Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Progress promised for Tierra Verde restaurant, hotel

TIERRA VERDE — A new parking lot and empty tract of land is better than a decaying cluster of vacation villas, but residents are wondering what happened to a new ownership group's plans to build a hotel and restaurant at the entrance to Tierra Verde.

Three years ago Tierra Verde Marina Resort LLC paid $14.4 million for a time-share complex on 10 acres at 200 Madonna Blvd. The group hosted a meeting with about 170 residents and shared plans and drawings for a restaurant of up to 10,000 square feet and a 100-room hotel.

Since then, the development group has razed the rodent-filled time-share properties, refaced a high-and-dry facility, installed a parking lot and built new docks and seawalls. Construction has started on a dockmaster's office and a retail center, but the hotel and restaurant haven't broken ground.

"My wife and I kid about it, that we may not see it in our lifetime," said Tom Rowland, 61, who has lived in Tierra Verde since 2001. "I think it's kind of an eyesore for Tierra Verde. It's the first thing you see."

But something is coming soon, a representative of the developer promises.

"The restaurant will definitely happen in the next six months," said Christopher Longrie, spokesman for the owners group. "It will happen as soon as the right fit is there."

He said a deal will be signed within weeks.

"There are two different restaurant groups (interested) right now. They are local groups that are very well known in the area, very strongly looking at the property," he said. A local, prominent hotel group is also seriously considering taking part in developing the hotel, he said.

The dockmaster's office will include two or three retail spaces for a fuel stop, boat rentals, boat sales and a ship's store with ice cream, snacks, ice and bait. A 5,000-square-foot boat maintenance facility is also under construction.

Now that the footprint of the property has been defined and construction has begun, restaurants and hotels are closer to making a move, Longrie said.

Tierra Verde is a unique location for hotels because it has high summer traffic with Fort De Soto but a slower winter season. Yet because there are so many Tierra Verde residents with relatives who visit but prefer to stay in a hotel, that is another business sector, Longrie said.

"It's a business model that's not traditional." he said. "It's a very unique fit. There is a lot of traffic between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but then a lot of business from relatives of residents beyond that."

Diana Gabay, a resident of Tierra Verde since 1988, said she's curious about what hotel or restaurant might end up at the front of her community, but she isn't too worried.

"The only thing that could cause a real problem would be a strip club. A pawnshop would be an issue, too," she said with a laugh.

Tierra Verde Community Association president Paul Murray says he strongly believes that the developers have the best of intentions for the property and things will happen soon.

"Look how much money they have invested already and they're not making anything off it. They are going to do something high quality," he said.

Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8785.

Progress promised for Tierra Verde restaurant, hotel 12/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 2:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102