Condos in community near beaches, schools
In West Bradenton, on the north side of Manatee Avenue, near the start of Palma Sola Causeway, is Pine Bay Forest, a beautiful condominium community. The name refers to its proximity to Palma Sola Bay and the densely wooded surroundings — pines, palms, banyans, dwarf palms, and other lush tropical shrubs — that give the neighborhood a park-like feel.
Simple signage surrounded by attractive landscaping at West 75th and 81st Streets indicates the east and west entrances and boundaries of the subdivision. Two blocks north, Third Avenue West marks the northern boundary.
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“Pine Bay Forest is a great little development, quiet and secluded, with a great location and amenities,” said Ed Martinez, an agent for Bright Realty.
A nature trail leads to a large wooden deck overlooking Palma Sola Bay, where residents can watch dolphins and manatees and enjoy beautiful Florida sunsets. The community pool is heated all year round. Other amenities include a hot tub and sauna, tennis and shuffleboard courts, and a kayak launch with storage.
Situated on 22 acres, the community was developed from 1980 to 1982. In total, there are 119 homes in 21 single-story buildings. They are divided almost equally into 58 semi-detached three-bedroom and 60 two-bedroom units and a detached house. The living area ranges from 1,105 to 1,650 square feet. Adjoining units have covered parking, small private patios, and screened-in porches.
Several condos have been renovated inside. “The units have high vaulted ceilings, so some owners have added loft space for an office or an additional bedroom,” Martinez said.
It does in its listing at 7520 Fourth Ave., #7520. The two-bed, two-bath unit, with 1,249 square feet under air, has a spiral staircase leading to a bedroom downstairs. mezzanine. Interior renovations include new tiling, redone bathrooms and an upgraded kitchen with new stainless steel countertops and appliances. According to Martinez, the owner is motivated to sell the condo fully furnished. The asking price is $365,000.
Pine Bay Forest’s demographics include retirees, workers, and families with children. Most live there year round. Although rentals are permitted, owners must wait a year before they can rent out their unit. HOA regulations also allow an animal under 20 pounds.
“The residents know each other pretty well,” Martinez said. “They do things together – barbecues and potlucks, cocktails and happy hour on the large community terrace.”
They also appreciate the convenient location. Two of the district’s schools, Palma Sola Elementary and Martha B. King Middle, are less than a mile north. Manatee High School is three miles east.
Anna Maria Island and its Gulf beaches are five minutes west. Near Robinson Preserve, various parks, golf courses and other recreational facilities are easily accessible by car.
Shops and restaurants abound along Manatee Avenue. Palma Sola Causeway Park, within walking distance, offers horseback riding, kayaking, and a sandstrip with picnic tables.
HOA fees at Pine Bay Forest start at $600 per month and vary depending on the square footage of the units. Fees cover maintenance of all amenities, insurance and upkeep of condo grounds, common areas and exteriors.
When units hit the market, they tend to sell out quickly. As of this writing, there are two condos on the market: Martinez’s listing and a two-bed, two-bath unit at 7919 Fourth Ave. W., No. 7919, which has an asking price of $355,900.