Bradenton – the City on the Braden River.
Bradenton is the place where the search for Gold began – way before the Klondike gold rush. Okay, the Klondike region is in Canada, but where is Bradenton? Located between Tampa/St. Petersburg and Sarasota, this city is the seat of Manatee County and a fabulous place to explore the arts, historical attractions, or simply have fun in the sun on the numerous beaches in the area. You can spend an evening dining out or have a drink with friends in one of the many restaurants or pubs in downtown’s historic Old Main Street. That doesn’t sound too bad so far.
Big Sailboats on the Horizon
Hernando De Soto explored the area around Bradenton already in 1539. While he was looking for gold, the “Fountain of Youth” or at least the legendary city called “El Dorado.” Nobody knows for sure what was on his mind – probably not even the guy himself knew what he was after. It turned out that he should not be too successful in his search for wealth and fame.
He did not find any gold, nor did he find the Fountain of Youth. And forget about the legendary city of El Dorado. So his search went on and on. He left Florida very disappointed. Eventually, he got sick, and a fever took his life at age 45. His fellows wrapped him in cloth and sank his corpse in the middle of the Mississippi River. The final curtain fell – that was the sad end of the first European “tourist.”
Even today Hernando De Soto is still present. You can see his footsteps everywhere in the area. Really? Well, quite a few streets and places a bearing his name, and here and there you might find a little statue or picture of the first European.
Never was a single grain of gold discovered in the Bradenton area, and the fact that there are a lot of young families in the area does not necessarily mean that the residents found the Fountain of Youth lately. There are other reasons why there are so many young families residing in Manatee County. We will talk about that a little later.
The late 1800’s became the Starting Point
In the early 19th century there was not a whole lot going on in that place, but it was steadily growing. The great depression killed the growing process for a while like everywhere in the world. In the mid 30’s it got better again, and the current City of Bradenton was eventually formed in 1943 when the cities of “Bradentown” and “Manatee” merged.
Names changed, streets were carved through the land, and more buildings popped up, businesses and people moved to Bradenton and now the city has a respectable size. The city of 52,000 is surrounded by waterways, both saltwater, and freshwater. Therefore, Bradenton offers a lot of opportunities for home buyers who are dreaming of a waterfront property. Waterfront locations used to be more affordable than anywhere else. That has changed, of course.
Is the Population in Bradenton different?
The overall population in Bradenton is younger compared to other cities in the region. So here must be a Fountain of Youth. It is the economy. Better job opportunities are attracting more young folks. It is that simple. Sorry old folks, there is no fountain of youth, no secret. Just better jobs. Especially the construction industry and everything that has to do with building or remodeling homes needs a lot of younger guys.
However, Bradenton is not all about construction. Big chain stores, small family owned stores, lawyers, and doctor’s offices, hairdressers, an enormous new mall, and little fancy stores…everything is available when a city is booming and bustling.
What happens to older people? They are not actively driven out, but many retirees prefer to live in quieter communities a little further south. They are often done with young kids, especially when they are firing up their moped at 7 o’clock in the morning. Many of them want 55+ communities now, the only place where it seems to be more predictable and quieter.
Schools and Universities
There are a lot of schools and colleges because of that influx of younger families. Colleges near Bradenton include the University of South-Florida-Manatee campus, State College of Florida, New College of Florida, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Gordon University, and Manatee Technical Institute. An excellent variety of first class education.
But Bradenton is not all about schools either. The city is also known for its Historic District and the Village of the Arts. Old buildings, street cafes, cozy restaurants, little stores stuffed with all kinds of artwork are around. You will love it there.
By the way, the fastest-growing and most popular subdivision is the Lakewood Ranch community, which is huge and still expanding. This little city, divided into seven different villages, gives the home hunter a lot of different options. Lakewood Ranch is a town of its own with schools, stores, a medical center and the main street where people meet and greet.
Real Estate in Bradenton is incredibly diverse
Prices for homes are far spread in Bradenton/Manatee County. Single-family homes come with prices between $100,000 to $3,000,000 and more. Townhouses are for sale between $100,000 and $500,000, and villas are for sale between $100,000 and $200,000. Wow! $100,000? What a deal! Don’t expect too much, though. You might be disappointed when you see that “deal,” but when you are handy and have enough tools and time, it might work for you. You can get homes on acreages further inland, and you can get homes on acreage directly on the Braden or Manatee River. Properties on the river are combining country lifestyle with your boating ambitions.
New developments offer a variety of brand new homes in gated and manicured communities. Explore real estate listings in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Parrish and Sarasota on our website. Contact us if you need more information about particular areas or specific homes for sale.
Check out more Neighborhoods in the area