The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 26 - April 10, 2013


Bridge Street project conditionally approved

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

A new restaurant and retail complex at 119 Bridge St.
was conditionally approved last week by the city commission.

BRADENTON BEACH – Developer Michael Hynds is one step away from approval of his plan for a 60-seat restaurant and four-store retail project at 119 Bridge Street.

The city commission gave conditional approval to an amended plan he presented Thursday night, addressing the commission’s primary concern over lack of parking by eliminating indoor seating from his restaurant.

“Car parking is not required for open air dining” under the city’s land development code, he said.

Hynds also said that he has an option to lease up to four parking spaces at 114 Third St., a commercially zoned property scheduled to be demolished, to supply parking for the four retail stores he plans, downsized from 10 shops.

Deliveries also will be made via the Third Street property, keeping trucks off Bridge Street, he said.

City Planner Alan Garrett had suggested last month that if Hynds could secure an offsite lot for parking, he could request a special exception to the city’s parking requirements.

Hynds still intends to provide a shuttle bus to take customers between the restaurant and the parking lot at Coquina Beach, which is owned by Manatee County, he said, adding that a county parks department spokesperson could not say whether such a use of a public parking lot is prohibited.

Hynds said he intends to provide a drop off area on Bridge Street to allow the shuttle and other drivers to pull off Bridge Street to drop off and pick up customers, which would not require a walkway to be moved, as a neighboring business owner feared.

The commission also had asked Hynds at a previous meeting to address other concerns.

He told commissioners that stormwater will be retained on the project property and will not affect surrounding properties, that the restaurant’s grease trap will be located under a timber deck at the front of the property, away from a residential area in back where odors could be a problem, and that he would build an indoor, ventilated trash area, also to suppress odors.

Commissioner Gay Breuler commended Hynds on addressing the concerns of commissioners, city staff, planning and zoning board members and the public, then moved for conditional approval of the plan.

City Attorney Ricinda Perry requested that a final vote be taken on Thursday, April 18, at 1 p.m., giving two weeks to write a new application including the new conditions.

Hynds, who developed AMI Plaza in Holmes Beach, had originally proposed up to 10 small retail spaces that would be affordable for start-up businesses, later reducing the number to eight, then four larger shops.


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgage land mines

Investment Corner

This last weekend I saw former Sen. Fred Thompson promoting reverse mortgages in a TV commercial. About a decade ago I wrote here in The Sun about “Reverse Mortgages,” which are a vehicle that can be used by seniors to convert the equity in their primary residence to an income stream by borrowing against that very equity. My conclusion was that this vehicle should not be used unless the homeowner had no other solution to generate income to support their lifestyle, with the negatives being the very high fees to establish the reverse mortgage and the eventual end to the income source when the equity value was fully tapped.

A lot has changed since the time that article appeared in 2003. The residential housing collapse which began in 2007 caused the banks involved in reverse mortgages to take large losses as the equity value they loaned to seniors evaporated. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Met Life have all exited the reverse mortgage market and are no longer writing loans. Their exit has paved the way for dozens of smaller, potentially less savory firms to come into the market and create danger for homeowners.

First, let’s review the concept of a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows you to receive either a lump sum or monthly distributions, which essentially amount to borrowing a portion of the equity in your home and using the money for whatever you desire. The company underwriting the reverse mortgage charges interest on the amount borrowed, but unlike a traditional home equity loan, no monthly repayment of principal and interest is required.

The amount borrowed and the accrued interest continues to accumulate until you sell or no longer live in the home. At the time the home is sold, the reverse mortgage balance paid off. While in the home, the homeowner is still responsible for maintenance, taxes and insurance on the home.

To take advantage of a reverse mortgage all owners of the home must be at least 62 years of age, and the home must be your principal residence. Because of the up-front origination fees you should only consider a reverse mortgage if you plan on living in the home for at least five years. Also, there cannot be any other mortgages on the property. Any small remaining mortgage balances can be paid off using funds from the reverse mortgage.

I suggest visiting to learn more about the concept of reverse mortgages and to learn about lenders active in our area. I think it is important to be careful about selecting a lender, as stories are emerging about some seniors losing their homes because one spouse was not added to the reverse mortgage deed, and had no rights to the home when the other spouse passed away.

Normally, under a proper reverse mortgage arrangement, a homeowner should never be forced from their home, assuming of course they can continue to pay the taxes and insurance which is their obligation under the reverse mortgage arrangement. Retaining an attorney to review the reverse mortgage documents would be a good idea. I still consider the reverse mortgage as a last resort, and advise you to proceed with caution in selecting a lender if you decide to proceed.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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