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Date of Issue: November 24, 2005

St. Joe plans retail-office complex for Perico Harbor Marina

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Joe a go-go
The former Leverock's Restaurant along with the boat storage facility and convenience store at the east end of the Anna Maria Island Bridge will be torn down by the St. Joe. Company to make room for a retail-office complex and a restaurant-meeting room facility. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Bradenton Planning Commission approved a preliminary site plan by Paradise Pointe LLC, a company owned by the St. Joe Company, for a retail-office-restaurant complex at the east end of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. The St. Joe Company was formerly known as the Arvida Corporation at the time of the Perico Island property purchase and ensuring development controversy.

The current convenience store along with the former Leverock's Restaurant and the boat storage facility at Perico Harbor Marina will be torn down to make room for two buildings, both two floors over parking.

According to the preliminary site plan, Building A will comprise 14,000 square feet of floor space and house a 120-seat restaurant, a retail package liquor store and a banquet hall that will accommodate 175 people.

Building B will have 16,400 square feet of retail-office space with 73 units for rent.

The site plan application said a small "one-way" gas station would be retained at the site where the convenience store is currently. The "one-way" gas station would apparently be only for motorists exiting the marina.

The site plan proposed at least 190 parking spaces, with more available after the boat storage facility is torn down.

No artist's rendition of the property was available and the site plan made no mention of the potential traffic impact on Palma Sola Causeway.

ManaSota-88 Executive Director Glen Compton said he was not surprised that the St. Joe Company was able to circumvent its agreement with Manatee County over development of its 686-unit condominium complex on property directly adjacent and east of the Perico Harbor Marina.

St. Joe agreed to withdraw its plan for a retail-office complex in that agreement with Manatee County several years ago, but gave no guarantees that it would not acquire Perico Harbor Marina, Leverock's and the convenience store and turn that entire location into commercial space.

Perico Harbor Marina will remain as a deep-draft facility for large boats. The marina will have direct access to the St. Joe condominium project.