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WCI Communities seeks approval for new East County development

The project is set for Upper Manatee River Road.

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  • | 1:34 p.m. November 17, 2015
  • East County
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The once-bankrupt developer of Waterlefe is pursuing a new project.

WCI Communities submitted a preliminary site plan to Manatee County for a 159-home development on Upper Manatee River Road. The plan is being reviewed by county staff.

The plan proposes a one-street gated subdivision with a 15-foot buffer to the north and drainage ponds acting as a buffer to the south.

The 64-acre property is pending sale from property owner John Clendenon to WCI upon the county’s approval.

Ken Bumgarner, chairman of the Waterlefe Community Development District, said a representative of WCI has contacted the CDD with the intention of building a relationship. The Waterlefe CDD has reached out to other developments coming online to offer the incoming residents the opportunity to become members at the Waterlefe golf course, to boost course usage.

Bumgarner said the representative was interested in having a similar understanding with Waterlefe, so that Copperlefe residents could purchase course memberships.

WCI developed Waterlefe in 2000. In 2009 the developer filed for bankruptcy and was released from its responsibilities to repay a bond it took out to build the golf course. The CDD is now shouldering the debt; however, since the bond was revenue-based, depending on profit generated from the golf course, no payments have been made since 2010 because the golf course has never gained enough profit.

“It will be a little awkward,” Bumgarner said about communicating with WCI.

In addition to Waterlefe, WCI developed Country Club East, the Links at Rosedale and Tidewater Preserve in the East County area.


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