Medallion Home adds to its West Bradenton footprint with a property purchase made in the eleventh hour of 2016.
Legends Bay developer Ruben Holland Development, which owned the remaining 82 vacant lots of Legends Bay under Sarabay Associates LLLP, sold the properties to Medallion Home subsidiary Legends Bay Real Estate LLC for $10.9 million, according to Manatee County property records. The deed was recorded with Manatee County on Dec. 30.
$10.9 million sale amount of 82 Legends Bay lots
Legends Bay, situated on El Conquistador Parkway just northwest of IMG Academy, promises residents the chance to “connect with the beauty offered in this pristine natural environment.” The Legends Bay development began roughly 10 years ago. Ruben Holland has partnered with home-building companies Arthur Rutenberg Homes, DR Horton and John Cannon Homes Inc. to construct models such as The Marbella, The Barcelona and The Rosella.
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Medallion Home founder Carlos Beruff said it is too early to determine which home-building companies his firm will work with at Legends Bay. Medallion Home has its own home-building company, Medallion Signature Home, which has designed and built homes in Medallion Home’s Bradenton neighborhoods, The Enclave and The Inlets.
Beruff said Legends Bay is its own community and the purchase was not an attempt to combine with other projects he’s pursuing in the same area.
“We just need to build it out and sell more homes,” Beruff said of the Legends Bay lots.
Medallion Home also owns land west of Legends Bay under the name Long Bar Pointe LLLP. The company is trying to get a long-sought mitigation bank permit along its mangrove-laden coast on Sarasota Bay.
A mitigation bank is a piece of disturbed wetlands that a landowner buys and then cleans up. The improved, more functional wetland is then scored for “credits,” which can then be sold to developers in the area who need to offset unavoidable impacts made on wetlands in their own developments as per the Clean Water Act. Otherwise, developers would need to offset impacts by creating their own wetlands, which takes both a lot of time and a lot of money. Mitigation bank credits can be sold by the landowner for between $100,000 and $200,000, depending on the type of wetland.
Beruff and business partner Larry Lieberman originally applied to construct nearly 3,500 homes and multi-family units, a hotel, a marina, a conference center and nearly 200,000 square feet in commercial buildings on the site. After that proposal was rejected in 2013, landowner Cargor Partners VIII/Long Bar Pointe LLLP filed a new general development plan in August 2015 for its proposed "Aqua" community, situated on 522 acres between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay at Long Bar Pointe, adjacent to its proposed mitigation bank.
A petition has been filed against the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s intent to issue Long Bar Pointe their mitigation bank permit, citing that the wetlands aren’t as disturbed as is necessary for a mitigation bank, and also claiming that Long Bar Pointe intends to trim mangroves in the bank, contrary to its very idea.
Manatee County investigated Medallion Home after a resident complained about the bulldozing of a conservation area on Legends Bay property that divides it from Long Bar Pointe, which is moving land for agricultural ponds. The county issued a stop-work order to investigate, but it was subsequently ignored. The county then issued a $150 citation.
While Legends Bay’s ownership changed hands after the easement’s destruction, the easement is ultimately owned by Manatee County, preventing development in the interest of preserving the lands. Medallion Home president Pete Logan, who applied for the mitigation bank permit, and Beruff exchanged emails with the county about the “alleged encroachment” and could not agree on property lines, according to emails obtained by the Bradenton Herald through a public records request. The county is in the process of reviewing Medallion’s plan to restore the easement back to where it had been.
Attempts to reach representatives for Ruben Holland Development on Tuesday were unsuccessful.