Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey pushes for action on redevelopment

Officials see inaction as the enemy in the rejuvenation of the Hacienda Hotel.

JOSEPH GARNETT JR. | Times (2002)

Officials see inaction as the enemy in the rejuvenation of the Hacienda Hotel.

NEW PORT RICHEY — City officials are anxious to ramp up redevelopment efforts of the Hacienda Hotel amid fears the historic structure could otherwise deteriorate beyond repair.

Five years ago, Community Development Partners of Georgia proposed renovating the city-owned building into a boutique hotel along Main Street. But the city's agreement with the firm has long expired.

At a City Council workshop Tuesday evening, City Manager John Schneiger said he has asked the developers to sign a term sheet agreement that would set deadlines for the completion of various steps toward getting the project off the ground, including submission of a development agreement and site plan.

So far Community Development Partners has not signed on to the terms. Schneiger said a big sticking point is a provision requiring the developer to immediately conduct structural work on the vacant 1920s building, as it is crumbling and in danger of being lost forever.

The council authorized Schneiger to negotiate the agreement further while waiting for the blessing from state and federal historic site regulators. But frustration brewed among council members who wanted to see something done before the building deteriorates so much it cannot be renovated.

"I don't feel they've really done anything," Mayor Bob Consalvo said of the developers.

Officials are eager to get the ball rolling on several redevelopment projects that have languished.

The council agreed to move toward seeking requests for qualifications from developers to build a 25- to 40-unit residential complex on the former First Baptist Church property, which the city bought in 2005 for $3.1 million. The project, dubbed the Residences at Orange Lake, would sit on about 2 acres at Central Avenue and Circle Boulevard, overlooking Orange Lake.

"We think this is an exceptional site," said the city's Orlando-based real estate consultant Thomas Kohler. "This is a beautiful piece of property."

Schneiger also announced that Gainesville developer Ken McGurn has agreed to sign an agreement with the city for completing the streetscaping work on Main Street Landing, a mixed residential/commercial development that has long been stalled at Main Street and River Road.

The city has agreed to spend up to $200,000 to complete streetscaping improvements on public portions of the development, including sidewalk improvements, street lighting, sewer and landscaping, while McGurn has agreed pay for matching streetscaping on private portions of the development.

At the same time, McGurn has also agreed to complete the shell of his development and finish the roof, as well as adding windows and doors. The measure is an effort to improve what council members have called an eyesore at New Port Richey's gateway.

"It's an aesthetics issue, in that it's been unsightly," Schneiger said.

It remains up in the air when the entire development will be completed and can be inhabited by tenants, he said.

Still, Consalvo said he'd take small steps over no movement at all."Even if they're little steps, it's better than nothing," he said. "This could be the re-birth of New Port Richey."

New Port Richey pushes for action on redevelopment 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 8:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Man found dead in Dunedin canal identified as missing 63-year-old

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday identified the man found floating in a Dunedin canal as the man who was reported missing last week.

    Charles P. Morris, 63, was found dead in a canal in Dunedin behind Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park, at 605 Michigan Blvd. around 3:48 p.m. Monday. He was reported missing June 21 after he was last seen leaving his home the night before to walk his dog. [ Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It's fake


    The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

    A framed copy of Time magazine, dated March 1, 2009, that hangs in at least four of President Donald Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland, is fake. There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time. The real March 2, 2009, issue of Time featured actor Kate Winslet on the cover. But the issue makes no mention of Trump. [Left, Time; right, Angel Valentin for the Washington Post]
  3. Editorial: The human cost of slashing Medicaid


    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no choice Tuesday but to postpone voting this week on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that is just as devastating as the version passed by the House. The Congressional Budget Office's estimate that Senate bill would eliminate health care coverage for 22 million …

    Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  4. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick


    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at …

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.
  5. Editorial: Scott's poor choice for CFO


    Gov. Rick Scott didn't reach too deeply into Florida's talent pool in appointing his friend Jimmy Patronis to fill a vacancy as the state's new chief financial officer. This is an exceptionally weak choice for a Cabinet post that requires a sophisticated understanding of banking and other financial services, and it …