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The Club at Treasure Island to double in size, add spa, ballroom, bowling, movie theater

A rendering shows the two buildings joined by an enclosed walkway.
A rendering shows the two buildings joined by an enclosed walkway.
Published Jan. 24, 2012

TREASURE ISLAND — The Club at Treasure Island, a private membership venue featuring major entertainers, is about to more than double its size.

Bill Edwards, who rescued the former Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club from bankruptcy in 2009, said that a second building will bring his total investment to about $15 million.

Two city boards approved variances and a site plan last week for the new building that will allow the Club to sponsor much larger banquets and events.

"This will be an absolute winner for Treasure Island," Edwards, who also lives in the city, told the City Commission.

This week, Edwards is working on architectural and building plans for a 34,745-square-foot, L-shaped building.

If everything goes according to plan, building permits will be pulled within the next three months and construction completed in about a year, Edwards said.

The new building will feature an 11,000-square-foot ballroom, a foyer area for more intimate gatherings, a spa, and a gym that will be moved and expanded from the existing building.

The new ballroom can accommodate up to 600 people, Edwards said.

The existing 22,000-square-foot building will be completely renovated to provide, in addition to regular dining, a three-lane bowling alley and an intimate theater that will show 24 first-run films annually.

A redesigned single entrance to the two buildings will feature a large rotunda and a "sweeping grand staircase" taking members and visitors to the first of two floors over a ground-level parking garage.

A second-level enclosed pedestrian bridge will connect the two buildings.

The project was made possible by the City Commission's approval of two variances. One is for an additional 10 feet of building height to allow the new two-story-over-parking building to equal the height of the existing clubhouse. The other permits the Club to have less parking than would normally be required, but in actuality, the facility will add 162 spaces to the 188 existing ones.

To make room for the new building and additional parking, 10 of the existing 14 tennis courts will be eliminated.

The city's Planning Commission approved the site plan for the project Thursday.

The new building, designed by the Rockwell Group of international architects in association with Matta Architecture of Tierra Verde, will mirror the existing building's Mediterranean Revival design but take it a "step above," according to Kevin Dunn, the Club's agent for the project.

"This is the culmination of a long planning effort," Dunn told the Planning Commission. "We hope that when the project is open it will meet and exceed the expectations of the community."

Over the past three years, the Club has become known for featuring entertainers like Abba, Joe Piscopo, Jon Secada, KC & the Sunshine Band, the Isley Brothers, Wayne Brady, the Platters, Lainie Kazan, the Rat Pack, and Ben Vereen.

The Florida Orchestra's Principal Winds Quintet will perform Friday. Entertainers booked over the next few months include Greg Proops, the Boogie Wonder Band, Chita Rivera, David Cassidy and Kevin Nealon.

The Club also offers yachting from 41 boat slips, tennis, WaveRunner rentals, a fitness center, a swimming pool, and social and educational programs for adults and children.

Edwards, chief executive of Mortgage Investors Corp., operates the recording, touring and promotional companies Big3 Entertainment and Bill Edwards Presents, owns two Treasure Island hotels and the Garden Restaurant, recently bought the BayWalk complex in St. Petersburg, and manages and pledged to donate millions to the Mahaffey Theater, also in St. Petersburg.