New plans for Long Bar Pointe reignite debate
MANATEE COUNTY — Developers and environmentalists are at odds again over the future of Long Bar Pointe, the last significant stretch of mangrove-fringed, undeveloped land on Sarasota Bay.
On Thursday, the Manatee County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing about Aqua by the Bay, a revised development plan for former farmland between El Conquisator Parkway and Sarasota Bay.
The project application describes Long Bar Pointe as a “well-known and beautiful property ... The site is surrounded by water and magnificent mangroves and these natural features will become one of the biggest assets of the future Aqua development. The mixed-use project will be gated and highly amenitized to create a special place in west Bradenton that will be cherished by future generations, with enduring value for the entire community.”
Cargor Partners, the developers, envision “a walkable community” with a West Indies architectural theme. It would include 2,894 residences (2,384 multi-family units and 510 single-family lots) and 78,000 square feet of commercial space. Two multi-family high-rises are included, both exceeding the county’s 35-foot height limit — with one being five stories and the other at 13 stories (including three levels of parking).