Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Madeira Beach considers new parking garage at John's Pass

MADEIRA BEACH — Fourteen years after rejecting a proposed parking garage on city-owned land in John's Pass, the city is thinking again about getting into the business.

Commissioner Nancy Oakley wants the commission to consider using some of its property, as well as land owned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars post as the location of a city-owned parking garage.

"The pass is packed now. What happens when the aquarium opens in December?" she asked fellow commissioners during a workshop discussion last week.

She said the VFW is interested in "giving up" its land if the organization is guaranteed the new building will include space for the post on the top floor.

Mayor Travis Palladeno suggested that instead of taxpayer money being used to build the garage, a private company could build it in exchange for a 99-year lease.

Ironically, that idea is what derailed a similar proposal in 1998 when a previous city commission rejected building a parking garage in John's Pass.

A German company had offered to build a $2.5 million automated garage on city-provided land. Once it was operational and costs paid back, the city would have shared in the parking revenues.

The proposed 66-foot-high cylindrical garage was to be fully automated and hold up to 240 cars.

Commissioners at the time envisioned the structure to include a revolving restaurant on the top of the garage, but the proposal collapsed over the issue of a 99-year lease on city land.

Some commissioners at the time also wanted the city to consider building its own garage and retaining all the revenue.

Nothing was done, however, until 2003 when Hubbard Enterprises received permission from the city to build a 350-space parking garage and multistory structure with retail and restaurant space at the base of the John's Pass Bridge.

The garage, now operating, was part of the Hubbard's $19.5 million redevelopment at the base of the John's Pass boardwalk.

The former open parking lot was converted into 12,000 square feet of commercial space wrapped around 327 parking spaces in the parking garage.

The new 12,000-square-foot boardwalk buildings replaced 6,000 square feet of space, Hubbard's leasable space.

Now, the Pier Aquarium is planning to move from its St. Petersburg location into some of that space.

Plans call for the Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium to open its new location at John's Pass Village in December.

The 12,500-square-foot aquarium is to be located on two floors next to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Hooters.

Forty exhibits with touch screens, creatures to touch or other interactive experiences are planned. The aquarium would focus on a theme of learning about marine science, how information from the sea is gathered and how it's used.

However, City Manager Shane Crawford, who has been meeting with the parties involved in the new attraction for John's Pass, said it is not a certainty.

Commissioner Robin Vander Velde worried that if the aquarium does not move to John's Pass, the city might be "stuck with a white elephant."

"There are all sorts of intricacies in play," Crawford said. "It's fair to say that the aquarium is not a done deal."

He agreed with commissioners that if the aquarium does open in December, it will create major parking problems in John's Pass.

The commission plans to debate the issue again at its next workshop meeting.

Madeira Beach considers new parking garage at John's Pass 03/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, first said the boy raped her, then changed her story, detectives say.