Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Pinellas homeowners say they weren’t told of plans for a Topgolf in their midst

Residents of the Carillon Office Park say the city of St. Petersburg didn’t properly notice them.
Topgolf has sports entertainment complexes in Brandon and more than 50 other locations worldwide.
Published Nov. 7

Is there only a “minor” difference between an office building and a Topgolf facility with a restaurant, bar, driving range and event spaces?

A group of residents of the Carillon Office Park is suing the city of St. Petersburg, saying officials failed to notify them before approving a change in plans to permit a 67,521-square-foot Topgolf sports entertainment complex close to their homes. The site on Carillon Parkway originally had been proposed for an office tower.

In the suit recently filed in Pinellas County circuit court, Concerned Citizens of Carillon say city officials approved the change on a site plan application earlier this year "without notice, public participation or public hearings'' as required by city code.

The application did not "request a mere minor modification but rather a substantial change to the use of the space and basic intent of the original site plan,'' the suit says. "The construction of a Topgolf facility will greatly impact the status quo of residents located within the near vicinity of the development.''

The suit seeks to have the approval voided and the city blocked from issuing a development order that would allow the Topgolf project to proceed. City officials said they do not comment on pending litigation. Texas-based Topgolf, which has a complex in Brandon and dozens of other locations worldwide, did not return calls.

RELATED: Topgolf says St. Petersburg spot will open in 2020

Carillon, located in a triangle formed by Interstate 275, Ulmerton Road and Roosevelt Boulevard, is generally considered an office park with tenants that include Raymond James, Spectrum and BayCare Health. But it also is a live-in community with a Publix and hundreds of residents in apartments and townhomes.

In 2001, the city approved a site plan for construction of a 250,000-square-foot building for Aegon, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Nothing was built, and in 2012 a seemingly identical site plan was filed for the "express purpose'' of preventing the expiration of the original site plan, the suit says.

In February, the city received an application to modify the 2012 plan to construct "an outdoor commercial recreation destination with an adjoining restaurant.'' On May 29, the application was administratively approved after officials determined there had been only a "minor'' modification of the plan.

"None of the neighboring residents and property owners ... were asked to participate in the process, nor were they given notice and opportunity to attend public hearings to resolve concerns that construction of the Topgolf facility would cause for the residential neighborhoods,'' the suit said.

The homeowners also allege that the city failed to produce some documents they requested and delayed turning over others. The suit identifies only one homeowner, Jason Liu, a lawyer who lives in Carillon’s Saxony Place townhomes. The names of 13 other plaintiffs were blacked out.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  2. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  3. Hillsborough Community College solicited "non-binding letters of interest or intent” last month from developers interested in purchasing the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center on Davis Islands. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Developers have eyed the 3.7 acre waterfront parcel for years, but recent interest has prompted the college’s trustees to finally start the conversation.
  4. Tampa International Airport looking north. The Wall Street Journal ranked it the best midsize airport in America. [Times files]
    TPA took first place in the Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of U.S. airports.
  5. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.
  6. Joseph Erickson, 53, looks out the window at the gulf-[front condo he thought he won at a foreclosure auction last year.t JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    "There have been serious allegations,'' Judge Keith Meyer said.
  7. Sam's Club fulfillment center manager Nick Barbieri explains to a shopper how the new Scan & Go shop works at 5135 S Dale Mabry Highway. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Shoppers in Tampa Bay can now skip the line and cash out alcohol on their own phones.
  8. Which cars hold their value best in Tampa Bay? Pictured is traffic in Tampa Bay in 2017. [Times file photo] ELLIOTT, LOREN  |  Elliott, Loren
    For the top spots, think big and rugged.
  9. A rendering of the planned Pinstripes bowling, bocce and bistro space that is planned to open at International Plaza alongside a Cinemex in spring 2021. Pinstripes
    In addition to upscale bowling and movies, there will also be bocce ball and a bistro.
  10. Tech Data's headquarters in Largo. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The company is being sold to a private equity firm.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement