Rentals may replace cells at former Bradenton jail

Rentals may replace cells at former Bradenton jail

Saturday, October 1, 2016
The former Manatee County Jail in downtown Bradenton

The former Manatee County jail in downtown Bradenton

A developer is trying to convert a former county jail in downtown Bradenton to a 100-unit apartment building catering to young professionals.

Bernard Croghan heads a group of developers that proposed a multifamily redevelopment of the six-story jail at 1501 Manatee Avenue West, which has been vacant for 10 years. He  estimates that the project would cost at least  $9.5 million. Manatee County staff are reviewing the jail redevelopment proposal.

Croghan recounted his first visit to the jail earlier this year in an interview with the Business Observer: “It was a hot, dark prison. But it was also smack dab in the middle of everything.”

His group proposed a redevelopment inspired by the dormitory-style properties that WeWork and WeLive operate, complete with a laundry room that also serves as a recreation room and a rooftop barbecue deck that once was a basketball court for prisoners.

Croghan said monthly rents at the 100-unit apartment building would range from $600 to $900.

Rents that low are scarce in Bradenton, said Ogden Clark, an employee of Manatee County Neighborhood Services and co-founder of a group called Manatee Millennial Movement.

“There is virtually no housing in downtown Bradenton millennials could afford,” Ogden told the Business Observer. “This project could be very beneficial.” [Business Observer] — Mike Seemuth

Source: The Real Deal