks Harbor homes are a charming mix of Key West and Mediterranean architectural styles. Thirty-nine are directly on Sarasota Bay, Crystal Canal or Bowlees Creek, while the other 14 back up to a manmade lake. These homes either have private boat docks or a slip on the community pier providing deep-water access for different types of boats.

Wider Price Range at Whitfield

At the neighboring Whitfield Estates, the choices are also relatively few but at wider price points. Listings of Sarasota homes for sale in this community start at the low $200s for three-bedroom residences with floor plans of about 1,400 square feet. The top listings here are spacious with floor plans of more than 4,300 square feet and asking prices within the $1 million range.

The nearby facilities of SaraBay Country Club and its golf course provide some market boost to these properties. Established in 1926, this historic club likewise stands to draw tailwinds from the revitalization of the urban corridor in south Manatee.