Make us your home page

Condo dreams gone, developers seek buyer for Dunedin land

Developers of what was to be the Marina condo project seek a buyer for 1.6 acres of waterfront property in Dunedin.


Developers of what was to be the Marina condo project seek a buyer for 1.6 acres of waterfront property in Dunedin.

DUNEDIN — After about $1-million in renovations, the old Victoria Lodge has a new tin roof, turquoise shingles with white trim and a tropical landscape. But the only traffic Friday flew by: an egret, an osprey and a flock of small birds.

Just inside the building, built in 1903, a photo of three smiling developers hangs near the door. And a big "Marina 200 Main Street" sign hangs near an empty sales desk.

If buyers had come, the house was to have been the recreation center for condos.

But now, another big sign has gone up on the Main Street side of the 1.6 acres: "Great Dunedin waterfront site available."

Jim Egnew, Richard Gehring and Bill Kimpton are advertising for buyers or investors for their much-ballyhooed $30-million Marina project.

After spending more than $2-million of their own money, the developers of the Main Street project are being sued by their bank for defaulting on nearly $5.7-million in loans.

"We're trying to find a developer to either step into the footprint of our project or perhaps an alternative project," said Kimpton.

In 2004 and 2005, they paid about $3.7-million for the old Victoria Lodge, the Bay Palms motel and the Sun Blest Apartments at Victoria Drive and Main Street, according to figures on the property appraiser's Web site. The partners invested in an extensive renovation of the 1903 house and in demolishing the others.

About 10 brokers have contacted Kimpton, he said, and he's waiting to hear back from them about their prospects.

"They seem to have some contacts with people out there who are looking," Kimpton said. "And we're waiting for them to bring them forward and we'll see what happens."

The bank also is a player.

"I think they are willing to discuss all the possibilities," he said.

Kimpton said a sale price has not been set, but at least one interested observer believes getting a good price will be difficult.

Only someone who can afford to buy it and hold it will buy now and they will pay 30 cents on the dollar, said Mark Klein, a Clearwater real estate broker who's familiar with the project.

Klein is president of Klein and Heuchan Realtors of Clearwater, a company that specializes in commercial and investment real estate.

Klein said the real estate market took a similar dive in the late 1980s to early 1990s during the savings and loan banking crisis.

"Banks took properties back … and finally let someone buy them for pennies on the dollar," Klein said.

Klein said his company also has vacant land for sale where condos were planned. "There is no market because supply has outstripped demand," he said.

He still thinks the Marina development could go forward.

"It will be a magnificent project — they just need some time," he said, and some assistance from the city on development deadlines, etc.

"If the bank can give them some forbearance, let them work it out, then everyone will come out whole."

Theresa Blackwell can be reached at or (727) 445-4170.

Condo dreams gone, developers seek buyer for Dunedin land 11/07/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]