Waterfront Community

Harbor Cove History

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Let’s go back, the year was 1962 John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit Earth; the first Beatles single “Love Me Do” is released. John Kennedy was President, gas was only 28 cents and 90% of all Americans owned a Television!

1962 also signifies the birth of Harbor Cove, Albert Blackburn the owner and his partner, Leonard Tanner, decided to sell the wooden parcel of land as 99 year lease lots. Trailer Acres was thus formed.

1964 - 1967: The recreation building (clubhouse), seawalls on the canals, and the marina were installed.   The Civic Association was established as a non-profit organization and was incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida.  Shuffleboard courts and the laundry facility were built and streetlights were installed.

1968: New Name :The Morris Trading Company purchased the Community and the new owners stopped selling lease lots, from that day on all lots were rental lots. Trailer Acres' name was changed to Myakka River Manor

1969 - 1972: The Boat Club and Boat Club Auxiliary were formed.  The swimming pool was built, Monday morning Bowling League and the Grandmothers Club were organized.  The library was started with books being donated from residents.  Monthly dances were held accompanied by live music.

1973 - 1974:Name Changed- Mr. Sidney Adler and Mrs. Silverman purchased the Community and the name was changed to Harbor Cove. The Civic Association became the Harbor Cove Civic Association. The Recreation Hall was enlarged and modernized. Coffee hour social was held every Saturday morning. The first annual Easter sunrise service was held. The General Election of Sarasota County Precinct 042 started voting in the Hospitality Room. A Civil Defense program for hurricanes, heavy storms, or any emergency was formed.

1975 - 1984: During these years, many improvements were made in the Community through the generosity of the Community’s various Organizations.

1985 - 1986:  The Homeowners Association became incorporated (HMO). Two offers to purchase the Community were made to Mr. Adler by the Homeowners Association, but were rejected .Five Parks Association was formed by neighboring parks and they called themselves the Myakka Middens. Harbor Cove became a member of the Federation of Mobile Home Owners (FMO).

1987:   The Community was sold to Clayton, Williams and Sherwood (CWS).  Bulk rate cable TV was introduced by the Civic Association.

1988 - 1995:  Harbor Cove was declared an Adult Community and officially recognized by the state in 1991.  CWS enlarged and remodeled the Recreation Hall.  Two bocce courts and a lap pool were installed.  In 1990, the Homeowners presented lifetime leases to all residents on rented lots and a second lifetime lease was offered and signed 1992.
1996 – 1997: In April 1996, the process to purchase the Community began through the FMO Conversion Service.  Planning meetings were held throughout the summer months. In September, the FMO Conversion Service presented to the Homeowners Board a plan with a purchase price. The Board approved the package and authorized a Letter of Intent. In October; an offer was made but rejected.  A second offer was made in December, and in January 1997 the HMO announced the potential Community purchase. Weekly meetings were held to keep all residents informed and on March 13, 1997 the purchase was finalized. The first Resident Owned Community (ROC) Board meeting was held on May 7. After numerous meetings, Q&A’s, the final closing for the purchase of Harbor Cove was done on May 29, 1997. On May 30, ROC received the keys.  (YES, WE DID IT!)

1998 - 2004:
  Many needed improvements and renovations were completed under the new ownership of the Community.  In 2003, Harbor Cove Realty was established. 

2005:   The residents approved an amenities package which included renovating amenities already established along with the addition of new amenities. 

2006 - 2009: The Office Building was replaced.  Renovations were made to the Main Entrance and Compound Storage Area.   Horseshoe Pits were relocated to our new North Recreational Area and updated.  Bocce Ball Courts were rebuilt adding two additional courts. The new amenities included a Hot Tub and an Elevator to the 2nd floor of our clubhouse.  Two tennis courts were built in the new North Recreational Area along with a new Community Center housing Arts and craft, a Fitness Center, and a Woodworking Shop.  The North Recreational Area was dedicated in November 2009, signifying the completion of the Amenities Package.

2010: Kay Connor resigned as manager.

2011: This was a very controversial year because of the seawall project that had been discussed and argued over for at least ten years. It finally became apparent that it was time to move forward and the BOD of directors approved installation of the upland wall by a 6-5 vote. Harbor Cove had already lost a substantial amount of land along the Tampico side of the main canal, the Parkwood/Tampico canal, and the Fairmount/Blackburn canal. Some homes were even showing damage from loss of land. The project began in the fall of 2011 and took over a year to complete. Once part of the upland retaining wall was installed it was decided to expand the project to included areas without a seawall along the Trailorama Road. Later, the lake banks around Imperial Lake were reinforced using the same aluminum and corrugated PVC panels. The cost of this work was in excess of $1 million and was paid through refinancing our existing mortgage.

2012: The upland wall construction continued through the year. 8’ hard vinyl panels were installed into the bank to a depth of 6 feet. A wooden form was placed around the panels, and concrete was poured into the form. A concrete cap, 12” x 18” with tie rods was then installed over the concrete wall. This wall has a conservative 50 year useful life and not only protects the land against damaging erosion but actually increased the value of Harbor Cove.

2013: Several smaller projects were completed in 2013. The fishing pier off Imperial Drive was built to replace an earlier pier that had been removed due to its poor condition. Four pickleball courts were established on the existing tennis courts. The Hospitality Room was redecorated and new furnishings were purchased.

2014 – 2016: 2014 saw the arrival of our first new home in ROC’s attempt to fill all of our vacant lots to provide income rather than expenses plus beautify our community with new homes. ROC had seven vacant lots at this time. During this time Harbor Cove acquired two homes from families who no longer had use for the homes. Since we had other vacant lots, it was decided to do a minimal amount of renovation to place these two homes in suitable condition and then to rent them on an annual basis to prevent the income from being lost.

2015: The member owners of Harbor Cove approved a by-law change in the number of directors from 11 down to 9.We sold our first new home under our New Home Sales Program, and based on that success a second home was ordered for another vacant lot. We also sold one of the homes we acquired in the past and the purchaser elected to buy the lot share as well. A new lot rental agreement was offered to the lot renters that were quickly agreed to by all but 4 persons, saving appreciable increases over the coming years.

2016: began with the arrival of our third new home.This home was sold a couple of months after completion. Many much needed projects took place this year. After a year of many audio problems in the clubhouse, ROC had a new audio system installed in the entire clubhouse which included all new speakers plus new microphones. There was also a new security system installed on all buildings plus the compound and pool area. Long standing drainage issues were resolved under our new manager, who located and cleared pipe blockages and installed new drain lines. At the Annual Meeting membership approved a new stairwell tower to replace our inside stairway. After many complications and hold ups the project was started in September. The wooden stairway on the Blackburn side was also refurbished during that summer.

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Harbor Cove
499 Imperial Drive
North Port, FL 34287

Phone: (941) 426-2806
Fax:  (941) 426-9400

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