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Homes proposal a no-go

ST. PETERSBURG — A national home builder eyeing the corner of Beach Drive and Seventh Avenue for construction of new townhomes has decided not to move forward with plans.

"The economics do not work under the underlying zoning. We are no longer under contract," said Nathan Beauregard of Houston-based David Weekley Homes.

The city of St. Petersburg recently reviewed Weekley's proposal for three- and four-story townhomes and determined they exceeded the allowable size, according to zoning official Philip Lazzara.

While Beauregard said the project is dead, another representative of the home builder told neighbors the company is planning to try again with fewer units.

"They are going back to the drawing board to see if they can redesign something for that property that meets the current zoning and of course that's exactly what we wanted to hear," said Linda Santoro, president of the Harbour Hill homeowners association. Harbour Hill is a nine-story building of condos at 700 Beach Drive NE. Residents have been concerned about the density of the project, though they were not against new construction.

Had the project moved forward, Weekley would have bought and razed three structures owned by a couple in Santa Barbara, Calif. One was the 60-year-old Courtyard Vinoy apartments at 266 Seventh Ave. NE, and two were homes with multiple rental units.

Weekley made its first move into St. Petersburg about a year ago when it bought nine Snell Isle lots for $1.7 million for spec homes. Most are completed and sold.

The company is also planning to build single-family homes on 11 lots in Allendale at 34th Avenue N and Seventh Street. Weekley bought the land for Allendale Court for $1.2 million in January from an investment group headed by Bill Bond Jr., president of FHM Insurance Co.

Katherine Snow Smith can be contacted at (727) 893-8785 or kssmith@tampabay.com.

Homes proposal a no-go 03/24/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:23pm]
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