Addressing the Affordable and Workforce Housing Crisis in Bradenton
The affordable and workforce housing crisis in the Bradenton area has not gone unnoticed, and developers are now stepping up to address the pressing need for more housing options. One such initiative comes from Bradenton Project LLC, based in Summerville, S.C., which has filed paperwork with the Manatee County Government to rezone a 6.5-acre parcel for the construction of a 96-unit apartment complex. The proposed project, located at 2008 53rd Ave. E. in Oneco, is set to feature four buildings, each containing 24 units, with a focus on affordable and workforce housing. On June 23, the project was granted eligibility for affordable and workforce housing status.
The rectangular-shaped property, mainly wooded and fronting onto State Road 70, currently includes two existing houses and was acquired by Bradenton Project for $1,525,000 in September 2022, according to records from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s website. This development is just one example of how the area is witnessing a surge in affordable and workforce housing projects.
Glen Gibellina, a member of the Manatee County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, affirms that there has been a substantial increase in workforce housing developments over the last two years compared to the previous decade. This response comes amid a growing demand for housing that is outpacing the supply, as pointed out by Eddie Sanchez, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida and formerly a finance instructor at USF Sarasota/Manatee.
Several projects are currently in the works to address the housing shortage in Bradenton. WB Property Group, a real estate owner-developer based in New York City, has proposed the construction of Amara, a 606-unit affordable housing apartment complex on a 20-acre parcel at 3308 Lena Road. Additionally, Oneco 51 Family Gp LLC from Santa Monica, Calif., plans to build a total of 572 multi-family affordable housing units at 4505 12th Street Court E., which will include 301 Flats with 324 units of family housing and The Savoy at 301 with 248 units of senior housing.
Whitfield Estates LLC is also seeking to develop 192 one- and two-bedroom units on 10 acres in the 7200 block of 12th St. E., while the Nine20 Manatee apartments, comprising 137 units with rent ranging from approximately $1,300 to $1,600, are currently under construction at 920 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Moreover, the Oneco Living Apartments is planning to build 94 rental units on 5.3 acres of vacant land, with 24 of those apartments designated as affordable housing.
Several other organizations are also stepping in to make a difference in the housing crisis. The Help to Home, a local nonprofit organization and homeless resource group, envisions building at least 53 apartment units on 4.8 acres at 1825 30th Ave. W., Bradenton, for at-risk parents. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation aims to create 122 housing units, including 38 “comfort” tiny homes of 500 square feet each, as well as an 84-unit apartment complex, south of Cortez Road on the site currently occupied by the county’s Utilities Department.
Housing Trust Group plans to construct a five-story, 120-unit complex for seniors at the northwest corner of Ninth St. W. and 23rd Ave. W. Meanwhile, The Met, a $31 million workforce housing project, is set to include 199 eco-friendly apartments on a three-acre site at 1405 14th St., Bradenton.
A partnership between local businesses, One Stop Housing, and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, is also working towards creating a workforce housing community of about 400 units, although the specific location and timeline are yet to be announced.
In addition to the projects currently underway, some have already been completed, adding much-needed affordable housing options to the area. Housing Trust Group has opened the 90-unit Addison apartments at 702 Sixth Ave. E., Bradenton, and the 96-unit Oaks at Lakeside complex at 5260 34th Street Cir. E., Bradenton. Furthermore, Riverview6, an 80-unit affordable housing complex near downtown Bradenton, is on track to open its doors in early 2024.
Similarly, the Sandpiper Place Apartments, located at 4605 26th St. W., Bradenton, opened on Feb 15, 2022, and quickly reached full occupancy, with over 800 people on the waiting list. This clearly indicates the high demand for affordable housing in the area and underscores the significance of ongoing efforts to address the crisis.
The Bradenton area is witnessing a significant increase in affordable and workforce housing projects as developers and organizations strive to tackle the housing crisis. With numerous initiatives in progress and completed developments providing essential housing options, there is hope that these efforts will alleviate the burden on residents seeking affordable accommodations. The collective commitment to addressing this issue signals a positive direction for Bradenton’s housing landscape, promising a more sustainable and inclusive future for the community.