BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Not long after receiving two unsolicited offers to buy and redevelop the nearly four-acre waterfront property that is currently home to city hall and the police department, city council members in Bradenton voted to advertise the sale of the property for 90 days.
That window will come to a close in less than one month, on Aug. 15.
Both unsolicited offers came into the city at around $10 million. The property is being advertised at its appraised value of $10.46 million. So far, city officials say no other proposals have come in but the listing has been viewed more than 26,000 times.
During a city council meeting Wednesday morning, city officials heard from expert economists on how the redevelopment of the waterfront could benefit the city and its taxpayers. Regional Economics Consulting Group provided the city with a tool that can help them determine which proposals would give them the highest return in terms of tax revenues and economic impact.
Mayor Gene Brown tells 8 On Your Side he is excited for the future and believes the redevelopment of the property will greatly benefit the city and its urban core.
“If our downtown is thriving, I think our whole city is thriving,” said the mayor. “I am giving up the best view in the city for my office, but it is worth it”.
The city still has a long way to go before any decisions are made as to what may take form on the property along the Manatee River.
“I think that is important for the community to see that it is not about just bringing thousands of people downtown to live. It is about doing mixed-use projects that will develop our urban core and bring more restaurants, bring more entertainment, bring things where people can work and play right where they live,” said Mayor Brown. “Is there going to be some angst? Yes, but I think if we get the message out and show them the possibilities, it is going to be very exciting for our city.”
Economists on Wednesday explained the city’s waterfront property is unique and extremely valuable in a city such as Bradenton.
“Having a four-acre lot like this on waterfront is very, very rare, especially for a community this small. So the big bang for the buck for Bradenton versus somebody – let’s say like Jacksonville – is a whole lot higher here,” said economist Jared Parker.