CORTEZ -- A Canadian company made a recent splash by announcing two planned downtown Sarasota condo developments has now moved into the Cortez waterfront market by purchasing the town's only marina on the Intracoastal Waterway.
On Oct. 7, the U.S. subsidiary of Ontario, Canada, multifamily housing developer Vandyk Communities purchased the Seafood Shack Marina and several other adjacent properties in Cortez for $4 million in three transactions, according to Manatee County records. The purchase gives Vandyk USA a 6-acre foothold across five parcels in the waterfront town, including the Seafood Shack restaurant, multiple parking lots, some undeveloped land and a 68-slip marina.
The sellers were Sarabay Marine Inc. and PND LLC, both companies managed by Hamlin Jones.
When contacted, Vandyk officials at One Sarasota Place and in Ontario declined to comment on the purchase and on company's plans for the Seafood Shack property. Karin Silver, vice president of sales and marketing for Vandyk USA, said her company expects to issue a press release in the next seven to 10 days will detail its intentions in Cortez.
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According to its website, Vandyk is developing several townhouse and condo projects in Canada. In Sarasota, Vandyk USA is planning two projects, an eight-unit Golden Gate Point condominium named One88 and a multi-building, mixed-use residential development near Burns Court.
The Vandyk's Cortez property features the restaurant and marina building, which is approximately 26,000 square feet. There is a small home on one of the southernmost parcels included in the transaction.
Also on the land is Annie's Bait & Tackle, a full-service bait shop and restaurant on the water, offering fishing charters, parasailing and sightseeing cruises.
Randy Stewart, harbormaster at the Seafood Shack, said the marina facility has been in operation for more than 30 years. It can accommodate boats as long as 60 feet. He said the new owner has "exciting" plans for the property, but did not comment on specifics.
The zoning at the Seafood Shack property could accommodate a number of the uses Vandyk is known for or is currently pursuing in Sarasota. The majority of it is zoned for commercial or mixed use, according to records, while a small parcel on a canal adjacent to the marina is zoned for single family homes. Vandyk's website states in addition to condominiums and mixed-use developments, the company builds townhomes, master-planned communities and high-end, single family homes.
John Barnott, Manatee County building and development services director, said he is not aware of any development plans filed with his department for the Seafood Shack property.
County records show Jones has owned the property he sold to Vandyk for some time. The most recent addition to the collection of land at the marina last changed hands in 2002, when Jones purchased it for $850,000. Vandyk paid $750,000 for that portion of the property on Oct. 7.
Jones, who owns a home on Longboat Key, did not respond by press time to a request for comment on the land sale. County records show that Jones still owns land in Cortez, about 2 acres on Cortez Road just east of the Seafood Shack.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.