Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin advisory panel says plans for Arcadia Luxury Apartments aren't ready for vote

DUNEDIN — Developers of a proposed Dunedin Causeway luxury apartment building will have to come before a city advisory board again next month after members said Wednesday they couldn't vote on preliminary plans that contained inconsistent and incomplete information.

Arcadia Luxury Apartments was initially approved two years ago as a condominium project. At the time, developers said they needed to pre-sell as much as 70 percent of the 20 units to finance construction.

But the economy continued to sour, so developers are instead proposing a 26-unit upscale rental complex for the vacant 1.2-acre property.

Developers appeared Wednesday before Dunedin's Local Planning Agency, a citizen advisory board that reviews matters affecting the city land development code and makes recommendations to the City Commission.

Group members called the project "exciting," but one by one they noted that the plans contained misspellings as well as blueprints and information that varied from page to page. Some documents the board requires were missing.

The seven-person board unanimously decided to give developers until their Jan. 11 meeting to submit the corrected documents and answer their questions about landscaping, stormwater retention, parking and other items.

"I can see where they're going with it and it's a great idea and I would be all for it," said board member Adam Smith, "but we kind of need all the documents to make a decision."

The proposed complex, at 265 Causeway Blvd., would be located on the south side, near the causeway's entrance, on a site that once housed the Louisiana Seafood Co.

Plans call for 56 ground-floor parking spaces, an exercise room and pool, and five stories of 1,627-square-foot, two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath units with private balconies overlooking scenic St. Joseph Sound. Anticipated rent is $1,500 to $1,800 a month.

Developers Vince Iannucci of LT Construction of Tampa Bay and Gus Damis of Clearwater said they would require tenants to sign a minimum year lease, and they anticipate accepting and approving applications before construction is complete.

Iannucci acknowledged Wednesday that they are still in the design phase, so some of the plans submitted to the planning agency were left over from the previous condominium project. He vowed to update the documents within the next couple of weeks.

Developers said that, with the economic downturn, condo sales and bank financing for them plummeted. But increased foreclosures have fueled the market for rentals.

City staff hopes year-round residency at the complex will increase business for causeway merchants, who currently rely on traffic from seasonal residents and struggle during summer months.

About a dozen residents from nearby housing developments attended Wednesday's meeting to raise concerns about blocked water views, the proposed complex's limited parking, potential effect on neighboring stormwater systems, and increased causeway traffic congestion, especially on weekends. The causeway leads to popular Honeymoon Island State Park.

Several residents and planning agency members also requested that the city research whether officials could require a completion agreement to ensure that, should the economic downturn continue, the city doesn't end up with an unfinished "white elephant" on the causeway.

Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice said the city in recent years took a cue from some beachside communities and adopted construction time limits, which allows city code enforcement to levy fines of up to $250 a day for incomplete structures and eventually foreclose.

Iannucci said he and his partners have already secured funding from lenders who took the economic climate into consideration.

"They certainly don't want to see a building that's half finished," he said.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at or (727) 445-4153.

Dunedin advisory panel says plans for Arcadia Luxury Apartments aren't ready for vote 12/15/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 7:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New Florida driver's licenses available in Tampa Bay

    State Roundup

    The new Florida IDs are beginning to roll out across the state, with some locations in Tampa Bay already carrying the cards.

    The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced it will begin to issue the new Florida driver license and ID card this month in various locations across the state. [Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles]
  2. Come on down, former 'Price Is Right' announcer Rich Fields; you're the new afternoon DJ on Q105


    There's a new afternoon drive host on classic hits radio station WRBQ-FM, better known as "Q105."

  3. From the food editor: Five things I'm enjoying in the food world right now


    Sometimes your notebook is scribbled with little thoughts here and there, things you come across in the food world and want to share but aren't sure how or when. Well, folks, I need to get some of this off my chest. Here is a somewhat random collection of culinary things I am really enjoying right now:

    Espresso Sea Salt Cookie Sandwiches with a cooked buttercream frosting, from St. Petersburg home bakery Wandering Whisk Bakeshop. Photo by Jennifer Jacobs.
  4. In Syria's Raqqa, IS makes last stand at city's stadium


    BEIRUT — U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria captured the city hospital in Raqqa on Tuesday, leaving IS militants holed up at the local stadium, their last stand in the fight over what was once the extremists' de facto capital.

    This frame grab from video released Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 and provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who surrendered entering a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. A spokesman for the SDF in Syria says it will be in control of the northern city of Raqqa "within a few days" after attacking the last pocket held by the Islamic State group. SDF fighters launched an operation to retake the last IS-held pocket of Raqqa after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered. [Furat FM via AP]
  5. Florida education news: Constitution changes, #HB7069, school security and more


    NEW RULES: Once every 20 years, Florida convenes a commission to examine whether the state constitution needs amending. Education — Article IX — can play a pivotal role, and this time around the subject appears to be coming into focus for possible change. Members of the public already have