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Manatee County Water Park to be Discussed at Today's BOCC Meeting


BRADENTON — The Manatee County CEDC has announced that it has secured funding for a first-ever aquatic center/water park in Manatee County. The CEDC says it has received a letter of commitment for the construction of an aquatic center/water park not to exceed $20 million. The Manatee County Commission will hear about the proposed plans at today's meeting, where they are scheduled to vote on a lease of vacant county-owned land for the project.

The CEDC says that the proposed attraction, which would be built at Tom Bennett Park off of the intersection of I-75 and SR64, has been efficiently designed to utilize just 15-20 acres of land, versus the typical 30-70 acre footprint of such parks.
The park would include approximately 5 acres for parking. Plans include a dense tropical jungle theme.

According to the CEDC, the prospective company’s proprietary design for the park is anchored by a 20,000 square foot wave pool with simulated tropical beach, sand volleyball courts and more than a dozen different water slides, including single person thrill slides, multi-person tube rides, multi-level children’s play/activity area, a toddler play pool area and a slow-flowing lazy river ride with multi-entry/exit points around the park.
The CEDC says the project would provide over 120 permanent jobs the first day it is opens, in addition to around 200 temporary ones during construction, and that the "potential increase of the tax base for the redevelopment area is also significant."
If the BOCC approves today's request, the county would then issue a request for proposals, which would be open for any firm to bid on.
Texas-based development Austin Commercial is said to be a leading candidate to develop the project. Austin is one of the largest institutional developers in the United States and has several water parks in its portfolio including SeaWorld's Aquatica and The Cove on Atlantis Paradise Island.


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