Construction to start on Bradenton Riverwalk luxury apartments

cschelle@bradenton.comSeptember 30, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A high-end apartment community is expected to rise out of the Sandpile on Bradenton's Riverwalk in the coming weeks.

The dirt parking area now used by Manatee Performing Arts Center guests is the future site of a four-story luxury apartment complex called Riversong Apartment Homes. City Council OK'd the project last year.

"We're anticipating to be under construction around the end of next month," said Ron Allen, president of NDC Construction, the builder for the project. NDC acquired the construction project from Atlanta builder Oxford Properties in the last year.

Another Atlanta builder, Robert Hatfield, formed Riverwalk Bradenton LLC to oversee the project, and is partnering with NDC on Riversong.

"We're anxious to get it started," Hatfield said. "We've got a lot of good partners. I think it will be great for the city. It will be the No. 1 luxury apartment complex in that community."

The area will be closed to parking starting Oct. 25, and NDC "wanted to give the Players enough heads up to work with their patrons" to find other places to park, Allen said.

The developers have not completed paperwork to begin construction, said Tim Polk, director of planning and community development for the city of Bradenton. The city is requesting building enhancements, including certain architecture and lighting improvements, and stipulations for doors

and windows, he said. Hatfield said the developer is redrawing plans.

Construction of the 179 residences will take 13 months, Allen said, and will create 250 to 300 jobs.

Another company managed by William Rank, Riversong Development Co., is the developer, Hatfield said. RAM Partners will be the property manager, he added.

The council approved the development with 16 stipulations, including a vow to begin building a restaurant west of the Manatee Players Performing Arts Center 90 days after a certificate of apartment occupancy is issued. At one time, plans called for the apartment complex to have 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and bank space, but that was scrapped for 30,000 square feet of retail along the property as market demand arises.

Riversong has separate ownership from the 14.62-acre Promenade at Riverwalk, which owns the 99-year ground lease from the city of Bradenton. That project is managed by Bradenton Riverfront Partners II for 99 years, and includes Randy Benderson, David Band, Mark Kauffman, Ed Vogler and Ron Allen as managing members, according to the Florida Division of Corporations.

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

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