The City of Bradenton is making progress on the Bradenton Riverwalk -- a project that has been in the works since the early 2000s.
The $6.2 million project, which broke ground in September 2011, will receive nearly $500,000 in state grants to put toward the city's signature redevelopment project
“The economic impact [the Riverwalk will have] will be huge,” says David Gustafson, executive director of the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority
. “It's an asset that has never been utilized and will strongly affect downtown Manatee County
, as well as the rest of the Tampa Bay region all the way from Sarasota to St. Pete.”
Expected to see completion by October 2012, the Riverwalk project will receive two major grants: $400,000 from the Southwest Florida Water Management District
for construction, permits and design and nearly $100,000 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
via the Boating Improvement Program
for a dock extension project.
“We've seen the success of riverwalks in other parts of the country such as Jacksonville, Tampa and Tennessee and see a lot of promise in this project,” Gustafon says.
In addition to the additional funds, one-sixth of the budget will come from tax increment financing (TIF)
while an investment has been made into a multimillion dollar bond that the City of Bradenton
will pay off over the next 20 years.
Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: David Gustafson, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority