Saturday, March 12, 2011

No Plans Yet For Cabana Club

The Belleview Biltmore was purchased months ago, but there's still no indication of what will become of the property. The new owners aren't rushing to sell or develop the property, and anything is possible - including saving the historic hotel. They are currently analyzing the costs of maintaining the hotel long term while looking for a development partner or buyer. Current plans involve marketing all of the hotel's properties as a package to potential buyers or developers, including the golf club and the Cabana Club on Sand Key.

Questions arose though, after internet real estate listings were found that listed the hotel, golf club and Cabana Club separately. This listings were posted on commercial real estate webiste Loopnet, by Florida Growth Realty. They listed Betsey Lurie as the contact person, and the listings said they were verified on January 11th 2011. The current owner says they know nothing about the listings and do not have immediate plans to sell the properties. The listings have since been changed, removing Florida Growth Realty as broker, and list Betsey Lurie as the broker. As of March 12, her real estate license in inactive.

After some digging, it appears this is not the first time Florida Growth Realty has been involved in questionable property ads. The St Pete Times ran a story last year about the Seminole Mall that referenced a false property advertisement. According to Robert Lurie, broker for Florida Growth Realty, his secretary accidentally posted the property listing on the internet. Other internet complaints were found as well.

Meanwhile, residents are breathing easier for the time being. Some Sand Key residents opposed the previous owner's plan for a beachfront hotel on the Biltmore's Cabana Club property. The current owners do not have any plans to develop the property for now. And there is a glimmer of hope for Belleair residents who fought for preservation of the Belleview Biltmore. The new owners have met with a historic property developer.

Zip Line Proposed For Sand Key Park

Investor Dev Pathik, founder and CEO of Sports Facility Advisory and Clearwater Canopy Tours, wants to build a zip line trail though Sand Key Park. Pathik currently operates zip line tours in Hawaii and now wants to also offer them closer to his Clearwater headquarters. The Hawaii zip line facility is so popular, tours must be booked 5 weeks in advance. The trail would attract worldwide tourists and add tens of thousands of hotel room bookings, according to his proposal.

Zip lines are seats suspended by cables that are attached to very tall towers. The proposed trail would have four or five zip lines and three or four footbridges suspended on telephone poles 35 to 40 feet high. The highest structure would be an entry tower which Pathik hopes to build on a “spoil mound” near the Sheraton Sand Key, with a combined height of 75 feet for the tower and the mound.

While he Pinellas County Parks Advisory Board likes the idea of tree-top level environmental tours of Sand Key Park, Sand Key residents and Clearwater City Council have questions and concerns. Pathik made a presentation Monday to the Clearwater City Council on Monday. It's unknown at this point if the county can move forward with the project without the council's approval. The project might require city building permits and height variances for the towers. The Sand Key Civic Association is meeting with condo associations and planning a town hall meeting on April 4 at the Sand Key Sailing Center.

Sand Key News