Sunday, July 15, 2018
Business

Developer unveils 3D model, renderings of Biltmore proposal

If the developer pursuing redevelopment of the historic Belleview Biltmore in Belleair gets his way, he says much of the property — including the colors, window shapes and even some of the building materials and decorations — would stay the same.

JMC Communities CEO Michael Cheezem shared a 3-D model and 2-D renderings of his $115 million proposal with the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.

The firm envisions building a three- or four-level boutique inn that mimics the original hotel's colors and Queen Anne-style architecture at the terminus of a tree-lined Belleview Boulevard. It would be erected where a pagoda lobby now stands.

"It's kind of the anchor of the community," Cheezem said. "The architectural proportions are very nearly exact."

Twenty-eight townhomes would sit to the east of the tree-lined entrance on what is vacant land, and to the west of existing single-family homes.

The inn and a community pool would be ringed by four condominium buildings featuring up to 30 units each. The proposal calls for four levels of condos and two levels of penthouses above two levels of parking — one above and one below ground.

Cheezem said the parking plan will leave plenty of space for retention ponds and Bermuda grass that will create a park-like setting reminiscent of the nearby golf course.

The 3-D model also emphasizes the contentious issue of the proposed project's scale in relation to surrounding buildings.

The average height of existing nearby residential buildings is 89 feet, with the Seaside condos peaking at 110 feet, Cheezem said.

Under his proposal, the condos would reach 84 feet tall and the two-story townhomes about 30 feet. The roughly 30-room inn would be 44 feet tall, and feature front and rear porches, and meeting space that Cheezem said could be used for weddings or other small group functions. The inn also might have a food or retail component.

"We certainly want this to be a focal point within the community," he said. "We want this to be a place people want to come on a regular basis."

The plan is a departure from the one Cheezem touted when he entered contract negotiations in January.

Cheezem had wanted to preserve and build atop the original structure's lobby and restaurant, but said cost and worries about meeting current building code standards made that plan unworkable.

Instead, he said, he will incorporate the old hotel's oak floors, doors, moldings, column details and Tiffany glass into the new design. The inn is also envisioned to feature plaques, photographs and possibly a video display where visitors can learn about famous past guests, milestones and the hotel's significance.

"The idea will be to take and use as much of that as we reasonably can in the end," he said.

The proposal has won the unanimous support of homeowner association leaders for the 553-member residential district surrounding the hotel.

"We feel the plan complements the surrounding property owners very well and, while it presents it in a new light, still preserves the history and heritage in a way that's workable and sustainable and benefits the entire community as opposed to a hotel that's falling apart," Cheezem said.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153.

Comments
This Florida burger joint is one of the 10 best in America, travel website says

This Florida burger joint is one of the 10 best in America, travel website says

A 2˝-hour drive south could land Tampa residents at one of America’s best burger joints, according the review and travel website TripAdvisor.com.The website released a list of the "10 Most Delectable Burger Joints" in America on Wednesday, placing Na...
Published: 07/14/18
SunPass is a mess. Florida could have seen it coming.

SunPass is a mess. Florida could have seen it coming.

Florida’s SunPass electronic tolling system is a mess. The vendor who runs the system has a backlog of unprocessed charges now running into the millions, a total accumulated since it stopped processing tolls on June 1.Earlier this week, after it bega...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/14/18
Florida’s economy passes $1 trillion mark Friday

Florida’s economy passes $1 trillion mark Friday

Florida may seem like another country sometimes with its wacky "Florida man" stories and uniquely-Florida crimes, but it’s like another country in a new way as of today — its economic clout. Florida’s economy topped $1 trillion Friday, meaning that i...
Published: 07/13/18
Free, eco-friendly taxi service is coming to downtown St. Petersburg this August

Free, eco-friendly taxi service is coming to downtown St. Petersburg this August

ST. PETERSBURG — As downtowns grow — like St. Petersburg’s burgeoning central city — so does traffic, carbon emission and the amount of money spent on gas.The Nickel Ride, a free, eco-friendly taxi service, is looking to change that, and the next cit...
Published: 07/13/18
So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

TAMPA — Dr. Murray Shames holds a flexible, lightweight tube as wide as two garden hoses pushed together in his office at Tampa General Hospital. The polyester tube, and its thinner fastening branches with metal wiring, will be attached inside someon...
Published: 07/13/18
Is a bike lane backlash brewing over St. Pete’s MLK Jr. Street N?

Is a bike lane backlash brewing over St. Pete’s MLK Jr. Street N?

ST. PETERSBURG — In the next month, the city is poised to launch one of the most ambitious bike lane projects in the Tampa Bay area.But some local business owners want to stop construction of those bike lanes along two miles of one of the city’s busi...
Published: 07/13/18
Study says Tampa has some of the highest overdraft and banking fees nationwide

Study says Tampa has some of the highest overdraft and banking fees nationwide

Florida, including Tampa Bay, has some of the highest bank fees in the country, according to a recent study by bank comparison site DepositAccounts.The website broke down overdraft fees, third-party ATM fees and monthly service fees to rank the 50 bi...
Published: 07/13/18

Miss out on Build-A-Bear’s Pay Your Age deal? Chuck E. Cheese has a Friday solution

Did you and your kids miss out on pay-your-age Build-A-Bear promotion? Perhaps they’d rather play some video games over a slice of pizza.In a promotion that some may say smacks a bit of piling on, Chuck E. Cheese announced an All You Can Play promoti...
Published: 07/13/18
Brink: Extending the Suncoast Parkway has gone from boondoggle to folly

Brink: Extending the Suncoast Parkway has gone from boondoggle to folly

In a few short weeks, the Suncoast 2 toll road project has gone from boondoggle to folly.State officials pitched the 13-mile extension of the Suncoast Parkway as a step toward eventually linking the road to Interstate 75 near Ocala via a project dubb...
Published: 07/13/18
Nissan recalls about 105K cars to replace Takata air bags

Nissan recalls about 105K cars to replace Takata air bags

Associated PressDETROIT — Nissan is recalling nearly 105,000 small cars to replace Takata passenger air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers. Included are the 2011 Versa sedan and the 2011 and 2012 Versa hatchbac...
Published: 07/13/18