Manatee County Commission
Approves Lake Flores Proposal
Whiting Preston is pleased to share that the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners has approved plans for the proposed master-planned community known as Lake Flores. The Lake Flores team appeared before commissioners today to review the plans, answer questions and discuss details of the proposal. The approval was granted unanimously with a 5-0 vote.
“We are obviously very pleased with the decision of the County Commission,” said Preston. “We would like to thank everyone who spoke on behalf of the proposal today, as well as the hundreds of people who have encouraged and supported the plan along the way. This is a great day for the future of Manatee County.”
Preston commended county staff, department heads and team members who were instrumental in developing the Lake Flores proposal. “Today’s presentation was the result of the expert collaboration and hard work of many, many people. The county has been diligent in their work with us and we appreciate their wisdom and professionalism.”
Preston said he intends to move forward quickly and will meet with in-house staff and consultants to plan a timeline for future action. “We will sit down with our land planners and design team and begin to create our architectural standards, review the research on the type of housing that might be popular, locations of greenspace, formulate the infrastructure including creating gathering places near and along the lake. The ideas will quickly become a sought out community for both locals and those moving into the area. Our team will work closely with county staff to ensure that all requirements are met and that we proceed in an efficient and effective manner.”
Lake Flores is a proposed mixed-use development slated to offer a New Urbanism concept with residents living, working and playing in a walkable master-planned community. Located on nearly 1,300 acres stretching from IMG Academy west to 75th Street between Cortez Road and El Conquistador Parkway, the property had been used for agricultural purposes by Manatee Fruit Company for the last 50 years. The Lake Flores community is expected to gradually transform empty fields into a dynamic community with abundant green spaces and a 19-acre manmade lake. When complete, Lake Flores will include as many as 6,500 homes, 3 million square feet of retail and office space, and 500 hotel rooms.
The Nature of the Lake Flores
Based on some of the comments made here on BradentonsFuture.com and on our Facebook page, we believe there are some misconceptions about the nature of the Lake Flores location, the property itself, and how best to develop it. Hopefully, this post and some aerial images will help to clear up some of these misconceptions.
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Being A Good Neighbor
Our community outreach campaign began some time before Lake Flores was announced and continues today as we present our plans for Peninsula Bay. Along the way, more than a few people have asked us why we do it. The answer is simple: it is the neighborly thing to do.
Dating back to the 1970’s, the Preston family has gladly lent a hand to its neighbors when called upon, making available the land for the Fire Station at 102nd Street and the lift station for Sunny Shores and Sagamore Estates, as well as the water pumping station for Anna Maria Island. In addition, the family dedicated the right-of-way for 119th Street and its connection to Harbor Landing Estates.
Over the years, as the aerial view of Peninsula Bay illustrates, all manner of developments have taken root around our land, much of it without concern for limiting density, protecting the environment, or preserving the local character. By contrast, the current rules and regulations for developing our land at Peninsula Bay will be far stricter and more comprehensive than anything that has come before us.
But we strongly agree that growth needs to be smarter and more considerate of the environment and the character of special places such as ours. We are stewards of our land, after all, and we welcome the challenge, as we are transforming our family’s history into its legacy for generations to come.
So we reach out not only to learn from others, but also to share our perspective as longtime residents and property owners at Lake Flores and Peninsula Bay. Because, though many things around us have changed over fifty years, the importance of being a good neighbor remains the same.
Peninsula Bay’s Projected
Peninsula Bay is likely to have a significant economic impact on Manatee County, both during the development process (which could last as long as 10 years) and once the community is complete. The building of homes and non-residential properties is projected to generate an estimated 2,700 construction jobs over the course of the build-out, and the community itself is projected to have as many as 164 permanent on-site employees. This is in addition to the jobs that will be created to provide goods and services to the neighborhood’s new residents and commercial tenants.