The Nature of the Lake Flores Location

Based on some of the comments made here on 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.

As the Site photo shows, the property is a farm, with little undeveloped green space. In fact, this land has been an active farm for over fifty years and the land has been impacted 100% by this farming operation. It is surrounded by a matrix of roads consisting of Cortez Road, 75th Street, 86th Street, El Conquistador Parkway, and 53rd Avenue West. There is a fire station and water treatment plant adjacent to and bordering the Lake Flores property as well as the practice fields and developed land of IMG. This photo also shows the property does not border Sarasota Bay.

As one can see from the Property Location photo, housing, retail and commercial development, and municipal buildings surround our property. Manatee County has been putting the infrastructure in place to support the development of this area for more than a decade. As opposed to urban sprawl (1), which requires the extension of new infrastructure for access and support, our plans to develop this land are what Manatee county and the Urban Land Institute call in-fill (2).”

There are also no high value ecological portions of the property that should be left as-is for use as parkland. Parks and recreation areas will be newly created within the Lake Flores master plan. Furthermore, when compared to the revenue generated, and the jobs created by the mixed-use community that we envision at Lake Flores – simply leaving this land vacant is clearly not in the best interest of the county. We feel strongly that the opportunity Lake Flores presents is one of economic and social revitalization and prosperity for the immediate area, and will ultimately benefit everyone in Manatee County.

(1) Urban Sprawl means a development pattern characterized by low density automobile dependent development with either a single use or multiple uses that are not functionally related, requiring the extension of public facilities and services in an inefficient manner and failing to provide a clean separation of urban and rural uses (“How Will We Grow” Manatee County. February 2013).

(2) In-fill development, in its simplest form, is the development or redevelopment of land that has been bypassed, remained vacant, or is underutilized as a result of the continuing development process (Urban Land Institute).

*Commenters please note:
While it is our sincere intention to promote a healthy public discussion, and to provide everyone a chance to express their views on our vision for southwest Bradenton, we must ask that comments be courteous, sincere, and constructive. Rude language and name-calling is not helpful to either side of the debate and will simply not appear here. Please be considerate of others when posting. Thank you.

9 comments on “The Nature of the Lake Flores Location

  1. Judy S

    In case you haven’t noticed..86th Street is NOT a four lane but a two lane street with a 30 MPH speed limit directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood. El Conquistador is also two lane with a 35 MPH speed limit adjacent to Lake Flores……although I’m sure you guys worked out that expansion to four lanes a long time ago. In addition, five story buildings are certainly not appropriate for western Manatee County. Do you see anything like this in our area? NO! and we want to keep it that way, thank you very much. No “urban scrawl” for us.

  2. Debbie C.

    Yes, lets put a new bridge right in the middle of the protected seagrass and baby fish grounds. Let’s put the fisherman from Village of Cortez out of business. Let’s ruin the sport fishing by having no baby fish to grow up. Sounds like a great plan. And I’m sure all the residents on 53rd, 57 and Bayshore Gardens Parkway will enjoy the extra traffic.

  3. Robert M.

    If we are adding traffic heading to the beach with residents of Lake Flores, we should subtract traffic going to LBK and Sarasota by putting a $5.00 southbound toll on the LBK bridge.

  4. Bob S.

    Excellent use of aerial photographs & facts to explain the differences between Urban Sprawl and In-Fill Development…Lake Flores is literally surrounded by infrastructure that makes perfect sense for the highest & best use of this land to be a master planned community. Well done 🙂

    1. Wayne B.

      Thanks for the further information. It emphasizes what a very large development this will be. I believe that part of the sales pitch for the development will feature its nearness and access to Gulf Beaches. You would be foolish to keep that treasure hidden from prospective purchasers, although I expect that purchasers would l figure it out themselves anyway. It is true that you have not done much if anything at all to contribute to the traffic woes on Cortez Road. However, this proposed development must add to those woes. It is inconceivable that it will not do so. I understand your desire to develop your property responsibly and to the best profit potential, but you must know that doing so will diminish the daily lives of others who are not part of the development. As presently configured, beach access is via the two lane bridge which already creates a bottleneck (for which there is no likelihood of additional lanes), a very constrained island road network (which also creates a bottleneck) and an island visitor capacity that cannot much be expanded without eroding the island ambiance. The adverse result of this development is foregone.

      1. Judy S.

        Thank you for your comment about diminishing the daily lives of others who are not part of the development. Those of us living immediately adjacent to this property are very concerned and hope that the developers of Lake Flores will not only consider their customers, but their neighbors as well.

      2. Brenda G.

        It seems to me there needs to be a third bridge to Anna Maria Island as well as improvements to the bridge on Cortez Road even if there was to be no future development on the land side.

        1. Wayne B.

          I respectfully suggest that Anna Maria does not need another bridge and am not sure where one would put more people on Anna Maria if they came. A bridge between landside and Longboat Key makes sense to me; however, proposals have been negatively received. A bridge between landside and Longboat would help folks just wanting to go to or from Longboat. They would no longer need to drive through Anna Maria Island itself and clog up the roadways to and from it while passing through. Perhaps a new bridge could connect the south end of Lake Flores and Longboat. This might alleviate some of the road congestion, but not necessarily the overcrowding of Anna Maria. I’m not sure why Longboat is so against it. It would certainly aid evacuation if needed.

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