Bradenton church's land sold to Thorntons gas station

cschelle@bradenton.comAugust 28, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Thorntons gas station has closed on a deal to buy 1.83 acres from Faith United Church of Christ near Braden River Lakes.

Thorntons, based in Clarksville, Ind., purchased the land, 4850 State Road 64 E., for $750,000, according to property records. The deal closed Aug. 14.

The Bradenton City Council approved plans for the gas station at its May 7 meeting. The church wanted to sell vacant land adjacent to its building to raise enough money to prevent the church from moving.

Faith United officials placed the corner parcel on the market and only received an offer from Thorntons, church officials have said. The sale will pay off the more than $4,000 monthly mortgage, which the church could no longer afford, according to church officials.

"Our main goal was to make sure that everyone was happy and help out our neighbors," said Jenny Drake, spokeswoman for Thorntons.

The convenience store is projected to open in the spring, Drake said.

The 24-hour gas station will feature 10 islands with 20 pumps, a 4,400-square-foot store and a fence and trees to buffer the store from the neighborhood. Road improvements by the Florida Department of Transportation are also being made on that stretch of State Road 64.

Thorntons gas stations are found predominately in the Midwest. The first Florida Thorntons opened last year in Clearwater. Its entry into the Sunshine State is part of a strategy to add 15 to 20 locations across the Tampa Bay region, according to the company.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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