To Michael Spellman, 26th Street West is a corridor to Sarasota County for many businesses.
A professional complex — Parkwood Professional Center — located along that corridor was highlighted Monday as Manatee County’s first major public-private redevelopment project in the Southwest District.
South County is rocking it. We have a lot of new businesses, new communities in here, a lot of redevelopment. We’ve got a big shot in the arm.
Robin DiSabatino, Manatee County Commissioner
“You drove right past it because it was a jungle,” said Spellman, who is president of the Parkwood Condominium Association. “Now we have people interested in it.”
With recent improvements, including tree trimming, now finished, county officials as well as association members gathered Monday for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4810 26th St. W., Bradenton.
“This is really exciting and really special for us because this is our first ribbon cutting as our public-private partnership in the Southwest District for Manatee County,” said Geri Lopez, the county’s redevelopment and economic opportunity director.
Using funds from the Southwest District, the county contributed $18,156 to the project along with approximately $20,000 from the Parkwood Condominium Association. Improvements include a new entry sign, relocation of the driveways, relocated Manatee County Area Transit bus stop and landscaping.
“We hope that this is really the first of many projects and partnerships that we are going to do to help improve the area,” Lopez said.
Unveiled last December, the Southwest District, which was formerly known as the Southwest Tax Increment Financing District, stretches from the west coast of Manatee County to U.S. 301 and from the city of Bradenton to the Sarasota County line.
The SWTIF was created to focus on redeveloping Southwest Manatee. Much of the revenue funding the TIF is expected to come from tax receipts from new development such as Lake Flores, and that money will go toward public safety, transportation and small business projects and rehabilitation.
Several Manatee County commissioners attended Monday’s ceremony.
“It’s so exciting to see everything come together,” Commissioner Robin DiSabatino said. “South County is rocking it. We have a lot of new businesses, new communities in here, a lot of redevelopment. We’ve got a big shot in the arm.”
Now with successful completion of the project, Spellman said he’s really confident that there will be more development and redevelopment along the corridor.
“The location is so central to all the centers of commerce in Manatee County, Lakewood Ranch, Main Street Sarasota,” he said.