The beautiful grove of fruit trees will be missed greatly by those of us blessed with window seats that looked out upon one of mother nature's great creations. But the Bradenton Herald's new downtown headquarters on West Third Avenue, only steps away from Old Main Street, holds its own blessings.
More than ever, newsroom, advertising, circulation and information technology staff will be circulating around downtown and frequenting the establishments. A walk along the Manatee River will be easier as will Central Library access. Most important for reporters, City Hall, Manatee County government and the courthouse are all within a short walk from our newsroom, 1111 W. Third Ave.
The Herald is back to its roots as a downtown fixture, having called 401 13th St. W. home from 1922 until 1984, when our old Manatee Avenue home opened. Yes, we're excited about settling into a new place in the heart of the city -- especially after a herculean weekend move and unpacking to start a new week.
We'll welcome the community with a grand opening celebration sometime in the near future once we're comfortable in our new digs. Today, though, hundreds of empty moving bins clog the hallways.
Soon, the newly minted Bradenton Herald Corporate Center will sport a prominent and familiar name on this remodeled building -- the newspaper's name stretched across the roof line.
Beyond our new downtown home, we'll be expanding our newsroom staff to boost our daily print and online coverage.
As more and more people frequent mobile applications for their news and information, the Herald will increase its presence in the online world -- especially for smartphones and tablets.
We already publish news accounts as soon as information becomes known, allowing the public quick and easy access to breaking reports, and soon we will be growing that aspect of minute-by-minute journalism.
In addition, we have a new Lakewood Ranch and East Manatee editor, Jason Bartolone, who resides in that part of our community. Expect to see him out talking to people from Parrish and Myakka City to University Park and Waterlefe.
Our old home sat on a spacious 9.3-acre site at the corner of Manatee Avenue and First Street, and, believe it or not, it was once a mooring field for a paddlewheel boat. The reclaimed land served as a tree nursery before the Herald moved there almost three decades ago. The sprawling site appears destined to become the home of medical office buildings, well situated with Manatee Memorial Hospital and other health care companies surrounding the property.
As we settle into our new home, we renew our pledge to bring this community unparalleled news and feature coverage.
We also intend to bring more vitality to downtown, adding to the robust changes already in the works. Bradenton is on the move to a brighter future, just as the Herald is.