Luxury apartments planned for Bradenton farmland

mjohnson@bradenton.comFebruary 5, 2014 

BRADENTON - A 216-unit luxury apartment complex to be built on vacant land near U.S. 301 in Bradenton will put renters in touch with nature if everything goes according to the developer's plan.

Manatee-based Starboard Tack Real Estate plans to build the development on 38.5 acres near the intersection of U.S. 301 and State Road 70. Designed to be a resort-style development, the apartments are planned to be surrounded by open space, ponds and trees.

Brian McCarthy, Starboard Tack president and CEO, said the project is in a "quiet period" as his company secures the financing to build the apartments. McCarthy wouldn't comment on many specifics -- including the price of the project -- but said all but 13 acres of the land would be left as open space.

"Much of it will be left in its natural state," he said.

McCarthy said he is looking to primarily attract people to the apartment development who want to live there full time, although he acknowledged some of the units would likely wind up as part-time vacation homes.

According to Starboard Tack's website, the development will be built entirely out of concrete block and emulate the Key West architectural style. Eight two-story buildings will total about 256,000 square feet.

McCarthy said the property will retain much of the heavy vegetation already there. He declined to identify its exact location.

The land use plan fits a current trend, said Charlie Hunsicker, county director of the Natural Resources Department.

"The trend in the national market and the Florida market is to offer opportunities

for walking, biking and being in nature," he said.

The Bradenton area has several apartment building projects in progress, including projects that rate as luxury developments. North of the proposed Walden Lake development is the 179-unit RiverSong Apartments that broke ground in December near Bradenton's Riverwalk. Billed as a luxury apartment development, the four-story complex will rent units for $975 to $1,800 a month.

Another apartment development in the market is the Ranch Lake Apartments. The 336-unit development is planned on 48 acres near the intersection of Interstate 75 and SR 70. Also billed as luxury apartments, the project will be surrounded by 84 acres of protected conservation land.

Monthly rental rates at Ranch Lake will range between $1,065 and $1,475.

The Preserve at Walden Lake would be McCarthy's first development project in the Manatee area. In addition to pursuing the project, McCarthy is also the founder of Sarasota vacation home management company Always Home.

DSDG Architects in Sarasota is the architecture firm designing the Walden Lake apartments, according to company partner Mark Sultana.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.

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