Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hacienda Hotel expansion project could mean end of Sims Park playground

NEW PORT RICHEY — City Council members are poised to decide the fate of a popular playground in Sims Park, as they soon could have a resolution in front of them that would pave the way for a westward expansion of the Hacienda Hotel.

The historic hotel has been the source of city leaders' frustration for years. A down economy has stalled the project, but hopes are high again as the city and the developer of the project, Jacksonville's Community Development Partners, are again ramping up efforts to strike a deal to get construction going, possibly by 2014.

But that could spell the end for the 12,000-square-foot wooden playground west of the city-owned Hacienda, as developers want to expand the current landmark's 53 rooms into a 93-room upscale hotel, spa and meeting space.

Several board members also said at a meeting Tuesday that the playground is falling apart and has been deemed a health risk.

"Its days are numbered," council member Ginny Miller said of the playground.

But there is a future for family fun in Sims Park, as the city is seeking grants for a master plan that would include a new playground and adjacent bathrooms elsewhere, City Manager John Schneiger told the council.

Details on the Hacienda's future have yet to be mapped out as well, but the council has scheduled a work session Tuesday to discuss plans for it further, followed by a vote on a resolution in March that could give the green light to westward expansion.

For the first time in years, the city and Community Development Partners have started to communicate about a possible time line for construction to begin.

The two sides have agreed upon a nonbinding term sheet for a public/private partnership to develop the Hacienda, which includes time lines for getting the project moving. However, a Community Development Partners official did point out to the council that until a specific development agreement is achieved, the term sheet is not a contract.

The term sheet outlines progress for design and a development agreement in the coming months, the securing of financing by Community Development Partners by July 2013 and for construction to begin in January 2014.

"We're still here; we've regrouped," Andrew Ham, Community Development Partners' vice president of development, told the council.

But the first step for the developer will be a commitment from the council to a westward expansion of the project.

Currently, the city is conducting a legal review of the property the playground sits on to look for possible easements or title problems. There appears to be nothing that would prevent such an expansion, but the city is doing its due diligence, according to Schneiger.

Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe thinks the thorough check is a good move.

"It's really critical before we get too far down the road," he said.

. If you go

Hacienda Hotel work session

Want to weigh in on the future of the Hacienda Hotel? New Port Richey City Manager John Schneiger has urged the public to attend a work session in City Hall chambers at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 5919 Main St.

Hacienda Hotel expansion project could mean end of Sims Park playground 02/24/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 24, 2012 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  2. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big

    Bucs

    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  3. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  4. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  5. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings

    Blogs

    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee