- November 30, 2022
It’s no secret that the population size of Longboat Key triples during snowbird season.
Although it might seem busier on the island, it’s not just the returning snowbirds who are making it a bit busier. There are several developments underway and others planned in the coming months.
Here is a look at many of Longboat Key’s major construction projects:
Work officially began on Oct. 25 to build the five-star St. Regis Hotel and luxury condominium complex at 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive. The project is worth about $800 million.
As many as 800 workers at once are expected to be at the 17.6-acre beachfront site to finish the project by spring 2024.
In October, the Longboat Key Town Commission provided its final approval of the site development plan and the planned-unit development application.
Orlando-based developer Unicorp National Developments Corp. plans to build 69 condo units and 166 hotel units along with restaurants and other facilities, many of them open to the public.
Advertised prices for the St. Regis’ residential units range from $2 million to $20 million.
There are expected to be about 468 total parking spaces, of which there will be 62 mechanical vehicle lifts in the hotel’s valet garage.
It's been about three years since the demolition of the former Colony Resort’s buildings and other structures.
Luxury condominiums are also coming to 4651 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Sage occupies the site of the former Sun 'n' Sea Cottages & Apartments.
PMG and Sarasota-based Floridays Development Co. are the property’s developers, while the architect is Sarasota-based Hoyt Architects.
Sage is building 16 condos in a four-story building at the 3.18-acre site. Prices start at $4 million.
The four-story Sage will have units that range from 3,950 to 4,250 square feet. Each residence will have 12-foot ceilings, 8-foot entry doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble and wood flooring, Italian cabinetry, multiple parking spaces in their garages and a private elevator.
Sage plans to create 39 parking spots.
In the fall, Sun N Sea, Inc. sold the 3.4-acre resort for $13.25 million.
Completion of Sage is expected in 2022.
The town-owned site at 600 Bay Isles Road is getting a long-anticipated, 50-foot-wide stage.
In December, Town Commissioners approved calling the to-be-built centerpiece of the Town Center Green the Karon Family Pavilion. Residents Paul and Sarah Karon are donating $500,000 to the Longboat Key Foundation to fund the structure’s construction.
Events planned at the Town Center site will operate around stage construction.
If all goes according to plan, the new stage could be ready in time for next year’s snowbird season.
The Florida Department of Transportation is planning to bring two new styles of crosswalks in the next two years to Gulf of Mexico Drive. The state wants to monitor before and after peak-season results by:
Adding in-roadway lighting at GMD and Longboat Club Road near the Country Club Shores IV North entrance. FDOT said it would cost about $76,800 for construction, which could start this fiscal year.
Replacing an existing rectangular rapid flashing beacon with a new pedestrian hybrid beacon at GMD at Bayfront Park. FDOT said it would cost about $352,500 for construction, which could start in fiscal year 2023.
While the proposed crosswalk near Bayfront Park would have red lights to get cars to stop for pedestrians crossing the street, the lights in front of the Country Club Shores IV North entrance would remain yellow.
In October, FDOT Senior Project Manager Walter Breuggeman explained why rectangular rapid flashing beacons can’t use red lights. Breuggeman said RRFBs are a proprietary product to serve as an advanced warning to drivers to yield to pedestrians.
A switch to a red-light system would require changing out the town’s six RRFB crosswalks to a pedestrian hybrid beacon system, which was formerly known as high-intensity activated crosswalk, or HAWK system.
The town of Longboat Key has six RRFB pedestrian crossings along GMD:
Design work is also underway for a proposed roundabout at GMD and Broadway Street.
In January, the Manatee County Commission plans to consider contributing $150,000 for the design of the Broadway roundabout project. If Manatee County commissioners vote against the measure, the town would have to pay for the entire design cost of about $300,000.