Village of the Arts Expansion Moves Forward


The official boundaries of the Village of the Arts, one of the quaint attractions of downtown Bradenton, have been expanded recently, a wider coverage which promises to add vigor to this area famous for its galleries and studios, many of which are artist-occupied residences.

One of the major additions to this quaint living/working arts overlay district is towards west, covering the stretch of 14th Street West (Tamiami Trail) between 17th and 9th Avenue West. Some efforts are already underway to rehabilitate this locality, which has had a rough past, as part of its assimilation into the Village of the Arts.

New live-work hub eyed

Village of the Arts Expansion Moves Forward

Early in July 2015, the selection committee of the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) started reviewing a conceptual design for the development of the old Manatee Inns site on 14th Street West which the city acquired earlier. For the design, DDA tapped Sarasota-based Beneficial Communities which submitted a concept for workforce housing. The initial plan involves the construction of two rows of commercial and residential buildings with about 80 units of live-work space similar to the set-up pioneered in the Village of the Arts.

Local officials hope that the Village of the Arts expansion and the redevelopment of the Manatee Inns will increase the overlay district’s visibility to the traffic at the Tamiami Trail corridor in 14th Street West. This exposure should prove beneficial to existing business owners in the Village which has been long considered as “Bradenton’s hidden gem,” according to Bradenton’s planning department review manager, Brady Woods.

Improved village visibility

To help improve the artist hub’s visibility, the city ordinance expanding the overlay district will allow gateway signage at 14th Street West promoting all Village businesses. Rules on signage for individual properties will also be more lenient than those in other city districts subject to more restrictive land-use regulations. Artists can create their own signs as long as these carry the Village of the Arts logo. Rules on locations, heights and sizes of signs for individual businesses have likewise been liberalized so that they can be easily located. An outdoor art permit will also be available so that artists can display their work on vacant lots for a certain length of time.

There are some Village properties in current listings of Sarasota homes for sale which can be considered by those keen on tapping potential opportunities in this expanded arts colony. These sales-listed properties are quite affordably priced in the low $100s, featuring three bedrooms with floor areas of about 1,400 square feet.

Neighboring opportunities

The MLS of Bradenton homes for sale also features available investor-friendly properties at the Fairview Park subdivision just off the western periphery of the Village. Just in June 2015, a three-bedroom, 1,300 square-foot residence in Park Fairview, a bungalow district, was offered in the market at an asking price in the upper $100s.

This neighborhood, also located close to Bradenton’s historic district, has another investment opportunity in a five-bedroom apartment priced close to the $200s. Featuring a floor area of 2,112 square feet, this home is a promising rental property which can easily attract tenants given the recent positive developments for the Village of the Arts overlay district.