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IMG Academy adds another 89.5 acres as expansion continues

The Legacy Hotel, a five-story, 150-room lodging facility, is expected to open on the the campus of IMG Academy this fall. It is the most recent addition to the campus, which has seen rapid growth in recent years.
The Legacy Hotel, a five-story, 150-room lodging facility, is expected to open on the the campus of IMG Academy this fall. It is the most recent addition to the campus, which has seen rapid growth in recent years.

IMG Academy, which has been aggressively expanding since the Great Recession, recently bought 89.5 acres adjacent to its campus at 5650 Bollettieri Blvd. from developer Whiting Preston for $7,615,500.

The seller was Preston's Lake Flores I, LLC, according to the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court.

The Lake Flores name refers to Preston's proposed 1,300-acre mixed-use walkable community, which is expected to transform the West Bradenton area.

Preston has yet to submit a request to develop the first phase of Lake Flores, even though the Manatee County Commission unanimously approved the concept in 2015.

"It will be a little while. We still have engineering to do. Mixed use is one of the most complex types of development to do," Preston said Wednesday.

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Nick Bollettieri, founder of IMG Academy, pauses in the tennis museum beside a photograph of himself from 1991 before being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., Saturday, July 12, 2014. FILE AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

IMG's recent land purchase is adjacent to the campus and within the Lake Flores entitlement area.

"It's fortunate for the community they have been able to develop their business model and to move forward," Preston said.

The sale of the property to IMG Academy on June 14 was reported by the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court's Office this week.

IMG Academy did not immediately return a call seeking comment on its plans for its new property acquisition.

In recent years IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school and sport training destination, added a 40,300-square-foot campus center building, completed a new $5.4 million field house, a new 105,000-square-foot residence hall, a new academic building and a sports performance center.

IMG Academy broke ground in October 2017 for The Legacy Hotel, a five-story 150-room hotel expected to open this fall.

Famed tennis coach Nick Bollettieri is the founder of IMG Academy.

The Lake Flores project, which has an estimated 20-year buildout, is planned for farmland south of Cortez Road, east of 86th Street West, north of El Conquistador Parkway and west of IMG Academy.

For more information about IMG Academy, visit https://www.imgacademy.com/



Whiting Preston, president of Manatee Fruit Co. and local developer discussed his hopes for the Lake Flores development at a luncheon on Monday organized by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Keiser University and The Mosaic Co. sponsored the lunche



Diversity was a central theme at IMG Academy's 2018 graduation ceremony Friday night. More than 50 seniors from different countries helped announced their name, where they're from and welcomed the audience in their own language.

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