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.
Click to read more…

Planning Begins at Peninsula Bay
boating-funWith broad community support and county approval now in place for Lake Flores, the Preston family has focused its efforts on its other farmland at Peninsula Bay – land on which they have grown flowers and ornamentals for more than 50 years. Peninsula Bay is envisioned as an exceptional master-planned community that will transform agricultural fields into a beautiful new setting for residents and visitors, while incorporating exciting new features aimed at connecting people to the water.

Encompassing approximately 360 acres in west Manatee County, preliminary plans for Peninsula Bay call for homes to be set back from the shoreline. A new 67-acre lake will be created to provide a scenic buffer to existing mangroves, while careful removal of exotic and unhealthy vegetation will preserve and even enhance sensitive ecosystems. Innovative aspects of the plans will serve to improve existing canals and create a flushing mechanism that will improve the overall water quality in the area.

Public accessibility is an important feature of the community. The development team sees Peninsula Bay as a recreational focal point for the entire region, with a boat and kayak launch, marina, eco-park, and nearly 200 acres of wetlands, lakes, and protected areas. The development will also offer a wide range of housing options, including single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums, as well as a bed-and-breakfast.

Streetscape - 2The character of Peninsula Bay is that of a people place where residents and the public can enjoy the outdoors, socialize with friends, and experience the magic that was coastal Florida in years gone by. Architecturally, the residential resort community will feature a distinctive “Fishing Village” look, authentic to the area in its detailing, with native landscaping, and pedestrian-friendly streets, where the needs of daily life can be met within walking distance.

Click To View the preliminary plan for Peninsula Bay

As these plans take shape, we will update these pages with the latest news and developments. We think Peninsula Bay will be an exciting complement to the Lake Flores community and a positive contribution to Bradenton’s future. As our planning progresses, we look forward to sharing it with you.