Bradenton Salvation Army plans $7.4M facility

jtate@bradenton.comMay 17, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The 14th Street West corridor will have a unique $7.4 million mixed-use facility if Salvation Army plans for a new complex come true.

Salvation Army officials say they are positive a proposed three-story mixed-use facility, including transitional living and retail areas, will be built. The Salvation Army presented its plans to the community in a town hall-style meeting Thursday afternoon.

Maj. Dwayne Durham of the nonprofit Salvation Army told a crowd of about 50 people, who met under a white tent on the vacant lot next to the Salvation Army, about the facility, its design and possible funding sources.

"We are here to share what we envision the future to look like," said Durham.

Artist renderings of the proposed housing complex were featured at the meeting. But Christine Smith, director of community relations and resource and program development, said the renderings are not the final draft model.

"We're saying this is the concept, this is the idea, this is the direction we are going in," said Smith.

Smith said the town hall meeting was the first step in a line of many steps it will take to complete the

project.

The Salvation Army calls the would-be complex "Serviced Enriched Housing," or a hybrid housing model.

It would include apartments for families, single parents and individuals. The building will reserve the first floor for restaurants and retail shops.

Durham said the Salvation Army will work with businesses the building attracts to provide jobs for residents.

Dulcinea Cuellar, Salvation Army public relations director, said the facility will be unique in Florida with a mixed use living and retail area.

Residents would have affordable rent up to 30 percent of their income, advanced life skills workshops and flexible lengths of stay determined by their progress.

The Salvation Army will analyze how it will fit in with Village of the Arts and how it can enhance the 14th Street West corridor.

No one opposed the project. Many said homelessness was problem in need of a solution in Manatee County. Some even said they wished the facility could be larger to help more people.

Edward Dick, a Salvation Army Board member for 30 years, asked what the property was zoned. Brady Woods, development services and zoning manager for Bradenton, said the property was T-4 open, which means mixed use development.

Ward 3 Councilman Patrick Roff, said he came to hear community thoughts on the project.

"We want you to know the city is here in full strength," he said.

The Salvation Army already has $2 million in seed money and will set up an endowment to help maintain the housing complex.

"I know it's not happening tomorrow, but we are where we are," said Durham.

JANEY TATE, City of Bradenton and Palmetto Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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