Archives for July 2008

Spyglass Resort Makes Way For New Hotel & Timeshare

The Spyglass Resort on Clearwater Beach was imploded last night on live television. The landmark was brought down with over 400 sticks of dynamite. Once the tallest building on the beach, it featured a large balloon mural on one side. It will be replaced with a hotel and timeshare, The Clearwater Beach Resort. Illusionis Criss Angel used the implosion as part of a stunt, which was telvised live on A&E.

Sand Key Residents Fight Cabana Club Development

Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, the owner and redeveloper of the Belleview Biltmore and the Cabana Club, plans to replace the current club and swimming pool with a 6 story luxury 38 room boutique hotel with a large restaurant, bar and beach side cabaña amenity. Lead architect Richard Heisenbottle presented the details of the project in a public meeting last Tuesday at the Belleview Biltmore.
Many Sand Key residents say that the project is too commercial for the residential area, although the present site operates commercially. Community activists have organized opposition to the project and have fashioned an information blog and web site pointing out their objections. One is heavy beach use as a result of the hotel and cabanas in an area they consider environmentally sensitive. Ocean views coveted by residents near the project could conceivably be diminished by the height of the proposed building. It measures 67 feet above the flood zone line that is approximately 6 feet above ground level at the site. The code calls for 25 feet, but many buildings in the area surpass that and 2 properties at 1350 and 1370 Gulf Boulevard have received variances to 80 feet within the past three years.
Design and construction plans that have been revised by the developer seek various deviations to the Community Development Code including set backs, distance to neighboring properties and building height, all of which pose problems according to opponents. The issues are now under review by the Clearwater Planning Department and a report should be available in August with city staff recommendations concerning the variances. The board will study the report before taking action on the issues at their August 19th meeting at city hall.

Treasure Island Publix Near Completion

Construction of a new Publix supermarket in Treasure Island is on schedule and the store will open in late August. The 2 story 28,000-square-foot store at Gulf Boulevard is unlike any other Publix. The store features parking spaces on the first level under the store. The 2 levels are connected by 4 elevators, each large enough to accommodate at least 2 customers and their carts.

Amenities include a boat dock, allowing customers to visit the store via boat, and an outdoor picnic area. Unlike many existing Publix stores, the new store will not offer a Greenwise section (organic products will be integrated with non organic products) or pharmacy. The store will have floral products, sushi and full-service meat, seafood, deli and bakery departments.

It include two retail locations for other businesses, one has been leased to a Subway and the other is still available.

Beach Walk Dedication Cermony July 19th

The City of Clearwater and Sunsets at Pier 60 will Celebrate Beach Walk on Saturday, July 19th. A dedication ceremony will begin at 6 pm at the Sundial Plaza at Beach Walk, with a fireworks display at 9:30 pm. There will be musicians, street entertainers, local mascots, and performers along the Beach Walk promenade. Many beach businesses will be offering specials during the celebration. Fireworks are at 9:30 p.m.

Beach Walk was designed to revitalize the community that surrounds Clearwater’s popular south beach destination. The $30-million project has attracted new hotel development to the beach and will bring new tourism to the area. Beach Walk was opened in the spring ahead of schedule, this cermony makes it official.

Radisson Will Get $20M Makeover, Become Marriott

The Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Pinellas Park will undergo a $20 million expansion and become a Marriott. Plans are in place to bring ESPN to the facility when Super Bowl 2009 played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. A 9 story addition will be added to the present building, adding 50 suites to the property. The present rooms will undergo massive renovations. Meeting facilities will be expanded from 10,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet and a two-story tall waterfall will be the centerpiece of the new lobby area. The Bellarte restaurant will be converted into a high-end eatery with upscale food and liquors. The gym will be relocated to the 1st floor and transformed into a fitness center with the latest exercise equipment. The swimming pool will be relocated to another area of the property and the current pool area will be converted into a new outdoor restaurant. Work will be done in 3 phases.Most of the first phase of work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31st and work on the new nine-story addition is scheduled to begin in April 2009.