Tree branches crunched under the power of CAT excavators as NDC Construction started tearing down trees Tuesday at Glazier Gates Park.
Edward Vogler II, the attorney for the landowner Preserve Bradenton LLC., said the landowner has a site clearing permit and a permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
“The landowner is securing the site, establishing silt fencing and making preparations for development,” Vogler said.
Construction is a part of the plan to improve the area overall. A new park will provide connections to Bradenton Riverwalk and Manatee Mineral Springs Park.
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Preserve Bradenton is still in the process of acquiring building permits.
Barbara Elliott, who was part of the group who sued to save the park, said some of the trees in the park were grand trees, a class of trees with a certain age, height and canopy.
“I think it’s disgusting, and they’re going to pay for it,” she said.
She added that the park is a site of archeological importance.
The developer plans to build Villages at Riverwalk, a 521-unit rental development, at Glazier-Gates. Initially, the developer pledged $150,000 toward reconstruction of the park and $500,000 toward enhancing Mineral Springs Park. The construction is designed to be built in three phases, only after the improvements to the two parks are made.