EAST MANATEE -- A proposal to build a Taco Bell and another fast food restaurant will likely bring more dining options to State Road 64 east of Interstate 75.
Development plans submitted to Manatee County late last month show the restaurants are planned for construction across the street from Haile Middle School at 9500 SR 64. According to that development application, the two restaurants would share a parking lot and would be accessed via an existing road apron built directly across from School House Drive.
The development application shows the proposed Taco Bell housed in a 2,450-square-foot building. A second, 3,600-square-foot building planned for the property is designated as a yet-unnamed fast food restaurant. The businesses are expected to add retail services to the Heritage Harbour and Upper Manatee River Road area.
State records show that the project developer, listed in the application as SunCoast Retail Developers, is a Treasure Island company founded two years ago that specializes in retail developments. The property owner is a company controlled by Bradenton attorneys G. Joseph Harrison and Thomas Harrison, and R. Jay Taylor, the former president of Palmetto tomato packing house Taylor & Fulton, records show.
Commercial development in the Heritage Harbour area has picked up in the past year, with a new mini storage facility and a RaceTrac gas station opening recently. Fast food restaurants remain sparse along that section of SR 64. The selection includes a Dunkin' Donuts and a McDonalds located where the highway intersects with Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
The area is expected to grow more when a new bridge over the Manatee River is opened in 2017 to join Fort Hamer Road and Upper Manatee River Road. Housing construction, which largely stalled in the nearby master-planned Heritage Harbour community during the Great Recession, has also begun to pick up.
Bradenton home builder Medallion Home is proposing to build about 1,400 houses and an assisted living facility on land once occupied by Moore's Dairy Farm. WCI Communities of Bonita Springs has submitted a development plan to Manatee County proposing to build another 159 homes in its Copperlefe subdivision on Upper Manatee River Road.
John Osborne, the county's planning official, said commercial development tends to follow residential construction. Numerous parcels along the six-lane portion of SR 64 that runs past Heritage Harbor are designated for commercial use.
The arrival of more services in the area, Osborne said, could make it easier for residents to stay closer to home to dine and shop.
"We like to see when things come nearer to where people live," he said.
Calls made to the property owner and developer of the proposed Taco Bell concerning the project were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter@MattAtBradenton.