Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

New 15-story hotel planned for prime spot on Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — Ocean Properties might be the biggest hotel company you've never heard of, and it's taking a major interest in Clearwater Beach.

After years of delay due to the Great Recession, the international conglomerate is finally getting ready to build a dramatic-looking, crescent-shaped, 15-story hotel at a prime location on the Gulf of Mexico where the Adam's Mark hotel once stood. The site on the western side of S Gulfview Boulevard now serves as a beach parking lot.

Ocean Properties also has a 50 percent stake in the Sandpearl Resort, and it recently bought a large vacant parcel near the Sand Key Bridge that was once slated for a condo mega-development called Marquesas.

But the Adam's Mark site is where the company will be making its next move. Ocean Properties, which owns and manages more than 100 hotels in the United States and Canada, first got Clearwater's approval to build a hotel on the Adam's Mark property in 2008. But construction never started because the economy soured.

Now the company is back with plans to put a 230-room hotel with a restaurant, bar and five-story parking garage at the south end of the BeachWalk promenade.

"They're a very sophisticated owner and developer of hotel properties," said Ed Armstrong, a Clearwater land-use attorney representing the company. "They're interested in moving forward as quickly as possible."

Ocean Properties has been talking to city officials about making some changes to architectural plans for the hotel that it submitted five years ago.

Clearwater's planning director, Michael Delk, said the changes appear to be relatively minor, mostly having to do with eliminating some shade from the swimming pool area.

Armstrong said the company intends to file new plans within the next two months. It will then seek approval from the city's Community Development Board, which green-lighted the original hotel design.

"The overall appearance is not changing," Armstrong said. "The architecture is the same."

The number of rooms in the hotel will also stay the same, he said.

• • •

The Adam's Mark hotel chain, which once included more than 20 upscale hotels, no longer exists. On Clearwater Beach, a 14-story Adam's Mark at 430 S Gulfview Blvd. was a local landmark for nearly 30 years.

It was demolished in 2005 to make way for a luxury condominium tower that was going to be called the Indigo Beach Residences. Then the condo market went bust, and the condo developer, Taylor Woodrow, sold the site to Ocean Properties at a loss. Taylor Woodrow, a British company, had bought the site for $31.5 million in 2005 and sold it for $17.5 million in 2007.

Ocean Properties operates hotels with brands that include Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Westin. It has not announced which brand, if any, will be on the Clearwater Beach site.

No one at the publicity-shy company's headquarters in Delray Beach was available to talk about the hotel this week.

Among the company's three dozen hotels in Florida are a Residence Inn in Treasure Island and a SpringHill Suites by Marriott in New Tampa.

Since late 2010, Ocean Properties has been the managing partner of the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach. The company bought a 50 percent stake in it, becoming partners with JMC Communities of St. Petersburg, which developed the resort.

JMC Communities and its CEO, Mike Cheezum, also built the Mandalay Beach Club and Belle Harbor condominium projects on Clearwater Beach.

At one time, JMC had also planned a fourth project on the beach: Marquesas, a $200 million development, would have featured two condo towers on nearly 6 acres just northwest of the bridge to Sand Key.

Marquesas never happened. Ocean Properties recently acquired the site. It's not clear at this point what the company plans to do with it.

"It's not as imminent as the Adam's Mark, which is the current focus," Armstrong said.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18