The land currently occupied by the Manatee Landings Marina and the Tarpon Pointe Grill and Tiki Bar could be transformed into a major resort and commercial zone in the near future. Such is the vision of two influential businessmen in Bradenton who have been planning this major development at Tarpon Pointe for over a decade.
The Tarpon Pointe area is located at the eastern end of Bradenton’s brand-new Riverwalk, a public interest project that has already boosted property values in the city. The proposed Tarpon Pointe project will add a 160-room hotel, a new marina with more than 200 boat slips, two restaurants with large seating capacities, retail spaces and a parking garage.
According to an article by Charles Schelle of the Bradenton Herald, the Tarpon Pointe development proposals were even more ambitious in 2006; at that time, the plan called for a ritzy condominium tower, town houses, office space and a marina. Those plans were shelved when the housing market in Florida and the rest of the country collapsed along with the national economy.
Zoning at Tarpon Pointe changed, and thus the grille and tiki bar were developed after 2009. The owners are Bruce and Kim Bottorf, who were recently honored by a veterans’ organization for their charitable effort to raise funds for Sergeant First Class Aaron Cornellius, a wounded warrior who suffered critical injuries in Iraq. The Bottorfs and the developers are currently locked in a legal battle that may cause the project to be delayed until 2015, or even later.
Mr. Bottorf is not opposed to developing the area; in fact, he is excited about the prospects of anchoring Tarpon Pointe to Riverwalk. The real estate and economic impact to Bradenton and Manatee County would be greatly positive, and it would strengthen Southwest Florida’s image as the 21st century jewel of the Sunshine State.