Manatee County experiencing building boom east of I-75

Chad Butzow, Director of Public Works, Manatee County
Chad Butzow, Director of Public Works, Manatee County(WWSB)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:45 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - What was once just acres of farmland is turning into construction sites in East Manatee County.

Parrish is seeing a housing boom. ”I originally wanted to move to St. Petersburg, but the prices were too steep for me,” said Thomas Wahl. “You get more for your money here in Parrish. It’s a beautiful area to live in.”

Wahl is one of thousands now calling Parrish home. Soon, more will be joining him. Just about everywhere you look, new homes are popping up. One of the busiest locations in the area is off Moccasin Wallow Road.

North River Ranch is the Flagship master planned community for Neal Land and Neighborhoods.

“When we bought out here, we bought really early,” said John Neal, president of Neal Land and Neighborhoods. “We were ahead of the growth. We thought we can either be smart about this purchase or really dumb. I didn’t know if it was going to turn out the way it has. It turns out we were really smart.”

Neal said it was a risky move that paid off. This housing boom is a win for developers and those looking for new homes.

Yet, what about the county?

“We’ve had extreme growth,” said Chad Butzow, Manatee’s director of public works. “We probably grew by 25,000 to 30,000 people in last five years.”

Butzow said the county has plans to widen roads, add sidewalks and bike lines to a number of roads in this area. But, he said they can’t get it done quickly enough.

“A lot of the public look at it like it should have been done two or three years ago,” said Butzow. “Unfortunately, given how many people live here now, it could have been successful two or three years ago. But, we’re just coming at it now.”

Butzow said the problems isn’t the new developments. He said those are taken care of by the developers.

He said their main issue is fixing the older roads. “Immediately surrounding the developments are taken care of very well,” said Butzow. “Where we run into challenges in that area are where we butt into existing roads. The roads that have been there for a long time, like Moccasin Wallow, Golf Course Road, Erie Road and Ellenton Gillette.”

The county now has plans in place to work on these roads and make them suitable for more traffic.

Construction is expected to get started this summer. The county is using impact fees and gas taxes to pay for the work. To help keep the community in the loop about everything going on, the county has several websites available with helpful information.

Information about Capital Improvement Plan Projects and video on how to use the dashboard:

To view the complete list of 2021-2025 CIP projects:

To view the map/dashboard of all CIP projects in Manatee County:

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