Make us your home page

Tierra Verde Marina project under way

A waterside restaurant, pool and private cabanas are scheduled to open next spring at the Tierra Verde Marina complex at 100 Pinellas Bayway S.

Rendering by Ken Bonifield

A waterside restaurant, pool and private cabanas are scheduled to open next spring at the Tierra Verde Marina complex at 100 Pinellas Bayway S.

TIERRA VERDE — The broken and splintered pilings that once greeted visitors to this coastal community are gone.

Construction equipment, including massive cranes that ripped out the pilings, have made way for new floating concrete docks that now welcome home residents along the west side of the Tierra Verde bridge.

The Tierra Verde Marina renovation and expansion project is under way.

Some 125 new wet slips are available for pre-lease and will be fully functional in 30 days.

A waterside restaurant and its accompanying pool and private cabanas are scheduled to open next spring at the complex at 100 Pinellas Bayway S.

In addition, an eight-story hotel/condominium is scheduled to be built a few years down the road.

It was a project that many thought would never be built.

When Richard Fabrizi, a former contractor and nightclub owner, bought the marina complex — a 7-acre parcel of land on the Intracoastal Waterway — for $21 million in December 2005, he had big plans to improve the property.

"I'm trying my hardest to get rid of the eyesore you see as you come across the Tierra Verde bridge," Fabrizi said.

"We are the first thing you see when you come onto the island. There are lots of beautiful multimillion-dollar houses in Tierra Verde. I'm just trying to match them."

While there was — and still is — opposition to his plan by many residents of Tierra Verde, Fabrizi has remained steadfast in his determination to build on the site. He got the city of St. Petersburg to annex the land and he began his $5 million renovation project.

A lawsuit seeking to overturn the annexation is still pending but it doesn't worry Fabrizi.

In fact, the 43-year-old's friendly manner and enthusiasm as he points out the plans for his property belie the controversy behind it.

"We're in the city (of St. Petersburg) now. We tried everything we could possibly do to stay in the county, but we just couldn't come to terms with the Tierra Verde Association," he said.

His partner in Tierra Verde Marina Holdings LLC is his Rochester, N.Y., boyhood pal, Tony Amico.

As owner of Caddy's on the Beach in Treasure Island, Amico has been embroiled in battles with that city and some residents who want to ban alcohol on Sunset Beach, where his popular beach bar and restaurant are located.

Amico was not available for comment.

As the project seems to be getting off the ground at last, Fabrizi seemed to brush off concerns about being limited in developing the property.

"Even the way the market is," Fabrizi said, "the property is on the water.

"And you know that kind of property is not going to be a loser."

fast facts

What to expect

While the wet slips are ready to be rented, the rest of the project is still being worked out. Here are some details:

• The restaurant will serve upscale beach food including fresh fish. It will have water parking for about 70 boats and will be able to accommodate 100-foot yachts.

• The restaurant will have poolside and dockside service so that up to 500 people can be served at one time.

• Boaters will be able to rent boat slips and cabanas by the day. There will be 20 private cabanas poolside and on the upper deck.

• The restaurant will have an outside tiki bar.

• The condominium/hotel will be eight stories tall but the number of units is yet to be determined.

• The floating concrete docks are equipped with a system that reduces the currents and keeps it from getting rough in the marina.

• The storefronts that are on the property will be renovated but Richard Fabrizi hopes to keep all the tenants.

• Despite the rumors, there are not going to be gambling boats or shuttles to offshore gambling boats.

Tierra Verde Marina project under way 06/02/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

    Personal Finance

    Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

  2. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo in Parkshore Plaza on the market for $1.5 million. {Courtesy of Amy Lamb/Native House Photography]
  3. Trigaux: Task now is for Water Street Tampa to build an identity


    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  4. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena


    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]