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Manatee County Commission OKs $125,000 grant for Pink Palace

BRADENTON -- The Manatee County Commission today gave preliminary approval to a resolution granting $125,000 in economic development incentives for a company set to renovate a former hotel popularly known as the “Pink Palace.”

The resolution also would provide some parking for the project at a county-owned lot one block southwest of the hotel site at 10th Street West and Third Avenue West, in downtown Bradenton.

The parking clause disturbed County Commissioner Joe McClash, who cast the sole vote against the resolution.

The former Manatee River Hotel, built in 1926, fell into disrepair and has been vacant several years. The developer, The Widewaters Group, is expected to invest more than $12 million to renovate the historic structure into a 115-room hotel, documents said. More than $2.5 million in economic development incentives have already been promised by Bradenton’s Downtown Development Authority, documents said. The project is expected to create 31 permanent full-time jobs and four part-time jobs, plus temporary construction and project development jobs in the area over three years, documents said. County incentives would accrue over three years, from 2012-2015, and would be contingent upon the completion of construction and the granting of a certificate of occupancy for the hotel, the proposed resolution said. The hotel is slated to open in July 2013, documents said. Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031.