NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Bradenton city leaders want to turn empty retail space into apartments

Dozens of apartments could be created
Posted at 2:53 PM, Feb 01, 2019

BRADENTON, Fla. — City leaders in Bradenton are trying to spur growth in the downtown area through a grant program. City leaders approved a grant that will give business owners money if they create apartments in the upstairs units of their buildings.

Barry Grooms is a downtown business owner. He said there are several bars and restaurants on Old Main Street that have storage spaces above them. City leaders are offering a grant to help business owners fix up the upstairs spaces for apartments. Grooms believes the move will help attract millennials to the downtown area.

“The challenge we run into is we have the demand for housing, but what we need is attainable housing, meaning that someone with their income and student debt can afford it,” said Grooms.

Grooms estimate about thirty units could be created in the neighborhoods around Old Main Street.

Bradenton Economic Development Department