It’s sat vacant with little activity since 2005, but the Sanctuary Cove housing development in Palmetto may begin seeing its first homes on 211 acres pop up by this summer.
The acreage sits to the west of Feld Entertainment and extends south to the Manatee River.
Javier Vargas, deputy director of public works for the city of Palmetto, said the first two permits have been pulled to relocate a planned water fountain and to construct a guard house.
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“That’s usually a good indication that they are getting ready to start showing properties,” Vargas said. “There are other things that need to happen first, such as making sure the utilities, water lines and sewer lines are clear.”
Much of the infrastructure was installed years ago, but project development manager Bjorn Svenson, who is partnering with property owner Avanti Properties Group, said the inspection of existing utilities and further infrastructure improvements will take priority before housing construction begins.
“Basically, the plan right now is to finish up those infrastructure improvements that need to be done in anticipation of building homes,” Svenson said. “We’ve actually already started some road improvements along U.S. 301.”
Svenson said the first homes could begin appearing by summer, “but that is predicated on getting some other things done first.”
The original developer for the site came up against the economic downtown when the properties were purchased for $57 million in 2005. The Great Recession halted development in its tracks and by 2009, the company faced what would have been the largest foreclosure in Manatee County history. Sanctuary Cove (Bradenton) ASLI VI, LLLP, under the umbrella of Winter Park’s Avanti Group Propertie,s stepped in to halt the foreclosure.
Since then, the developer has been getting yearly extension approvals until the economy reached a point prime for development. That time is now.
“I can confirm that this about to get underway,” Svenson said, while noting that it will be a multiple phase project.
Vargas said the original plans called for anywhere between 950 to 1,100 units, including a 12-story condominium along the Manatee River, four-story townhouses and 266 single-family homes. The project includes 200,000 square feet of commercial space fronting U.S. 301.
“Everything is official at this point,” Vargas said. “They have bought the lots, and I don’t think they are wanting to change the site plans, but everything that has to do with moving it forward is their decision at this point.”