A developer is trying to convert a former county jail in downtown Bradenton to a 100-unit apartment building catering to young professionals.
Bernard Croghan heads a group of developers that proposed a multifamily redevelopment of the six-story jail at 1501 Manatee Avenue West, which has been vacant for 10 years. He estimates that the project would cost at least $9.5 million. Manatee County staff are reviewing the jail redevelopment proposal.
Croghan recounted his first visit to the jail earlier this year in an interview with the Business Observer: “It was a hot, dark prison. But it was also smack dab in the middle of everything.”
His group proposed a redevelopment inspired by the dormitory-style properties that WeWork and WeLive operate, complete with a laundry room that also serves as a recreation room and a rooftop barbecue deck that once was a basketball court for prisoners.
Croghan said monthly rents at the 100-unit apartment building would range from $600 to $900.
Rents that low are scarce in Bradenton, said Ogden Clark, an employee of Manatee County Neighborhood Services and co-founder of a group called Manatee Millennial Movement.