On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, Bradenton City Council approved an incentive program to encourage faster redevelopment in the downtown.

The program will allow up to 20 stories on properties within the central downtown area without having to provide affordable housing, as the Code
currently requires. An additional height incentive under this program provides that parking levels above the ground floor will not be counted towards the story height limit.

The redevelopment incentives would apply to properties located generally between 1st Street East and Wares Creek and north of 7th Avenue West.

The program requires that projects be approved by City Council within the next five years and begin development within ten years, or by 2033.

Residential density limits are not increased as part of this program, but it is more likely that developers may take advantage of the existing allowable densities with the ability to build higher.

The State Legislature recently approved a similar incentive for height and density for projects that include at least 40% of their units in the affordable range. The State’s incentive applies to all local governments with property in commercial, industrial and mixed use zoning districts. The State program
also ends in 2033. These two programs are complementary.

The City’s effort to encourage redevelopment in a distinct area in the downtown by allowing market rate units will help fortify the tax base and provide for more potential funding of affordable units within the City’s community redevelopment areas.

The City of Bradenton has seen in increase in the construction of affordable units with at least 700 new affordable and workforce housing units coming online between 2019 and 2024. The City anticipates that more affordable housing will be coming online as a result of the State’s program.

The City is hopeful that this local height incentive will have a similar impact in encouraging market rate units and the redevelopment of the downtown.

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