Developers could be invited to bid on Envision Clearwater mixed use jobs this thirty day period

Catrina P. Smith

CLEARWATER — It’s far more than a year absent, but the March 2022 Clearwater election will possible decide the destiny of a landmark metropolis project.


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At that faraway date, town people could vote on the redevelopment plans for a few city-owned parcels bordering the quickly-to-be reworked downtown waterfront.

The Clearwater Metropolis Council will decide on that timeline Thursday, when it will vote on issuing a ask for for proposals by the close of this month to develop the land and decide on a finalist by April 30.

Throughout a discussion Monday, only Council Member Kathleen Beckman fearful about the “tough election” that could end result from a ballot with a city referendum on major of two council races. She also stated she was involved the March 2020 day didn’t give enough time to get enter from citizens.

But her colleagues showed assistance for the timeline on a project that has been deemed for additional than five a long time.

Council Member Hoyt Hamilton said it would be hard for the campaign to derail the venture if the ask for for proposal got unanimous support from the board.

“We’ve been kicking this can too damn prolonged,” Hamilton claimed.

The metropolis charter requires voter approval on the sale or lease of the site of the now-demolished Harborview Heart on Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Avenue as very well as the parcel with the vacant City Corridor on Osceola Avenue. A referendum is not necessary on the third redevelopment internet site, an empty ton on Pierce Street across the street from City Hall.

The metropolis is trying to get a mix of household, retail and parking on the web-sites, with the probability of a lodge. The tasks would border the around 22-acre park with a live performance location, a backyard, playground, greenspace, path and gateway plaza.

The city expects to split ground on the $64 million park in March or April with a concentrate on completion day of Tumble 2023.

The draft ask for for proposal for the 3 combined use developments implies the city would entertain one developer to establish on all a few web sites or several corporations.

Assistant City Supervisor Michael Delk mentioned the metropolis is in the process of obtaining new appraisals on the properties. But the most current figures presented very last yr set the three sites’ values at a mixed $23.5 million.

The metropolis could offer incentives such as more density, up to $5 million of funding for rental housing from the local community redevelopment company, up to $2.5 million from the parking fund and other city support for permit and influence costs, Delk reported.

Reward points will be additional to developers’ bids that incorporate cultural features, much more than 200 rental units throughout all 3 sites and added create-outs that are not presently integrated in the park system. Beckman explained a person reward standards, Leadership in Power and Environmental Style and design certification for environmentally friendly building, really should be a requirement, which will be mentioned a lot more Thursday.

The metropolis will encounter a hard landscape for attracting buyers to a downtown that has struggled for many years. In May possibly, the town invited 50 neighborhood and countrywide developers to post conceptual strategies for the three redevelopment web sites in progress of this official bidding method.

Only two responded. Mercury Advisors founder Ken Stoltenberg, who has developed multiple tasks in Tampa’s Channel district, claimed he declined Clearwater’s invitation simply because the range of downtown qualities that the Church of Scientology controls about the park makes “a massive unknown and that’s no area I want to go.”

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

In accordance to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, building work in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater metro place declined by 5 %, or 3,900 work opportunities, across all varieties of design in between October 2019 and Oct 2020.

Private household building, however, has been steadier than business nationwide. Paying on household building rose 7.5 % from February to October this calendar year, in accordance to the Census Bureau.

When it arrives to residential advancement with to start with-flooring retail, Ken Simonson, main economist for the Related Normal Contractors of The united states, explained “to the extent that the economics depend on renting out that initial floor house, it’s develop into far more challenging to do.”

“The pandemic has produced everyday living substantially far more challenging for not just retailers but for developers who’ve viewed a reduction of rental cash flow and a great deal of uncertainty about regardless of whether they’ll be able to fill up new place,” Simonson mentioned.

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

“I feel this is an option of countrywide scope,” Delk explained. “To have a few bluff attributes together the harbor in Florida available at one time is a rather incredible opportunity.”

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