Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

Harborview rehab: $3.8M+

RECOMMENDED READING


CLEARWATER — The cost to keep the Harborview Center alive for another decade is in, and it isn't cheap: $3.8 million.

That's what consultants estimate downtown's defunct convention center would need in repairs to its roof, electrical system and the rest of the building to stay open for business long term.

That's not counting the paint, furniture and other things the city's 50-year-old behemoth would need to catch up with modern standards. Those would cost another $6 million or so, consultants said. And all for a building that a few years back was destined for the wrecking ball.

The new estimates, part of a study by Tampa architects Long & Associates, throw a wet blanket onto any hopes of keeping the center kicking into old age.

They also could hand ammunition to those who want to knock the Harborview down and refresh the Clearwater Bluff with an expansion of Coachman Park.

But no one on the City Council, which is slated to discuss the study tonight, seems ready to fork over the cash, even on the possibility that a company could want to put down roots.

"If you think that's a good investment," council member Paul Gibson said, "I have some more investments for you."

The $35,000 study was commissioned by city officials late last year after businesses began asking about moving into the waterfront white elephant.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium opened Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure, a movie exhibit, on the center's second floor in December. And leaders of the Armed Forces Military Museum have considered moving to the center since last fall.

They couldn't stay for long, though, without the center seeing serious work. Plumbing, elevators and electrical systems are old. Emergency generators need replacing. Outer walls and building joints are cracked. A new roof alone would cost $800,000.

Council members said they don't want to pay $4 million just to help the center limp along, though they would like to give it a few more years. City Manager Bill Horne said keeping the Harborview as is would cost nothing but would give the city more time to figure out its replacement.

Mayor Frank Hibbard said: "Harborview's going to go away. … It needs to go away. But two things need to happen before you demolish Harborview. You've got to have a plan of what you want to put there, and you've got to have the money to pay for it. Right now we don't have either."

Even if the city were to shift course now, the wrecking ball will need to wait. The aquarium signed a 30-month lease at the center late last year, and the armed forces museum has hinted that it might move in soon, too.

Museum officials sent invites Wednesday for a press conference next week that will include a "major announcement," including a note that directors are interested in "development of a permanent site." Messages left with the museum late Wednesday were not returned.

Some on the council questioned whether setting the Harborview's demolition date for within a few years could hamper its moneymaking potential.

Member John Doran mused why anyone would want to invest in a center storefront for only a few years.

"We might be able to hold (the Harborview) together with spit and baling wire and keep it going for a shorter period of time," Doran said, "but what good does that do?"

Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 445-4170 or [email protected] Send letters to the editor at tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

Updated: 27 minutes ago
AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

Malcolm Young, the AC/DC co-founder whose brash guitar riffs, tight songwriting and live-wire personality defined an era of rock ‘n’ roll, has died. He was 64.AC/DC announced his death on its Facebook page Saturday. The time, location and cause of hi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa couple recounts wrong-way DUI crash on Courtney Campbell Causeway

Tampa couple recounts wrong-way DUI crash on Courtney Campbell Causeway

TAMPA — Police arrested a 26-year-old man they say drove the wrong way while drunk and caused a multi-vehicle crash that injured several people late Friday on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.Collin John Cole faces two counts of driving under the influ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State had not scored more than 30 points this season before facing Delaware State. The Seminoles accomplished that early in the second quarter Saturday and didn’t let up in a 77-6 rout. The 71-point win is the second-highest ma...
Updated: 1 hour ago
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI GARDENS — The undefeated season was slipping away, and so was any realistic chance Miami had of getting into the College Football Playoff and competing for a national championship. That is, until seven seconds changed everything. Just like tha...
Updated: 2 hours ago
On the night shift in Seminole Heights, Tampa police keep watch for a killer

On the night shift in Seminole Heights, Tampa police keep watch for a killer

TAMPA — Tampa Police Lt. Gary Neal is almost halfway into his shift when the shots ring out.He jumps into his white 2016 Dodge Charger and races the few blocks from District 3 headquarters to the scene of a drive-by shooting in a city rattled by a sp...
Updated: 3 hours ago

HomeTeam Hot Shots: Female nominations for Nov. 11-17

Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate female Hot Shots from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Nov. 11-Friday, Nov. 17. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Mond...
Updated: 3 hours ago

HomeTeam Hot Shots: Male nominations for Nov. 11-17

Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male Hot Shots from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Nov. 11-Friday, Nov. 17. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Boater missing in waters north of Bradenton, dog found alive

Boater missing in waters north of Bradenton, dog found alive

CORTEZ — The Coast Guard and others are scouring the waters near Mead Point, just inland from Anna Maria Island, for a 63-year-old boater who has been missing since Friday evening. Fraser Horne, from Cortez, left Egmont Key on his 30-foot boat, Golde...
Updated: 4 hours ago