Demolition crews have begun taking down a long-abandoned office building in downtown Bradenton to clear the way for a 12-story apartment complex.
On Wednesday, cranes and bulldozers brought down a big portion of the former public defender’s office at 920 Manatee Ave. W. Project managers hope to completely demolish the five-story building over the next three weeks.
By the end of 2023, NDC Construction Co. hopes to open Nine20 Manatee, an apartment building aimed at providing downtown units for the local workforce. Rent will be determined based on a tenant’s income, but prices will range from about $1,300 for a one-bedroom unit to $1,600 for a two-bedroom unit, according to federal guidelines.
“We’re targeting young professionals who want to live downtown, so we’re excited to be the first to offer this sort of product,” said Ron Allen, president of NDC.
Just a few blocks from where the wrecking crew is working, officials at Bradenton City Hall voted Wednesday to approve minor changes to the incoming apartment building, which will feature 5,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
According to newly provided renderings , NDC tweaked the design of the building to include protruding balconies on the 11th and 12th floors. The ground level will also feature an awning that stretches out over the sidewalk.
“I like it,” said Councilman Patrick Roff.
NDC also requested permission to build more units than what was originally planned for the Nine20 Manatee development. Council members had no issue raising the request from 130 to 137 units.
“In this community, we are thousands of workforce units down from what we need,” said Mayor Gene Brown, noting the local shortage of affordable housing. “I think that’s something we’ve all got to think about.”
The property, which sits on the northwest corner of Ninth Street West and Manatee Avenue, housed the public defender’s office, which relocated into the Manatee County Judicial Center in 2007. In July 2019, Manatee County held an auction to get rid of the surplus property, selling it to Allen for $100,000.
Nine20 Manatee is aligned with Bradenton’s long-sought desire to provide more housing in the downtown area. According to NDC’s initial presentation to the board, the building will include fitness areas, a dog park and a rooftop gathering space.
Allen said residents can expect to find more information about how to apply for one of the units in spring 2023.