600 more homes coming to Manatee County's North River area

MANATEE -- Some 600 more homes are coming north of Palmetto and Ellenton, and west of Interstate 75.

The new neighborhoods, Willow Hammock and Mandarin Grove, would each have about 300 homes.

The area north of the Manatee River has been a hot development area, with thousands of homes planned between Buckeye and Moccasin Wallow roads.

Mandarin Grove, planned by developer Carlos Beruff's subsidiary, Bud Roden LLC, was first proposed on nearly 96 acres at 10900 Bud Rhoden Road in 2006. It is about a half mile south of Buckeye Road, and would have about three residences per acre.

Mandarin Grove is apparently one of many proposed communities derailed by the Great Recession. Many of those communities are being dusted off and readied for the rebounding housing market.

Manatee County building staff have until March 25 to complete comments on Mandarin Grove, principal planner Stephanie Moreland said Wednesday.

Nearby development includes the massive Artisan Lakes project, which was originally approved in 2002.

Beruff was not available for comment Wednesday.

Mandarin Grove would be built on a former orange grove. As originally proposed, Mandarin Grove would be financed by a community development district, according to a 2006 county ordinance.

Unlike Mandarin Grove, Willow Hammock is a new project, planned for 5000 37th St. E., also known as Mendoza Road, Moreland said.

Willow Oak is planned for the west side of Interstate 75, about a mile north of Ellenton Premium Outlets, and about 5 1/2 miles south of Mandarin Grove.

The Willow Hammock developer, Soho Mendoza LLC, is proposing a resort-style pool and bathhouse, playground and nature trails, according to documents filed with Manatee County.

Willow Hammock encompasses about 129 acres with a net density of 2.3 homes per acre. Lot sizes would be 40-by-120 feet and 50-by-120 feet.

Soho Mendoza purchased the property for $1.05 million in December, the Herald previously reported.

The property would have to be rezoned from general agriculture to planned development residential.

The agent for Soho Mendoza did not immediately respond to email and phone requests for comment.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee report, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter@jajones1.

Willow Hammock

Mandarin Grove