Manatee Fruit to Develop Lake Flores

we’ve known this was coming, even before the announcement. Couldn’t be too long before Whiting Preston cashed in on his massive land tracts in southwest Manatee County.

And now we know: It’s named Lake Flores, with a host of homes, commercial development and recreational venues, all to take about 20 years or so to build out. Kind of a Lakewood Ranch for the Cortez Road at 75th Street West neighborhood.

Recent articles in both the Bradenton Herald (Here) and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Here) flesh out the story of what will likely become a traffic and service nightmare, particularly for drivers heading to Anna Maria Island.

What do you think?

New Property Appraiser Website

Here’s something new and welcome: a Manatee Property Appraiser’s website. Click HERE to see what it’s like.

Somehow, the Bradenton Herald got wind that I was part of the beta testing for the site, and they asked me about it. Here’s the Article where my opinion appears. ARTICLE

Lots of good info from the property appraiser. And now, it’s easier than ever to use.

AMI Community Center in Trouble

The Anna Maria Island Community Center, long ago knows as the “Youth Center,” is in deep financial difficulty.

They say they have about $60,000 in available cash to meet $80,000 in operating expenses. And that’s just this month.

As a great resource for all Islanders, especially the young, who have benefitted from sports, after-school activities and educational opportunities afforded by the AMICC, this is a community treasure. But since building a new building, way over budget, several years ago, the Center’s operating cash position has been deteriorating.

Like many non-profit organizations, donations make up a large proportion of their operating budget. But donors have died, left the island or been turned off, and ‘play for pay,’ has not generated sufficient funds to keep the place open.

Who knows what may happen next. But the AMICC is in an interesting ‘pickle,’ and either the community will rally to get past a temporary problem, or the Center will close. If the latter, hopefully there will be a Phoenix hidden inside.

Here’s an opinion piece in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune by Tom Aposporos, which may give you a little additional background. Click Here.

Preserving People As Well As Place on AMI

Residents of Anna Maria Island who have lived there any length of time are aware that the island is changing.

Not only are the quaint beach cottages being replaced by newer, generally more comfortable, modern homes, but the long-time residents are also being replaced.

And because home prices are way out of reach of normal working folks, those normal working people are leaving the island, or have already left. Add to that worries about long-term effects of increases in taxes and insurance, and many of the older residents, on fixed incomes, are also stressed about their beautiful ‘Queen of the Sea,’ Anna Marie.

Here is a thoughtful piece by Tom Aposporos,  in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, about this subject, in an interview with Sissy Quinn. An interesting take, and one worth considering for resort islands everywhere.