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Date of Issue: December 15, 2005

Bradenton expected to approve St. Joe/Perico Harbor plan today

The Bradenton City Council at its Dec. 14 meeting was expected to approve the preliminary site plan by Paradise Pointe LLC - a company owned by the St. Joe Company, formerly the Arvida Corp. - for a retail-office-restaurant complex at the east end of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. The St. Joe Company already has approval from Bradenton for a 686-unit condominium project adjacent to Perico Harbor Marina on the north side of Manatee Avenue.

Approval of the site plan is expected without any serious opposition. Only Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey has ever voted against Arvida’s condo project throughout the nearly five-year history of the development process.

Under the Paradise Pointe site plan, 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.

The buildings will accommodate a restaurant, a liquor store, banquet hall and retail/office space.

A small "one-way" gas station would be retained at the site where the convenience store is located. The "one-way" gas station would apparently be intended only for motorists exiting the marina.

A minimum of 190 parking spaces are proposed, with more available after the boat storage facility is torn down.

ManaSota-88 Executive Director Glen Compton said previously 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 the property, which is directly east of the Perico Harbor Marina.

St. Joe had agreed to withdraw its plan for a retail-office complex in that agreement, but gave no guarantees that it would not acquire other adjacent or nearby properties for its commercial venture.

Perico Harbor Marina has already gained approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to dredge its boat basin to construct wet slips and convert the facility to accommodate deep-draft boats. The marina will have direct access to the St. Joe condominium project.