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Date of Issue: October 20, 2005

Cortez hears of Hunter Hill development Thursday

Rumors and speculation may be put to rest Thursday evening, Oct. 20, when Peter Thurell tells Cortez what his plans and hopes are for his large Hunter Hill property.

The program for the tract is to be outlined at a meeting of the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cortez Community Center, 4523 123rd St. Ct. W. The entire village is invited to hear of the plans and to contribute their reactions and suggestions.

Thurell is a devoted admirer of the historic fishing village, dividing his time between here and his native Sweden. He lives in a large home he built on the point beyond the U.S. Coast Guard station just south of the Cortez Bridge.

He has acquired the old Captain John's Marina and other parcels to form one large tract on the north side of Cortez Road, extending to the parking lot across 127th Street from Annie's Bait & Tackle and back along the canal there.

The canal runs into Anna Maria Sound just north of the Cortez Bridge, and is spanned by a small humpback bridge on 127th Street. There are boat slips along part of the canal. Much of the property had been in the Cipriani family.

Originally, Thurell had planned to move some historic cottages from Bradenton Beach to preserve them on the land, but that proved so complicated as to be ultimately unfeasible.

There are several houses on the property, and a service station so old that some Cortezians had hoped to have it preserved as an historic site. 

Staff members of the Manatee County Planning Department will be on hand to explain the government's position.