In delivering a review of Manatee County government’s “How Will We Grow?” community visioning project last week, Urban Land Institute experts applauded the county’s detailed work and found all three alternatives to growth viable. The outside panel interviewed more than 80 community leaders in a broad range of public and private sectors while analyzing the county’s conclusions.
This thorough review by outside land-use experts validates the county’s report and expands the scope of the project with recommendations — some of which, though, are already in the works to varying degrees.
Here’s our take on several aspects of the ULI report:
n When consultants informed Manatee County commissioners that this area could be branded as “the sports training capital of America,” the idea did not come as a surprise. The region is well positioned to lay claim to that marketing label.
Manatee County’s robust sports industry continues to grow, led by IMG Academy’s massive campus expansion starting this month, the swift success of the Premier Sports Complex in Lakewood Ranch in attracting huge events, and the high hopes for the international aquatic center under construction at Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park, just south of Manatee.
Recognizing sports performance as a key economic driver, Manatee’s Economic Development Corp. reported to commissioners last August that the nine main sectors in the industry employ almost 2,000 workers in 156 businesses in the county.
Earlier in the year, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau created an independent county sports commission to promote the industry.
The ULI report not only highlighted this “great asset,” it recommended expanding the brand … Read more here.
By BRADENTON HERALD EDITORIAL. Featured April 3, 2013.