Two new assisted living facilities planned in Manatee, Sarasota

MANATEE -- Manatee and Sarasota counties may soon welcome two new assisted living facilities.

One of the projects, a 54-bed assisted living facility, the Autumn Leaves of Sarasota, is under review by the Sarasota County staff, according to county spokesman Jason Bartolone. Applications for permits were submitted by Texas-based Lake Superior Contracting beginning on Oct. 5.

The property at 2700 University Parkway will need to be rezoned before the project can proceed and is scheduled to go before the Sarasota County Planning Commission on Nov. 5.

The roughly 4 acres, comprising of parcels at 2700, 2610 and 2630 University Parkway, hold historical value as well. According to a vision planning and design document submitted to Sarasota County Planning Services by the trustee of the land's estate, Buddy Johnson built a home and the Bar-X rodeo on the property.

Local celebrity Harold "Hub" Hubbell also lived on the property, and was a saddleback rider and calf roper as well as the rodeo's announcer. In 1953, Johnson sold 4 acres to Hubbell and his wife, Eunice, also a rodeo performer.

"Hub was confident the rodeo was going to grow so he insisted that his acreage contain 50 percent of the rodeo arena," the planning services document said. "By 1955 the rodeo had grandstands that sat 2,500 people all in Hub's backyard."

If the planning commission passes the rezone, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners will review the project on Dec. 9, Bartolone said.

A Manatee County assisted living facility is in the works as well. A new commercial permit was filed Oct. 20 by Stone River Retirement Community LLC for a 66-bed, $5.5 million Alzheimer's care facility.

The company bought the .76-acre property at 7380 55th Ave. E. for $3.6 million in March from the Power Holding Co.

The number of assisted living facilities in Florida has oscillated between 2,900 and a little more than 3,000 since 2011 with 66,000 to 78,500 beds, according to data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Most of the facilities are in Miami-Dade County.

Sarasota County's number of assisted living facilities went from 66 in 2011 to 73 in 2015. In 2011, Sarasota County had about 3,600 beds in the 66 facilities. There are now just over 4,000 beds in

73 facilities.

Manatee County had 37 in 2011 and still has 37 in 2015. The number dropped slightly in 2012 and 2013 to 35 and 36, respectively. In 2011, the facilities had roughly 1,700 beds available; the 37 facilities today have just over 2,000 beds in Manatee County.

Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095 or follow her on Twitter@jayohday.