Make us your home page

Criticism rises at shabby state of historic Parkview Hotel

A Minneapolis developer bought the 92-year-old Parkview Hotel at 7401 Central Ave. in 2007 for $3.7 million with plans to make it grand again. But the renovation stalled and the owner is behind on taxes.


A Minneapolis developer bought the 92-year-old Parkview Hotel at 7401 Central Ave. in 2007 for $3.7 million with plans to make it grand again. But the renovation stalled and the owner is behind on taxes.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Parkview Hotel at 7401 Central Ave. is for sale once again amid complaints from neighbors that the historic property is an eyesore and a dangerous, unsecured structure that attracts trespassers and swarming bees.

"There has been quite a lot of interest," said Joseph Gargiulo, a representative of the current ownership group headed by Norman Kerr of Minneapolis. He didn't comment further.

Kerr's investment group bought the 66-room, Mediterranean revival hotel in 2007 for $3.7 million with big plans to convert it into a luxury property with a restaurant and swimming pool. But work on the 92-year-old building came to a standstill more than a year ago, and Kerr hasn't paid property taxes as the building racked up code violations.

Neighbors think the city has been too lenient with the owners by extending building permits, and it has been too lax in enforcing code violations.

"If it's such a valuable landmark, why isn't the city stepping in and making them take care of it?" said Monica Abbott, a community activist who lives behind the empty hotel. "(The owners) don't even do the minimum of maintenance. (The city has) really cut them a lot of slack. A lot more slack than they do most people, I think."

Grass isn't mowed enough. There are gaps in the sidewalk. A set of stairs are crumbling. "Danger" and "Beware" signs are posted in a few windows. The building isn't secured. Bees live between the walls.

"As you come in to the western end of the city from the beaches, we are very concerned about how bad this building looks. It makes the neighborhood look pathetic," said Abbott, who is a member of the Council of Neighborhood Associations board. "It's been going on so long. From 2004 to 2007 (the hotel) had drugs and prostitution. Then from 2007 to present it's been vacant."

City building official Rick Dunn said he understands neighbors' frustrations with the lack of progress.

"It's a local landmark. Even if I took it to the level of condemnation it would take years to get through that process," he said. "Our goal is to save the landmark building if it's getting done in a reasonable amount of time."

Though the "For Sale" sign just went up, Dunn said owners are in the process of resubmitting development plans since the existing building permits have expired.

"My understanding is the partnership wants to have the opportunity to bring other investors in," Dunn said. "With the economy like it is, we've had several buildings fall into disrepair."

Abbott recently called police when she saw teenagers congregating in the vacant hotel because much of the building's construction is not sound. She has also put Gargiulo in touch with a beekeeper who added a bee box to the property to lure the insects.

Abbott is worried that if Kerr's group rehabs the hotel in a lackluster way, it will attract the same transient, low-rent patrons that caused the police to be called to the building regularly several years back.

"If it can't be something substantially brought back and with stable owners and if it's just going to be a hotel again that's just repeating bad history," she said. "I'd love to see it divided into nice, large condos."

Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or

Criticism rises at shabby state of historic Parkview Hotel 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 6:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 Fourth Ave. NE in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]