Florida company is bringing another new industrial park to the Bradenton area




Once rare in Manatee County, state-of-the-art industrial space has been a hot commodity in recent years in the Bradenton area and across central Florida. Barron Collier Companies and Imminent Ventures announced this week they have begun construction of the Manatee County Logistics Center. It will be a 563,451-square-foot Class-A industrial park on the southwest corner of U.S. 301 and 44th Avenue East.

It’s also Barron Collier Companies’ first planned industrial development.

The campus-style project will feature tilt-wall construction, 32-foot clear heights and 54-foot column spacing.

Among other recent Class A projects completed, under construction or planned include:

▪ The Palmetto Industrial Park, a 427,000-square-foot-development on 40 acres at 830 17th St. E. Palmetto
▪ Benderson Development’s 2 million-square-foot Florida International Trade Port in Ellenton
▪ Harrod Properties’ Gatewood Corporate Center half million square feet of industrial flex space at Lakewood Ranch
▪ 301 Corporate Center at 5807 24th St. E. with two 208,000-square foot buildings on 16 acres, just west of U.S. 301
▪ SRQ Logistics Center south of Tallevast could have 1.5 million square-feet of industrial space when completed.


Barron Collier Companies was founded by Barron Gift Collier Sr., who made his fortune in streetcar advertising. Collier County and Barron Collier High School in Naples are named for him.

When Barron Collier died at age 66 in 1939, he was the largest landowner in the state of Florida.

After his first visit to Florida in 1911, Collier purchased Useppa Island for $100,000, and eventually acquired over 1.3 million acres of land in Florida.

“He brought the first telephone service, first railroad, first newspapers, and first bus company to this area. And, he constructed the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades from the Lee County to the Dade County line,” the Barron Collier Companies website says.

“Over the years, the Barron Collier Companies has grown from a land holding company to one of the largest diversified companies in Southwest Florida, with business ventures including extensive agricultural operations, commercial and residential real estate development, and oil exploration and mineral management,” the company website says.

Warehouses being built

Manatee county site sold; big centers coming

Laura Finaldi
Sarasota Herald-Tribune | USA TODAY NETWORK

Two massive new warehouses are being built on a Manatee County par-cel off U.S.301 in Oneco.

According to commercial building permit applications filed with the county in late March, the two warehouses are being built on an 18-acre site in the southwest corner of U.S. 301 and 44th Avenue East, with an address of 47th Terrace East.

Manatee County spokesman Bill Logan confirmed that the two warehouses will cover 187,000 square feet and 188,144 square feet, respectively.

It’s not clear who the tenant is, Logan said. There’s no indication on the permits as to who it could be. But on the permits, both are referred to as distribution warehouses.

What is clear, however, is that the parcel recently changed hands. In late February, the previous owners of the property sold it for $7.75 million to Man-atee County Logistics Owner LLC.

That entity is registered to Barron Collier Companies at 2600 Golden Gate Parkway in Naples, which does land development, agricultural production and mineral management across the state.

An email sent to Barron Collier last week requesting more information was not returned. The company owns several commercial properties throughout Florida, including in Naples, and it’s also developing Ave Maria, a 4,000-acremaster-planned community in Collier County.

Close to the new warehouse property is the Beall’s corporate warehouse and distribution center at 2100 47th Terrace East in Bradenton.

Last year was a strong one for industrial real estate in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. The vacancy rate was 0.9% in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 2.9% the year before, according to statistics from MSC Commercial.

Rents were up 19% for industrial space in the fourth quarter, hitting $9.35 per square foot, compared to $7.85 in the same period in 2020.

Growth in e-commerce has led to the establishment of an Amazon delivery station in Manatee County at 7925 21st St. East. It opened in August 2020.

Harllee Family Helped Start Tomato Farming in Manatee

The Harllee family, who started farming in Manatee County shortly after the Civil War, and helped pioneer the Florida tomato industry, have sold the Harllee Packing House in Palmetto.

The 18-acre property at 2308 U.S. 301 N., sold for $6,750,000, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s website. The buyer is Yue Zhou Development LLC, whose principal address is listed as the packing house property.

William M. Blalock of Wyman, Green & Blalock Real Estate, served as the seller’s broker. The seller was listed as Harllee Packing Inc. The registered agent was listed as John P. Harllee IV.

The packing house, located directly across the street from Feld Entertainment, has 121,180-square feet under roof, including cold storage facilities. The Bradenton Herald was unable to reach the new owner to ask her about her plans for the property.

The Harllee family, like many other farming families in Manatee County, have sold significant acreage to developers.

Heritage Harbour, Manatee County’ second largest master planned community, is being developed on 2,496-acres that was formerly the Harllee Ranch.

In 2015, Diane Ingram, Manatee County Agricultural Museum supervisor, wrote a History Matters column for the Bradenton Herald headlined “Peter S. Harllee: Builder of barns and Manatee’s tomato industry.”

Born in 1845 in South Carolina, Harllee served in the Civil War, briefly moved to Texas after the war, and finally settled in Manatee County in 1872, where his older brother, John Wardell Harllee was a mercantile store proprietor, selling horses, mules, and supplies to farmers on both sides of the Manatee River, Ingram reported.

“Peter began farming and around 1880 bought a plot of land north of downtown Palmetto on Highway 41 in Palm View. The property became known in the area as the Harllee “100,” Ingram said in her column.

“Peter built a two-story pole barn on the property. The exterior had stalls between each pole where mules were kept and the inside was used to store seed and fertilizer in the second story and feed and livestock supplies in the first story,” she wrote.

Harllee was one of the first commercial tomato farmers in Florida. The Harllee Barn, now on display at the Manatee County Fairgrounds, is a reminder of those pioneering days.

Over the years, several members of the Harllee family became elected officials in Manatee County.

A descendant, Peter S. Harllee Sr., joined his father, John Pope Harllee and his brother, J. P. Harllee in the family business in 1932, when he was 19.

“The Harllees grew tomatoes all over the county, including where the county jail is now located at Port Manatee, according to a Bradenton Herald story in 2003, when Mr. Harllee died at 89.

For his farming and civic contributions, Mr. Harllee was inducted into both the Manatee County Agriculture Hall of Fame and the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame. He was named Manatee County Man of the Year in 1990 and served as first chairman of the board of the Manatee County Agriculture Museum.

“He is the last of the generation that built the industry and engendered the respect of the community for this industry,” Jay Taylor of Taylor-Fulton said in 2003 of the passing of Mr. Harllee.

Look at What’s Coming to SR 64

Costco may be the biggest name currently in the works for State Road 64 east of I-75 in Manatee County, but there’s plenty more in the works. Anyone who’s driven down that stretch of Manatee County recently is probably familiar with the construction crews and flurry of “for rent” signs. There are many new developments coming, several of which I will detail for you below.

Directly east of the River Club Car Wash, which is across the street from Carlos E. Haile Middle School along State Road 64, there is a new retail center being built. According to a notice of commencement filed with Manatee County in February, it will be two buildings, tow outparcels and related site work. The first building will be 25,700 square feet and the second will be 12,000
square feet. Both will be multi-tenant buildings. Each outparcel will contain a pad site for an approximately 3,752 square foot commercial building, documents show. The property addresses are listed as 9602, 9616 and 9812 State Road 64 East in Bradenton.

There are also plans to build more retail between River Heritage Boulevard and Heritage Green Way along State Road 64, west of the new plaza currently anchored by Crunch Fitness. The yet to be developed parcel is registered to Bradenton Parcel 25 LLC, an affiliate of New Jersey based Edgewood Properties. Plans posted on Edgewood’s website show a 16.16 acre parcel with several different buildings, including a 20,000 square foot retail building, a 9,400 square foot high turnover restaurant, a 5,900 square foot fast food restaurant, a 4,968 square foot gas/convenience store, a gas pump canopy, a car wash, another 10,000 square foot retail/restaurant facility and a 22,000 square foot Aldi food store.

Currently, there’s nothing in Manatee County public records that shows Aldi moving in. Matt Thon, the grocer’s Haines City division vice president, issued the following statement: “At this time, we do not have any information to share about a potential ALDI store opening in Bradenton. ALDI is exploring multiple opportunities from coast to coast, including the greater Tampa area,” Thon said. “We look forward to sharing news a s plans develop.”

Nicholas Azzara, information outreach manager for Manatee County, said that there was nothing on file with the county’s Building & Development Services Department for that parcel as of Monday.

One think is for sure, though – you won’t find a Sam’s Club, BJ’s or any other kind of wholesale store on that parcel. Edgewood in April signed an agreement with Costco and one of its own affiliates, TH Harbour LLLP, the owner of the Costco property, agreeing to not operate a “wholesale or retail general merchandise facility that has a merchandising concept based upon a limited number of stock keeping units in a large number of product categories.” That includes, but in not limited to, Sam’s, BJ’s, Price Smart, Jetro or Smart & Final. Traditional, discount or junior department stores, like Kohl’s, Target or Kmart, are fine, according to the agreement, as are specialty retail stores that sell goods in few specific product categories, like pet food, sporting goods or office supply stores.

Plans for the Marketplace at Heritage Harbour, the Costco anchored retail plaza directly east of I75, are also posted on Edgewood’s website. The property includes a total of 472,819 square feet of retail space, 112 hotel rooms and 350 residential units. The retail space includes a 37,000 square foot fitness center, plans show. Representative from Edgewood did not respond to requests for comment.

Further down the road, future tenants in the Crunch Fitness anchored plaza located in the northeast corner of State Road 64 and Heritage Green Way are in for permitting. Keystone Animal Hospitals’ interior build-out permit application was filed April 25th. Flora Nails Spa’s was filed April 12th and 3 Car Garage Brewing applied March 29th.

Now that Costco is in for permitting, it probably won’t be long before we start to see other retailers pulling their permits for the Landings at Heritage Harbour. Other developments, like Warner Crossing behind the Wawa at State Road 64 and Upper Manatee River Road, are also in the works. And there’s even more to come.

Costco will certainly be a big draw for the area. Manatee County has been eagerly awaiting the wholesaler’s arrival. Now we’ll just have to see if the other retail in the area will be able to keep up.

Laura Finaldi
Herald-Tribune Retail and Tourism Reporter
April 30, 2019


Chris Wille: Bullish on Bradenton

Some years ago, Bradenton business and municipal leaders clamored for downtown housing as pivotal to breathing life into an underwhelming city center — mostly abandoned after the workday ended — and thus creating a robust atmosphere for development. Neighboring residents would, the theory goes, put downtown on the map as a happening place for people looking for an urban-style way of life within walking distance to restaurants, entertainment and jobs.

Development came at a slug’s pace. The Great Recession stalled efforts.

Now, revitalization is booming, led by major construction projects set for completion in mere weeks. Those include a high-rise hotel, a major museum expansion, a mixed-use parking garage with retail spaces and a public plaza nestled between City Hall and the garage. That progress coincides with several large residential projects that will bring hundreds of luxury apartments to prime real estate in the city’s core.

Residents already occupy the still growing complex in Old Manatee called the Preserve at Riverwalk, the name a nod to the planned eastward extension of the popular linear park Riverwalk. And that’s just in phase one of the sprawling complex, approximately bordered by 10th Street East and 12th Street East, the Manatee River and Manatee Avenue.

More luxury apartments, branded as the Aria at Bradenton, are rising along Manatee Avenue at First Street and Manatee Avenue. Kurt Kehoe, Orlando-based NRP Group LLC’s vice president of development in Florida, said the city was “very encouraging” about the project.

“The city has bent over backwards on development,” he said.

The complex will contain five four-story buildings and a clubhouse. He expects an October opening of the first building with pre-leasing in May.

“This is a great location connecting to downtown,” he said of the 9.2-acre property. The growth in the nearby workforce and the changing demographics as well as the site triggered the company’s venture.

Meanwhile, construction continues on an apartment complex called the Addison. Most of the units are dedicated to affordable rents as required by eligibility for federal tax credits to spur financing.

The four-story Riversong Apartments, on the Manatee River behind the performing arts center, opened in 2015 — beginning the outburst of large residential projects.

A pending streetscape project on Old Main Street that will link the riverfront with Village of the Arts will also boost downtown’s appeal and walkability. For years now, Old Main has continued to evolve as a dining and entertainment hub and people magnet with the addition of more restaurants and nightclubs as well as street concerts, a farmers market and other events.

In February, the City Council unanimously approved the streetscape project with a budget of more than $4 million. The two-year project aims to enhance the appearance and appeal of Main Street.

A bit of history puts all this in perspective and shows how far Bradenton has come in a relatively short time.

Well before today’s burst of growth, big ideas surfaced in a blueprint document called Downtown by Design. Among a host of objectives, the master plan sketched out Riverwalk.

But that citizen-driven visioning effort, published by the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority in 2007, sat on shelves as the Great Recession froze public and private investment.

Based on resident input, a mission statement for Downtown by Design reads: “Enhance the Riverfront Downtown area as a beautiful, livable, walkable, higher density, mixed-use place and an asset to the entire community and region.”

Carl Callahan, an executive in Bradenton city government since 1992 and currently the city administrator and economic development director, told me that Downtown by Design “really emphasized downtown housing.”

“We’re certainly happy to see” the various apartment projects under construction, he said.

Just one year after that road map to the future came out, the city launched another public-engagement operation — this one focusing on cultural development and placemaking as a driver of downtown revitalization. Some 1,500 people from business, arts, education, tourism and government came together to formulate another strategic effort, this one not so much about bricks and mortar. The effort led to the birth of Realize Bradenton, now a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the city’s social, cultural and physical assets. The development of public art became one of the focal points.

The organization also played a key role in the citizen-driven process that led to the design of Riverwalk, and construction began in 2011. The city’s $6.2 million investment opened to great fanfare in October 2012.

The linear park stretches from downtown’s Twin Dolphin Marina past Manatee Memorial Hospital. It features an amphitheater, a playground and splash pad, a skate park, a fishing pier, artwork and numerous other amenities — with pedestrian links to condos and apartments.

“We want to try to make this as walkable as we can,” Callahan said.

Last week, the City Council unanimously moved forward on an $8 million eastward expansion of Riverwalk by directing construction plans be drawn up.

Years before Riverwalk shovels hit the dirt, a dilapidated but beloved and historic hotel illustrated the steep climb to revitalization. Sitting vacant since 2005, the landmark went through a bank foreclosure in 2009 after it was boarded up by the city. Sitting at the southern terminus of the Green Bridge, the structure could not have been a worse first impression for visitors as the city’s northern gateway.

The hotel won widespread citizen support for preservation, and the city obliged, rejecting offers from several hoteliers who intended to demolish the old to make way for the new.

The city persevered for several years in a search of a buyer who would restore and renovate the historic 1923 hotel, known as the Manatee River Hotel, which closed in 1966 and became a senior citizens residence.

A private partnership came to town and took the rehabilitation risk, and in 2013 the $21 million Hampton Inn and Suites opened. The project won an award from the Florida Trust For Historic Preservation. And downtown finally had a signature hotel again.

Soon, the eight-story, 131-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott, a $22 million investment, will open across from City Hall. Downtown’s entertainment options will then sport a rooftop bar.

The multipurpose and multicolored $14 million City Centre parking garage and retail complex was designed to be an iconic presence with embellishments to disguise its principal purpose.

The debut of the $15 million expansion of the South Florida Museum is expected in June. The architecture of the North Education Center and Mosaic Backyard Universe will serve as public art with tall, glass walls showcasing the interactive backyard filled with planets that will be illuminated in the evening.

The $4.5 million expansion and renovation of the Twin Dolphin Marina will allow larger yachts to visit Bradenton.

ArtCenter Manatee, across Ninth Street West from the museum, intends to replace its 1955 building with a modern facility on the same property but directly to the east. The neighboring Manatee Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2013 to acclaim, took years to build since the board of directors pursued pay-as-you-go construction.

Manatee Memorial Hospital completed construction on its state-of-the-art, $33 million Emergency Care Center in December.

But back to the housing issue. As articulated by Callahan and others, people make the difference in the creation of a vibrant community.

All those new residents won’t be disappointed with the location. Realize Bradenton puts on dozens and dozens of events downtown, including the Bradenton Blues Festival on Riverwalk, all to fulfill its mission: “Enliven public spaces to create memorable experiences and a savvy buzz …”

Mission accomplished, as new residents will discover.

2 secondary

This massive new development will help reshape Parrish – and bring new demands for services

During the course of his long career, developer Pat Neal has built more than 13,000 homes in Southwest Florida.

But the 5,842 homes he’s planning north of Parrish with his son, John Neal, would be the granddaddy of them all.

The Neals already have approvals to build about 2,000 homes for the Villages of Amazon South as well as a new property on the Fort Hamer Road extension.

“They will all be incorporated into a new community currently of about 5,842 homes at our North River Ranch,” Pat Neal said in an email to the Bradenton Herald.

“If approved, we plan to break ground in the new section of North River Ranch now called Haval Farms by summer 2019,” Neal said.

North River Ranch is part of a surge of development north of the Manatee River expected to bring more than 23,000 new homes to the area in the near future, affecting everything from traffic, to the classroom, and more.

Permitting for Haval Farms, planned for 3,842 homes and 82,000 square feet of commercial space on 1,280 acres, is working its way through Manatee County Government.

1 primary

DR Horton has the first phase of its 1,00 home development under construction west of U.S. 301 and north of the traditional Village of Parrish. James A. Jones Jr. jajones1@bradenton.com

Ground already has been broken on a portion of North River Ranch, including the Amazon South property.

North River Ranch is located one-half mile south of Buckeye Road and borders U.S. 301 on the east side.

“We have broken ground and have sales (and closed title) to DR Horton, DR Horton Express, DR Horton Freedom, and two other public builders,” Neal said.

DR Horton has started land clearing and has a billboard on U.S. 301 advertising that new homes are coming soon to its Bella Lago neighborhood.

Sewer, streets, water and drainage are about 70 percent complete to a point about 1.5 miles north of Moccasin Wallow Road.

“This is the biggest property that John Neal and I have created. North River Ranch will be gorgeous, have the Neal attention to detail, physical beauty, landscaping, place-making and a beautiful physical environment,” Neal said.

“We intend to emphasize family life in this community, It has a great location, two new schools underway (North River High and Elementary School AA) and the possibility of a new middle school and other place-making amenities,” he said.


All of the growth coming to Parrish has not escaped the attention of long-time Parrish residents who worry about the future of the historic village.

4 fourth

Alan Jones, shown here checking his young potato plants on his farm north of Buckeye Road, is taking a leadership role in helping Parrish adapt and prosper with all the new growth around it. Bradenton Herald file photo

“We don’t want to be forgotten and left as a blighted area,” said Alan Jones of the Parrish Civic Association. “All these new planned developments are coming in and we don’t want to be pushed aside. We don’t want a mishmash of cul-de-sacs and gated communities.”

Jones knows there is no stopping development, and says that Parrish residents themselves and county officials need to step up to ensure the 150-year-old village evolves progressively.

“There are a lot of things that need to be done in Parrish to have a sustainable, walkable community. The county needs to understand all the impacts to this village,” Jones said.

In essence, Parrish residents may have handicapped themselves by designing an overly restrictive overlay district years ago that discouraged developers from coming into the village and contributing amenities, Jones said.

An often-heard complaint in Parrish is the shortage of sit-down restaurants.

“All the things we need in our community, we don’t have. Even to the simple point of getting your hair cut,” Jones said.

An example of what Parrish could aspire to is Southside Village in Sarasota, home to Morton’s Market, and a clutch of attractive restaurants.

“Why can’t we be that?” Jones said.

to continue reading click this link.

North Palmetto continues development boom. Coming soon: A new restaurant and hotel


Source: https://www.bradenton.com/news/business/article207813079.html

Development in north Palmetto continues to grow with a new 140-room hotel, restaurant and mini-storage facility being planned as part of the same project at 1550 U.S. 301 N.

New development surrounding the 7.5 acres includes the city’s largest subdivision, Sanctuary Cove, currently under construction on 211 acres consisting of 176 new homes, and nearby will be the new Detwiler’s Farm Market location, which will be its largest site at 50,000 square feet.

The city is looking to clear a few zoning hurdles before design of the project begins. However, the owner, 301 North LLC, is in negotiations with Starbucks, First Watch and Geckos Grill & Pub as potential eateries for the site, as well as a national chain for the mini-storage site.

Palmetto Development Services Director Karla Owens did not name the hotelier, but indicated Extended Stay America, with 625 locations across America, is the likely chain interested in the site.

The vacant acreage was purchased by 301 North LLC in 2005 for $2.6 million at the peak of the real estate bubble, which began to burst the following year. A project planned 12 years ago fell victim to the Great Recession and never went forward. The latest appraisal, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office website, lists the value at $812,180.

At the time, the city annexed the property at the new owner’s request, but because a general development plan was never submitted, it has sat without a zoning designation since the annexation.

Owens was directed Monday to begin working on the acreage’s designation, which will be commercial general. Once that hurdle is cleared, the developer can begin to work on and eventually submit a general development plan featuring design and potentially naming the businesses that ultimately will locate to the site as part of the overall project.

City attorney Mark Barnebey said Monday’s approval was only for the zoning request, which the city initiated, and not an approval of the project, which will come back to the commission when ready. Owens said the city initiated the zoning request, “Because this is something the city should have followed up on 12 years ago.”

Manatee County authorizes greater subsidies for affordable housing

MANATEE COUNTY — To encourage more affordable housing, Manatee County is greatly expanding its effort to subsidize upfront costs for developers.

On Tuesday, the commission unanimously adopted the new “Livable Manatee Incentive Program.”

Previously, the county would pay impact fees required on the new construction of single-family homes that meet affordable housing criteria.

The new program calls for the county to pick up the costs of county impact fees — used for roads, parks and other infrastructure associated with growth — school impact fees and water and sewer connection fees for single-family home subdivisions as well as multi-family rental complexes that are priced for working families.

Geri Lopez, the county’s director of redevelopment and economic opportunity, said the incentives will save developers about $15,000 on a single-family home and $8,500 on a multi-family rental unit.

The county expects to budget $568,037 annually for the program.

Rental complexes will be required to be within a quarter mile of a bus stop and must have at least 25 percent affordable housing. Rents must be set according to criteria by the Florida Housing Finance Corp.

By Dale White
Staff Writer
Source: https://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170822/manatee-county-authorizes-greater-subsidies-for-affordable-housing

Port Manatee Growth

PORT MANATEE — Berth 9 just got bigger, better and a little bit deeper.
On Thursday, Port Manatee’s governing board held a ceremony to celebrate a $10.3 million reconstruction.

The project took 18 months to complete and created 250 construction-related jobs. Three-quarters of the funding came from a Florida Department of Transportation grant. The remainder was provided by the Manatee County Port Authority, which consists of county commissioners.

In the process, the 40-year-old berth was completely rebuilt to improve safety standards and accommodate larger cargo ships. The berth is now 40 feet deep and can handle uniform loads of up to 1,000 pounds per square foot.
Port Manatee executive director Carlos Buqueras compared the renovation to a longer runway that can handle larger planes.

Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said “anytime we can improve our infrastructure or our services here at the port, it’s a great plus. All the ships that come in, we don’t want to put them in harm’s way of being damaged, so it makes us more competitive with other ports in the state of Florida.”
There are 15 deepwater ports in Florida, but Port Manatee is the closest to the Panama Canal, giving it a leg up for businesses that wish to ship products from the Pacific Ocean.

Port Manatee also is the closest port to the Port of Mariel in Havana.
But the potential for more trade with Cuba remains murky. In Miami on Thursday, President Donald Trump was expected to announce a dramatic rollback of former President Barack Obama’s more open relations with Cuba, though details reportedly have not been finalized.
Baugh said that she’s willing to work with Cuba, should the opportunity arise.

“The bottom line is we’re a business,” Baugh said. “So, if the trade opened up, we would’ve been first in line to work with Cuba. However, there are obviously things to take into consideration right now. We don’t know what’s going to be happening in Washington.”
If open trade does happen, it won’t be the port that decides to do business with Cuba.
“We don’t trade with Cuba, our customers trade with Cuba,” Buqueras said. “So we’re just like an airport — we don’t own the planes, we don’t own the passengers, we don’t own the cargo. The cargo is private to private.”

But the port doesn’t need Cuban trade to remain relevant. Some studies have shown the port has a $2.3 billion annual impact on the area, with more than 24,000 jobs stemming from its operations.

“The port, if you think about it, is a lifeline. That’s where a lot of business comes in — a lot of the things that Manatee County and the surrounding counties need to grow and sustain themselves,” Baugh said.

Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, who helped negotiate money for the reconstruction project, reiterated the importance of Port Manatee.

“We have the lowest unemployment numbers since 2007, and that’s in large part due to our friends at the port,” Boyd said. “We think it’s the best port in the state of Florida and probably in the Southeast and maybe even beyond.”

Buqueras said continued growth in the state’s population and economy should continue to fuel Port Manatee’s growth and the nearby Port of Tampa.

“Tampa and us will still have a hard time even accommodating the business that’s coming.”

Historic Beth Salem House demolition moves forward in East Manatee to make room for new RaceTrac

EAST MANATEE — The historic Beth Salem House at 3004 53rd Ave. E. underwent site preparation for demolition Tuesday to make way for a new RaceTrac service station.

According to Stine Construction superintendent Larry Barker, the property has already undergone a zoning inspection and workers are expected to begin removing some exterior infrastructure, such as the asphalt driveway, as early as Wednesday. The actual house could be knocked down as early as June 30.

Read more