Manatee Chamber Moves (Back) Into New HQ

Business

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY JUL 8, 2019

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce this week expects to open up in a new space in Downtown Bradenton. That comes more than a year after leaving a building it had occupied since the 1960s.

“We're thrilled with how this new space will enhance our ability to serve our members and the community,” read a memo from Chamber staff to members.

“We are so proud of our role as the ‘face of business’ in the greater Manatee County region and both our Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch offices are here to welcome residents and visitors, connect consumers with our members and strengthen our business environment.”

Since last April, the Chamber has operated in a space within the Bank of Ozarks building in Downtown Bradenton. The organization moved there to make room for a mixed-use project being constructed on 10th Street and 3rd Avenue West. Now, the Chamber will move back to the same 10th Street address but into newly constructed space attached to a new city parking structure.

“The Manatee Chamber is about people and the businesses that they own and are employed by and we are so excited about how our new Bradenton office will complement our Lakewood Ranch office as a hub of business leadership," Chamber President Jacki Dezelski told SRQ. "Business people, residents, and visitors will find a welcoming, beautiful space through which to find information, make connections, and share ideas.".

Chamber staff closed both its Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch offices on Friday so all hands could be available to move out of the Bank of the Ozarks. The Lakewood Ranch office has re-opened, but Bradenton staff are focused on moving into the new digs downtown.

The new office will open on Tuesday, though staff warned visitors to “expect a little clutter as we unpack.”

The Manatee Chamber dates its roots back the 1890s, and, for the bulk of the last half century, 10th street has housed the business organization. Dezelski expects the new space, which boasts a recognizable exterior stretching up four stories of the new garage, to be the organization’s headquarters for the foreseeable future.

"Hats off to the City for its vision for the entire garage project," Dezelski said. "The Manatee Chamber has been a visible business advocate and community ambassador from this corner in downtown since the 1960s. We’re ready to start our next chapter."

A ribbon-cutting and official grand opening will be announced in coming weeks, Chamber officials said.

Photo Courtesy Manatee Chamber of Commerce

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