IMG acquires Manatee Fruit land for $1.5 million

cschelle@bradenton.comJuly 9, 2014 

Staff Photographer

The recently constructed IMG Academy Field stadium complex.PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald


The $1.5 million purchase comes as sports performance academy undergoes $198 million expansion

WEST BRADENTON -- IMG Academy has acquired 24 acres from Manatee Fruit Co. in a $1.5 million deal that closed July 2.

The land borders IMG's west campus, where the sports performance academy is undergoing a $198 million expansion.

The academy unveiled its $5.4 million fieldhouse in June as part of its expansion project, and started construction the same month on a three-story residence hall featuring 152 dorm rooms. The dorm should be completed by June 1, 2015, while a new school building should be completed by Aug. 1, 2015, and a student union constructed by December 2015. A performance center is also slated to be finished by June 2016, according to IMG officials.

Manatee Fruit's President Whiting Preston is requesting approval adjacent to IMG for a 1,300-acre planned community called Lake Flores that includes several commercial districts and 6,500 homes and apartments.

Within that plan, requests are being made to have 1 million square feet of retail space, 2 million square feet of office space and 375- and 125-room hotels.

Neither Preston nor a spokesman for IMG Academy returned phone calls for comment Tuesday.

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

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