Monday, June 18, 2018
Business

Shephard's resort on Clearwater Beach nearly doubling in size

CLEARWATER — Shephard's Beach Resort, the well-known waterfront spot with a reputation for being party central, is about to nearly double its number of hotel rooms.

Work has just begun on an 11-month construction job that will add 93 rooms and a second parking garage to the resort at the south end of Clearwater Beach.

On Monday, crews will start tearing down the older, two-story hotel building that makes up the eastern half of the nearly three-acre resort. The existing pool will also be removed.

All of that will be replaced by an eight-story hotel building with a 7,000-square-foot, tropical-themed pool surrounded by VIP cabanas for rent.

"We're basically tripling the size of the pool area," said Gerri Shephard, director of operations for the family-owned resort.

Shephard's will stay open during the construction, with its remaining 47 hotel rooms, restaurant, tiki bar, nightclub, private beach and outdoor concert stage. Guests will be allowed to use the pool at the Holiday Inn next door.

The original plan for the expansion was to build a 134-foot-tall tower with a swimming pool on top, but that has changed. "We've changed the scheme a few times," Shephard said.

Shephard's, 601-619 S Gulfview Blvd., first opened in 1976 as the Lagoon and has steadily expanded into a full-fledged resort with an attached entertainment complex. It's a popular weekend party spot known for reggae bands and bikini contests.

Its partying ways have occasionally been a source of controversy.

In 2009, when Shephard's was asking for the city's approval to get bigger, the City Council talked of putting limits on loud, late-night music at the resort. Council member George Cretekos, who was not yet mayor at the time, said he routinely heard complaints about the resort's music from his neighbors on Sand Key, which is across Clearwater Pass from Shephard's.

After some debate, council members didn't impose any new limits on Shephard's. They noted that Clearwater already had a citywide noise ordinance.

Asked about Shephard's this week, Mayor Cretekos smiled wide and said, "Shephard's is a good community partner. As they expand, I'm confident they'll work with us."

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
Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

ST. PETERSBURG — Edward White Hospital, closed four years ago because of declining revenues, has been sold to developer Grady Pridgen for $2.7 million.Pridgen is the second developer to see potential in the hospital site at the 2300 block of 9th Aven...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

SAN FRANCISCO - The cold, steely arm of Fernando the Barista swirled the foam of my matcha latte, set it down gently, and waved goodbye from inside a glass case. San Francisco, 2018. Where you can get robot pizza and robot salad, and now, a robot mat...
Published: 06/16/18
Riverview’s commercial real estate prices rise as community booms

Riverview’s commercial real estate prices rise as community booms

RIVERVIEW — The basic economic principle of supply and demand defines Riverview’s current struggle with commercial real estate.With a lack of available affordable commercial properties and a booming population, demand currently exceeds supply in Rive...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

ST. PETERSBURG — A house in St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast is a finalist in HGTV’s Ultimate House Hunt contest. Built in 2007 in the Mission Revival style, the 4,000-square-foot home a block from Coffee Pot Bayou is among 12 nationwide in the "curb a...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

ST. PETERSBURG — Albert Whitted Airport wants to extend its main runway. But what would benefit the airport could also benefit the St. Pete Innovation District.Moving the runway would ease building restrictions around the airport, allowing the Univer...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Just when it seemed like Florida’s unemployment rate couldn’t get lower, it did. According to the state figures out Friday, Florida’s jobless rate dipped to a near 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May after holding steady at 3.9 percen...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Filling in a hole that was left by The Iron Yard’s exodus last year, a new computer coding school will open its doors to its first class in downtown St. Petersburg on July 23.The Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild will operate thro...
Published: 06/15/18
Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates, has bought Aventine at Boyton Beach, a 216-unit apartment community, for $43 million.Aventine, garden-style apartments that are 95 percent occupied, will be renovated and renamed "Verona at Boynton Beach."It i...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

The national battle between Big Beer and local craft breweries is playing out on the shelves of your neighborhood Publix — and some favorite Florida brewmakers are losing.The guild that represents Florida brewers says at least 12 small breweries have...
Published: 06/15/18
Accused of racial profiling, Lowe’s ends policy of checking customer receipts as they leave

Accused of racial profiling, Lowe’s ends policy of checking customer receipts as they leave

Memorial Day weekend was supposed to bring three productive days of home improvement for Will Mega, a dean at a North Philadelphia charter school.He’d go to two Lowe’s locations near his home in Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood for a grill and ...
Published: 06/15/18