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Seminole tentatively okays Bay Pines development, strings attached

SEMINOLE — Council members here have tentatively approved an agreement that would bind a developer to certain standards when renovating the former Bay Pines Mobile Home Park.

Among those requirements are sidewalks, a fire station, a hotel and replacement of trees that were removed to clear the way for construction. The deal also requires that all buildings must be in a Mediterranean style compatible with the architecture of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center across the street. Seminole is also requiring the developer to contribute $163,072 to the city's tree/landscape mitigation fund to reforest other areas in the city.

The City Council is expected to give final approval to the agreement Feb. 12.

The almost 60 acres at 10005 Bay Pines Blvd. was once a mecca for seniors who lived in tree-shaded mobile homes.

Developer John Loder's Bay Pines LP bought the acreage in May 2006 for $38.5 million. The company evicted the mobile home owners to make way for 800 upscale townhomes. But Loder went under, and the project never got off the ground. The land remained vacant for several years.

Kitson & Partners, a Palm Beach Gardens development company, bought the land in 2010 for $7.65 million. Kitson, founded in 1992, is a large-scale developer responsible for the 18,000-acre Babcock Ranch in Charlotte and Lee counties that is to be the site of a city powered entirely by the world's largest solar photovoltaic array.

The Bay Pines property will hold residential and commercial projects.

A 330-unit upscale apartment complex is already being built along the western and northwestern side of the acreage. It will be called the Courtney at Bay Pines. The site plan shows eight apartment buildings, multiple garages and a clubhouse, pool and playground. The apartment buildings will be two, three and four stories. In them will be 18 studio units, 134 one-bedroom apartments, 152 two-bedroom units and 26 three-bedroom apartments.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Seminole tentatively okays Bay Pines development, strings attached 01/26/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 27, 2013 1:08pm]

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