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Date of Issue: October 14, 2009

New owners for Perico project

The Jacksonville-based St. Joe Co. has sold its SevenShores condominium project on Perico Island to Minto Communities LLC, a subsidiary of the Minto Group of Canada, according to documents available online at the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court Web site.

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Minto Communities LLC of Coconut Creek are the new owners of the SevenShores project on north Perico Island and plan to continue development of the complex. The marina buildings shown in this aerial photograph have since been removed.
Islander Photo: Jack Elka.

The $10 million sale included $2 million for the accompanying marina and $8 million for the land, according to the court Web site.

Minto Communities has been involved in single-family and condominium construction on Florida’s east coast for a number of years, according to the company’s Web site.

The company headquarters is near Fort Lauderdale in Coconut Creek.

SevenShores was planned as a 686-unit condominium complex on north Perico Island, but St. Joe halted infrastructure work in 2007 due to a declining demand for condominiums. The company only managed seven reservations during the 13 months it had a sales office at the site. Units were offered for sale in the low $700,000 range, but there were few takers.

Minto vice-president Michael Belmont said the company researched the purchase of a number of Florida properties before deciding to buy SevenShores as the first step of expanding its operations on Florida’s west coast.

“We’re truly excited about the Perico project and its potential and we look forward to continuing to seek additional acquisition opportunities throughout the region,” he said.

Minto will conduct a marketing study of the area and resume the site development sometime in 2010, Belmont said.

“The housing market has certainly changed since the Perico plan was created. Our goal is to make sure the housing product we develop meets the needs of today’s consumer in terms of price and livability,” Belmont said.

Minto also is reviewing plans for the 119-slip marina that is considered a separate asset from SevenShores. The company will consider making the marina a public facility, he indicated.

Belmont said it was too soon to indicate a price range for the condominium units, but did say a name change is likely.

Glenn Compton of ManaSota-88, a non-profit environmental activist group that opposed the SevenShores project when it was announced in the late 1990s, said he hoped Minto would delay the start of construction as long as possible.

“Unfortunately, the damage to Perico has already been done,” Compton said. “We at ManaSota-88 can only hope that the new owners will be concerned with protecting the environment and institute more measures to conserve the land and marine habitat there.”