New affordable housing project for families, seniors would be largest in Bradenton area

Paperwork for what would be the largest affordable housing project in the Bradenton area was recently filed with Manatee County Development Services.

The 606-unit affordable housing apartment complex, named Amara, is proposed for a 20-acre parcel at 3308 Lena Road.

The property, near Interstate 75 and south of State Road 64, is heavily wooded and contains a house that the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s website says is uninhabitable.

“WB Property Group is an owner-developer of real estate headquartered in New York City. With over 100 years of experience across all asset classes and a pedigree in construction, WB continues to leverage its experience and evolve, now predominantly focusing on value-add and ground-up development of multifamily, nationwide,” the company says on its website.

It’s portfolio shows projects in New York, Texas and Lakeland, Florida.

“As discussed at this time we have no comment — it’s a little early — but certainly I look forward to being in touch with you as we get closer at which point I’ll have more to share with you,” David Weinstein, a partner in WB Property Group, said Wednesday.

The 20-acre parcel is listed for sale with Re/Max Alliance Group.

“This is a residential development with an affordable housing component. Only 30 days in the pipeline and they are requesting a rezone,” Rowena Elliott, Manatee County’s affordable housing development coordinator, said in an email through Bill Logan, the county’s information outreach manager.

“We can provide a follow up once we have some noteworthy information. It will likely be a while before a public hearing will be scheduled,” Elliott said.

In light of Manatee County’s housing crisis with some of the greatest increases in rent in the country and record real estate prices, the county has fast-tracked this request.

There are many Manatee County households struggling with housing costs, according to United Way Suncoast’s newest ALICE Report — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed households.

The number of Manatee households living below the ALICE threshold has risen 16% since 2019, from 57,768 households to 66,818.

The Lena Road project would eclipse the 572 units of multi-family affordable housing under construction at 4505 12th Street Court E.

That project includes 324 units of family housing, called 301 Flats, and 248 units of senior housing called The Savoy at 301.

The project is 100%, four-story affordable housing, being developed by Oneco 51 Family Gp LLC of Santa Monica, Calif.

The Savoy at 301 and 301 Flats are projected to open in 2024-25.

A 606-unit affordable housing apartment complex, named Amara, is proposed for a 20-acre parcel at 3308 Lena Road. The property, shown 6/6/2023, is near Interstate 75 and south of State Road 64. James A. Jones Jr./
A 606-unit affordable housing apartment complex, named Amara, is proposed for a 20-acre parcel at 3308 Lena Road. The property, shown 6/6/2023, is near Interstate 75 and south of State Road 64. James A. Jones Jr./

All planned affordable housing projects

Other affordable housing projects in the works or completed include:

The three-story Oneco Living Apartments with 94 rental units planned on 5.3 acres north of State Road 70. The majority of the units will be rented at market rate, but 24 of those apartments in the 5100 block of 18th St. Ct. E. will be designated affordable housing.

Whitfield Preserve apartments on 10 acres in the 7200 block of 12th Street East. The developer, Whitfield Estates LLC, seeks to build 192 one- and two-bedroom units , according to paperwork filed with Manatee County Development Services.

Help to Home, a local nonprofit organization and homeless resource group, plans to build at least 53 apartment units on 4.8 acres at 1825 30th Ave. W. in Bradenton. The project, named Hope Village, is dedicated to keeping at-risk parents housed and on the path to economic independence.

A 7.9-acre property on the corner of Factory Shops Boulevard and 60th Avenue East in Ellenton could become the home of a four-story, 235-unit apartment building with 59 units designated as affordable housing with lower monthly rent. Defined Companies is the developer.

Sandpiper Place Apartments, 2155 46th Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton, opened in 2022. Each of the 92 units were already rented at opening and had a waiting list of more than 800 people.

Ground was broken for the Nine20 Manatee apartments, 920 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, in September. Planned are 137 workforce units, with rents ranging from about $1,300 for a one-bedroom unit to $1,600 for a two-bedroom unit.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation plans to build 122 units of housing for veterans south of Cortez Road where the county’s Utilities Department is based. The housing would be a combination of 38 “comfort” tiny homes that are 500 square feet as well as an 84-unit apartment complex.

One Stop Housing is working to develop an operating agreement between more than a dozen local companies to develop an affordable workforce village of about 400 units. Residents would pay no more than 30% of their earnings for rent. A timetable of location have not yet been divulged.

Oaks at Lakeside, a 96-unit affordable housing development by Housing Trust Group at 3505 53rd Ave. E., opened in 2021.

▪Since 2019, Housing Trust Group has opened the 90-unit Addison apartments, 702 Sixth Ave. E. in Bradenton, and the 96-unit Oaks at Lakeside complex, 5260 34th Street Cir. E.

Riverview6, an 80-unit affordable housing complex near downtown, is also in the works and set to open in early 2024.

Ryan Callihan assisted with this report.