CLEARWATER -- It could be called "condominium creep" as Clearwater Beach advances into the 21st Century. Mutability is the keystone of life, and change certainly is stamped on the beach.
With the upper beach becoming fully invested with condominiums, driving out many of the old small, mom and pop motels that made Clearwater Beach so charming over the years, the advance now continues on the south beach.
The Clearwater Community Development Board has now approved, unanimously, two projects slated for South Gulfview Boulevard.
One is located at what is now the Adams Mark Hotel, the other at what was the Sea Wake Resorts.
Both projects were approved with no opposition at the Community Development Board's meeting August 16 and are totally green lighted because the City Council need not give any further approval.
At the Adam's Mark site, which is about 2 1/2 acres, 112 condominiums are planned with 78 hotel rooms situated in two buildings that will rise about 10 and 15 stories, respectively.
On the Sea Wake site 83 condos are planned -- occupying two buildings, 31 in a five story building and another 52 in a 10 story structure.
Also approved at the CDB's August 16 meeting was a 25 story tower at Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street that is planned to contain 157 condominiums and will give downtown Clearwater a totally new look.
The tower, named Water's Edge, is planned by the developer, Opus South, on the site of the present Calvary Baptist Church building. This outstanding and unique piece of architecture hopefully will be preserved if Mayor Frank Hibbard has his way.
Hibbard, a member of that church, has proposed moving the church building, but the sticking point there is that it would coast about $1.5 million to do so.
The downtown Clearwater project is not yet a certainty. Opus South officials have definite plans but a spokesman for the developer reportedly said that "market interest" would determine moving ahead. That means pre-sale of units.
If the project moves forward it will impinge on present city hall property which must be sold. But that cannot be done without a referendum. One is scheduled next March.
Calvary Baptist Church meanwhile is building a new structure in the eastern part of the city off McMullen-Booth Road.
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