BRADENTON — The Our Daily Bread building on 14th Street West, a godsend for the homeless population in need of a meal, is being demolished today.
The soup kitchen had been serving meals to those in need from that building for more than two decades before moving into the new One-Stop Resource Center at 701 17th Ave. W. earlier this year.
The Bradenton Downtown Development Authority purchased the building and half-acre site in February as part of its plans to revitalize the 14th Street West corridor.
“Strategic land acquisition is one of the major components to the 14th Street improvement plan,” said Mike Kennedy, director of the DDA. “We want to assemble large parcels that can be more attractive to potential developers.”
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Kennedy said the Our Daily Bread building was purchased along with the adjacent building and lot to the north, the former Manatee Glens Walk-in Center, a mental-health clinic, creating a possible 1.5-acre redevelopment site.
The DDA purchased the Our Daily Bread property for $350,000 and the Manatee Glens parcel for $750,000.
“The demolition has a symbolic value in that it highlights the revitalization plan for the Tamiami Trail is still on track and making progress,” Kennedy said.
The two buildings are across the street from a 3.4-acre parcel the DDA purchased in 2005-06.
The authority is in negotiations with Wisconsin-based Gorman & Company to build a 72-unit artist loft project on the former motel site.
The demolition of the Our Daily Bread building has special significance for Cheri Coryea, director of the Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department.
“Without it, we wouldn’t have banded together to create the One-Stop Resource Center,” said Coryea, whose department help coordinate with community nonprofit agencies to consolidate services for the homeless into the new facility.
“Driving by was always a reminder of the need to establish the center,” she said. “When I would see the people lined up for a meal, I would wonder what were the situations that brought them there.”