Lake Flores Receives 2016 Outstanding Development Award
For the second consecutive year, Lake Flores has been recognized by the Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA) for being an exceptional community. The proposed Manatee County community was named as the 2016 Outstanding Development at an awards luncheon in Jacksonville on June 3rd. In presenting the award, FPZA committee members praised Lake Flores’ public outreach efforts and its strong design emphasis on walkability. Last year, Lake Flores was honored by the same group as the 2015 Outstanding Planning Project.
“On behalf of the entire Lake Flores team, I’m honored to receive this award and especially pleased to be recognized for a second year,” said Whiting Preston, whose family owns the land and who has headed efforts to develop the Lake Flores vision. “Our team has been working very hard to move forward with our plans, and we appreciate the time and expertise of countless individuals who have contributed to our progress.”
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.
Peninsula Bay Announces Planning Commission Approval
We are pleased to announce that Peninsula Bay has received its first stamp of approval from the Manatee County Planning Commission. Our development team presented to the planning commission on July 14th and received a 5-1 vote to recommend approval for the general development plan and the rezoning request. We will make a similar presentation to the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners on September 1st.
“We are happy to have earned a vote of confidence from the planning commission,” said Whiting Preston. “We believe our vision for Peninsula Bay will be a tremendous benefit to the area, especially in terms of jobs, housing options and tax revenues. Our tagline has been ‘connecting people to the water’ and we are passionate about that. We are also dedicated to protecting and enhancing the local ecosystem and to reflecting the style and spirit of Cortez. We look forward to continuing with our plans in the months to come.”
Peninsula Bay Hosts Community Workshop
Peninsula Bay recently hosted a community workshop to provide an opportunity for neighbors of the property to meet the development team and ask questions. Whiting Preston spoke to the crowd and told the story of his family’s long-time ownership of the land and their stewardship through farming. He described their desire to create a community that will connect people to the water and create a sustainable, livable neighborhood that will benefit the entire region. Other members of the development team met directly with attendees to share details of the site plan, explain the steps the project is taking to protect and enhance the environment, and discuss some of the desirable attributes that Peninsula Bay is planned to include, such as open spaces, walking trails and a marina.
The Peninsula Bay team would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend this event – we appreciate your interest and feedback!
Peninsula Bay believes in being a good neighbor, and we look forward to continuing to be a part of the Cortez community. Our development is planned to complement existing neighborhoods with an emphasis on open spaces, Old Florida inspired architecture and a density below that which is allowed by county standards. Strategic buffering and roadside greenery will offer privacy while enhancing the view from multiple perspectives.
We envision Peninsula Bay as having a friendly ambience that is very much in keeping with the charm and character of nearby Anna Maria Island. Peninsula Bay will offer amenities for dining and recreation that will be enjoyed not only by our residents, but also by those in the surrounding communities. It’s our goal for Peninsula Bay to be an active and contributing member of Cortez as well as offer new opportunities to enjoy the Florida lifestyle.