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Bradenton Beach Bridge Street resort passes first approval

Longboat Key officials raised awareness of potential traffic impacts and opportunities for future collaboration between the municipalities.

The proposed resort project on Bridge Street and Third Street South on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach.
The proposed resort project on Bridge Street and Third Street South on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach.
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A new resort could be coming just north of Longboat Key in Bradenton Beach.

On Nov. 16, the Bradenton Beach City Commission voted to advance plans for the resort to a second hearing, scheduled for Dec. 7. 

The project totals 1.61 acres across nine parcels located in the city’s Mixed Use Bridge Commercial Land Use Category and the Bridge Street Redevelopment Agency District. If approved, the resort would be located on Bridge Street and Third Street South at Gulf Drive. 

Currently on the parcels are a former motel, two former restaurants, vacant land and detached single-family dwellings. 

The project, if completed, would include a 106-room resort, 60-seat restaurant, 99 parking spaces and 2,485 square feet of retail space. 

There will be three floors to the project, with an upper level that project officials deemed not a fourth floor because it has no ceiling. 

The Nov. 16 meeting was heavily attended by residents and interested parties, with mixed comments, according to minutes from the meeting. 

Some commented in favor of the new development, while others raised concerns about the size of the development and potential impacts on sea turtles. 

The development is being proposed by property owners Shawn Kaleta, a developer who has undertaken many projects on Anna Maria Island, and Bradenton Beach Commissioner Jake Spooner.

Spooner was absent from the meeting due to an illness, but had previously recused himself due to his conflict of interest.

Longboat Key Public Works Director Isaac Brownman attended the meeting to raise awareness of the potential traffic impacts. 

His other goal, he said, was to emphasize the potential for future collaborative projects that would help to alleviate traffic issues on the barrier islands. 

Brownman acknowledged that many Longboat Key residents and staff travel north through Bradenton Beach to get to the mainland, and one project is already in the works to alleviate traffic issues in that direction: widening the Cortez Bridge to four lanes. 

Both municipalities have long been a part of the Barrier Island Traffic Study through the Florida Department of Transportation. The study, Brownman said, includes over 70 recommendations to improve traffic flow on the barrier islands. 

Brownman said the town would be open to collaboration with the city in approaching the FDOT on future projects. 

Town Manager Howard Tipton said the Longboat Key respects the city of Bradenton Beach and knows it’s ultimately its decision. 

“We just want to remind them that we are downstream from their impacts,” Tipton said. “And, what are going to be the impacts for everybody driving on Gulf of Mexico.” 

The next public hearing for the proposed plans will be held on 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Bradenton Beach City Hall. 



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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