CORTEZ – The developer of Mirabella in northwest Bradenton has launched the second major development in the past year and a half in Cortez, Hunters Point Resort and Marina.
Marshall Gobuty purchased the property for $10 million in 2016 with his former business partner, Eric Grimes. Neither will discuss the dissolution of the Florida Land Enterprises partnership, but Grimes is no longer involved with the project.
The largely vacant, 17.8-acre property at 12444 Cortez Road W. includes canals on three sides that lead to the Intracoastal Waterway, and has a working marina, which will be focal point of the development.
One canal borders the northeast edge of the proposed 1800-home Peninsula Bay development planned by Manatee Fruit Co. President Whiting Preston, who had discussed connecting the canal to Palma Sola Bay through Peninsula Bay to provide for better water circulation, Grimes told The Sun last year.
Grimes’ plans for a high-end vacation motor home resort have been scrapped for Gobuty’s plans for 148 one-story elevated cottages, hotel rooms, a community center and 49 boat slips. The previous owner, Swedish businessman Peter Thurell, who bought the property in 2002 from Frank Cipriani, planned to build 36 two-story, single-family fishing village-style cottages and six townhouses atop 7,000 square feet of retail space.
Gobuty said he is using the cottage idea from Thurell’s plan, as well as the name – Thurell called the property Hunter’s Hill, using part of the original name of Cortez, Hunter’s Point, and referencing a hill on the site that contains a nuclear bomb shelter.
“I’ve been trying to create the most energy efficient home by reducing the size,” Gobuty said, citing the floor plan of 400 square feet, with 1,000 square feet of both rooftop and living-level deck, and a plan to build the units with LEEDS certification.
The units can be vacation rentals or residences depending on the homeowners’ choice, Gobuty said, adding that they are designed so that “When renters are not there, there will be no cost for power.”
Hotel rooms also will be built, but Gobuty did not specify the number, or whether or how the frequency or number of vacation rentals might be limited.
A garage fronting Cortez Road on the property will be demolished, and space will be left in case the Cortez Bridge is replaced with the largest of several choices, which could impinge on the property, he said.
Unlike his former partner, Grimes, Gobuty has no roots in the Cortez fishing village and said he has not yet spoken to anyone in the designated historic preservation district across Cortez Road from his property about his plans.
“When you come into a community, it’s always negative and you have to have mutual respect,” he said, citing community opposition to his ongoing Mirabella development, which is replacing a nine-hole golf course.
“The best part of Cortez is the authenticity,” Gobuty said. “There’s no more places like this left. You have to be right. It can’t just be about money.”