MANATEE -- A development application for Peninsula Bay, a proposed master-planned community abutting Lake Flores and near Long Bar Pointe's Aqua developments, has been submitted to Manatee County.
Pen Bay 1 LLC, a company owned by the Preston family, submitted the general development plan for Peninsula Bay, which would be built on 358 acres between Cortez Road and Palma Sola Bay, according to a company news release.
The three communities together -- with about 6,300 new residences, as well as some commercial development -- are expected to have a huge impact on the long undeveloped shores of West Bradenton. The developments touch parts of Sarasota Bay and Palma Sola Bay. Both Aqua and Peninsula Bay call for development directly on those waterfront lands.
Developer Whiting Preston, who also is the owner of the Lake Flores project nearby, had previously announced the intent to develop Peninsula Bay.
"Peninsula Bay is another exciting opportunity for southwest Manatee County," Preston, also manager of Pen Bay 1, said in his release. "We want to create something very special, a place that can be enjoyed by both residents and those in the surrounding community. We envision a place that connects people to the water through increased opportunities for access and, at the same time, protects the waterways for future generations."
The Peninsula Bay property, which has been farmed for more than 50 years and is zoned planned development residential, is currently used for "agriculture and primarily consists of a greenhouse operation surrounding a neighborhood of manufactured housing, single family homes, hotel and a marina," according to the release.
"The vision for the Peninsula Bay property involves creating an accessible neighborhood of 1,800 homes, plus water-related resort and commercial facilities," it states. "Other key features include a 67-acre lake, a boat ramp, boat slips and storage, a kayak launch, walking trails, and waterfront shopping and dining."
Peninsula Bay is the second recent development proposed by Preston. Manatee County Commission approved Lake Flores, an approximately 1,300-acre mixed-use walkable community, in August.
Carlos Beruff has proposed a reimagined shoreline subdivision with nearly 3,200 homes and apartments and a downsized retail district for his Long Bar Pointe project, which was blocked by Manatee County two years ago. Landowner Cargor Partners VIII/Long Bar Pointe LLLP filed a new general development plan in August. Sited on 522 acres between El Conquistador Parkway and Sarasota Bay at Long Bar Pointe, the proposal takes the place of a more ambitious plan rejected by county commissioners in August 2013.
Stephanie Moreland, a principal planner with Manatee County, has said the next step for Aqua would be a public hearing, which has not yet been set.
The Peninsula Bay development also is not yet set for a public hearing, but according to the press release it will focus on "protecting and enhancing" the area's ecosystems.
"The community will be built in such a way as to engage residents with the natural beauty of the waterways and mangrove vegetation along the bay, but also to minimize the impact of the development on those precious resources," according to the release.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@Claire_Aronson.