Manatee Fruit president files plans for 1,300-acre West Bradenton development

Manatee Fruit president files plans for 1,300-acre West Bradenton development

Manatee County staff, commissioners to review vision for 6,500 homes
BY CHARLES SCHELLE

A proposed 1,322-acre mixed-use community is expected to have its first go-around before the public this winter.

Whiting Preston, president of Manatee Fruit Co., filed plans May 29 with Manatee County government for a community he’s calling Lake Flores, featuring 6,500 residences — half of them single family houses — about 1 million square feet of retail space, 2 million square feet of office space and 375- and 125-room hotels.

“I think at this point it’s time to get the word out that we submitted and start the process,” Preston said.

The filing moves the project past conceptual discussions and makes it ready for inspection by staff, county politicians and Manatee County residents.

A public hearing has not yet been scheduled, said Shelley Hamilton, principal planner for Manatee County. The first Planning Commission hearing is likely to be scheduled for the end of the year or in January. Another hearing in front of the Manatee County Commission would still be required.

The development is expected to transform West Bradenton from empty fields to a bustling community over the next 20 years, borrowing from New Urbanism-inspired ideas with walking and biking trails and a 19-acre manmade lake.

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