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A new downtown Bradenton apartment complex is planned. Where will its residents park?

Take a virtual tour of multi-million dollar Bradenton building

Bradenton CityCentre parking garage and office building will help remake downtown. Several Manatee Chamber of Commerce officials took a virtual tour of the finished product will look like. See what they saw. Hear their excitement.
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Bradenton CityCentre parking garage and office building will help remake downtown. Several Manatee Chamber of Commerce officials took a virtual tour of the finished product will look like. See what they saw. Hear their excitement.

After sitting dormant for more than a decade, a downtown Bradenton building will soon have a new owner. An eight-story mixed-use complex may replace it soon.

County officials heard competing bid proposals on the 44,000-square-foot, five-story building at 920 Manatee Ave. W. during Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. The building most recently was used as the public defender’s office until it moved to the Manatee Judicial Center in 2007.

According to Joy Leggett-Murphy, a property management official with the county, there was plenty of interest in the site at the corner of Ninth Street West and Manatee Avenue West. In 2017, the property appraiser valued the lot at $1.3 million.

“We believe the purpose is just as important as the price,” she said.

After hosting three open houses in recent months, two vastly different proposals came forward.

The first came from Greens Real Estate and Property Management, LLC, which proposed to repurpose the site for “a school for people with intellectual disabilities, an event hall that will (include) services as a church (and) there will be a charity/social service center and offices,” according to a bid submittal form.

The Riverview company’s proposed bid of $1,000 was overshadowed by NDC Development Company’s $100,000 bid. Their mixed-use project would consist of two floors of retail and office space, with the remaining floors slated to house 120 apartment units “targeted toward downtown Bradenton entry-level employees.”

Commissioners were excited to hear about a workforce housing project in the downtown area, and quickly voted to approve NDC’s bid.

“The reason I’m supporting NDC is because of the use. We so desperately need attainable housing in downtown Bradenton. We really do,” Commissioner Misty Servia said.

NDC President Ron Allen explained to the board that his team looked into the possibility of retrofitting the nearly 60-year-old building, but couldn’t guarantee it would be structurally sound.

“We were left with no option but to take the building out,” Allen said.

Where will residents park?

The result, if the bid contract is negotiated successfully, would be an up to eight-story building. The biggest question around the project, however, was parking availability.

NDC’s proposed building has not been officially designed or proposed, but Allen pointed to the possibility of using the city of Bradenton’s new parking garage along Third Street West.

“We will be able to provide some on-site parking, mainly for the retail operation,” Allen said. “We’re going to have to meet the city of Bradenton’s parking requirements in some way or fashion.”

The four-story parking garage, which already has its first floor set aside for the new SpringHill Suites hotel, contains around 400 spaces. If the complex were to meet the city’s required amount of parking spots, NDC would need access to more than half of the total.

Take a look at the view of the Manatee River from the eighth floor of Bradenton's new SpringHill Suites hotel. The hotel opened Friday, May 17, 2019.

According to Allen, there have been “preliminary discussions but no commitment” with the city to arrange for the new complex to utilize their parking garage, which is mostly meant for public use.

Commissioners instructed county staff to negotiate the sale of the building to NDC. If the sale is successful, NDC is expected to present a mixed-use project to Bradenton City Council at a later date.

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