Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater finally cuts the ribbon on new boat slips downtown

CLEARWATER — It took a decade and a focused campaign, but downtown boat slips are finally a reality.

On Thursday, community leaders celebrated the new marina they hope will help jump-start the economy downtown.

"It is another piece of the puzzle in making the downtown a very attractive place to come," said Mayor Frank Hibbard.

So far, just 38 of the 126 boat slips on Clearwater Harbor have been reserved. Those just south of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway bridge were finished earlier this year. The rest, north of the bridge, were wrapped up on Wednesday.

Critics have called them a waste of taxpayer money.

Hibbard acknowledged the timing might be off in light of the economy. But he told the crowd of about 150 at the celebration that he feels "100 percent assured this is going to be a success over time."

Three years ago, Clearwater voters narrowly approved the $12.8 million marina project, which includes a nearby promenade, boardwalk and fishing pier.

"If you remember, this odyssey started in 2003," Hibbard said. The next year, a referendum failed.

Scope was part of the problem, Hibbard said. The previous proposal included a garage and amphitheater on the waterfront near Coachman Park.

The other part was misinformation, he said.

Before the 2004 vote, a group called Save the Bayfront sent out an erroneous flier that showed a hodgepodge of items, like a fuel depot and fences, which weren't part of the plan.

"When we were first presenting this to the public there were a lot of misconceptions," said Bill Morris, director of Clearwater's marine and aviation department. "We had to get a consistent message out to the public."

A sweeping downtown redevelopment plan that included boat slips also failed a decade ago.

"We just kept coming back and fine tuning it and here we are today," said Vice Mayor John Doran. "I could never understand why we would have a bay without boat slips."

The slips range from 30 to 55 feet. Clearwater residents pay $9 per foot per month, and nonresidents pay $10.50. The marina also has space for free daytime visits and overnight slips, which run $2 per foot.

Morris said he expects the marina to be busy in October with the Clearwater Super Boat race and the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

The slips may also be an asset for a nearby condominium tower, whose new owner recently slashed prices. So far, there are commitments to buy 30 units at Water's Edge, said condominium spokeswoman Karla Jo Helms.

The boat slips provide "an extra amenity that helps the sales," she said.

Lorri Helfand can be reached at lorri@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4155.

Clearwater finally cuts the ribbon on new boat slips downtown 09/02/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 2, 2010 8:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    Times sports columnist Tom Jones looks back at Tuesday night's episode of Hard Knocks, the HBO show that is following the Bucs in training camp.

    Best moment

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  3. Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed by another police union

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement
  4. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulffront hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  5. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.