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Date of Issue: February 23, 2006

What are the Shack's possibilities?

seafood shack pciture

With Manatee County out of the picture as a prospective buyer of the Seafood Shack, just what are the possibilities?

Ideally, owner Ham Jones would like to see “a world-class marina and resort there,” for it has about everything to offer. He doesn't have the money or the energy to do it himself, but it's his preference for another owner and for the good of the Cortez ambiance. 

“It's the only deep-water property between Tampa and Fort Myers that is zoned for marina,” he said, and it has a 68-slip marina there now. There are six acres of upland and it boasts an 8-foot depth of water out to the Intracoastal Waterway. The big restaurant building he put up in 1980 is of steel and poured concrete, he said, on 270 concrete pilings sunk 40 feet into the ground.

He pointed out that the property is not on the market for sale, but he is open to offers from seriously interested parties.

So what could be done with the property as it is zoned now? The county's planning administrator, Robert H. Pederson, prepared for Commissioner Jane von Hahmann a rundown on zoning. He said the zoning of the marina and restaurant site prohibits residential uses and allows consideration of the following:

Marina and restaurant site - Light industrial, offices, research/corporate, warehouse/distribution, intensive commercial, wholesale commercial, small retail commercial, service, selected residential, short-term agricultural, recreation, public or semi-public schools, privately operated airports, appropriate water-dependent/water-related, water-enhanced uses, and hotels/motels.

The parking lot - Retail, wholesale or office commercial uses which function in the marketplace as neighborhood, community, or region-serving; residential uses, lodging places, public or semi-public uses, schools, recreation, and water-dependent/water-related/water-enhanced uses.