Builders could be invited to bid on Visualize Clearwater mixed use jobs this month

Catrina P. Smith

CLEARWATER — It’s a lot more than a yr away, but the March 2022 Clearwater election will probably identify the destiny of a landmark metropolis undertaking.


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At that faraway date, town citizens could vote on the redevelopment designs for a few city-owned parcels surrounding the quickly-to-be remodeled downtown waterfront.

The Clearwater Town Council will make a decision on that timeline Thursday, when it will vote on issuing a ask for for proposals by the finish of this month to produce the land and decide a finalist by April 30.

Throughout a discussion Monday, only Council Member Kathleen Beckman apprehensive about the “tough election” that could final result from a ballot with a town referendum on major of two council races. She also said she was concerned the March 2020 day didn’t provide adequate time to collect input from citizens.

But her colleagues showed support for the timeline on a undertaking that has been regarded for more than 5 several years.

Council Member Hoyt Hamilton reported it would be tough for the marketing campaign to derail the undertaking if the request for proposal received unanimous assist from the board.

“We’ve been kicking this can far too damn extended,” Hamilton said.

The metropolis charter demands voter approval on the sale or lease of the website of the now-demolished Harborview Heart on Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Road as very well as the parcel with the vacant City Corridor on Osceola Avenue. A referendum is not demanded on the third redevelopment website, an vacant good deal on Pierce Road throughout the avenue from City Hall.

The metropolis is trying to get a combination of household, retail and parking on the web-sites, with the chance of a resort. The assignments would border the approximately 22-acre park with a live performance location, a backyard garden, playground, greenspace, path and gateway plaza.

The city expects to split floor on the $64 million park in March or April with a target completion day of Drop 2023.

The draft request for proposal for the three blended use developments indicates the town would entertain a person developer to construct on all a few web-sites or many firms.

Assistant City Supervisor Michael Delk said the city is in the process of obtaining new appraisals on the homes. But the most modern figures offered past year set the 3 sites’ values at a mixed $23.5 million.

The metropolis could give incentives these kinds of as supplemental density, up to $5 million of funding for rental housing from the community redevelopment agency, up to $2.5 million from the parking fund and other city guidance for allow and impression charges, Delk mentioned.

Reward points will be added to developers’ bids that contain cultural features, more than 200 rental models throughout all three web pages and supplemental develop-outs that are not at the moment incorporated in the park plan. Beckman claimed a person bonus criteria, Management in Power and Environmental Style certification for eco-friendly design, must be a necessity, which will be mentioned far more Thursday.

The city will confront a hard landscape for attracting traders to a downtown that has struggled for many years. In May possibly, the metropolis invited 50 regional and countrywide builders to submit conceptual concepts for the 3 redevelopment web-sites in advance of this official bidding procedure.

Only two responded. Mercury Advisors founder Ken Stoltenberg, who has created various jobs in Tampa’s Channel district, claimed he declined Clearwater’s invitation for the reason that the variety of downtown houses that the Church of Scientology controls all-around the park generates “a big unfamiliar and that’s no area I want to go.”

On major of that, the progress field is in midst of navigating the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Bureau of Labor Data, development employment in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater metro location declined by 5 percent, or 3,900 work, across all forms of development involving October 2019 and Oct 2020.

Non-public residential design, having said that, has been steadier than professional nationwide. Paying on household design rose 7.5 % from February to Oct this calendar year, according to the Census Bureau.

When it will come to household advancement with very first-floor retail, Ken Simonson, main economist for the Affiliated General Contractors of The usa, stated “to the extent that the economics count on renting out that 1st floor house, it is turn out to be more complicated to do.”

“The pandemic has made everyday living a great deal much more hard for not just merchants but for builders who’ve viewed a reduction of rental cash flow and a good deal of uncertainty about whether they’ll be equipped to fill up new space,” Simonson explained.

But Delk stressed the remarkable prospect any developer will obtain in Clearwater’s downtown waterfront, which sits on an elevated bluff together the Intracoastal waterway.

“I feel this is an option of countrywide scope,” Delk said. “To have a few bluff qualities alongside the harbor in Florida out there at one time is a fairly extraordinary option.”

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