|By Aaron Sharockman, St. Petersburg Times, Fla.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
May 20, 2005 - CLEARWATER -- One of the beach's signature hotels may be leveled by more redevelopment, another domino to fall on a beach already exploding with construction.
Officials from international home builder Taylor Woodrow have asked the city to consider a plan to replace the 217-room Adam's Mark with a boutique hotel and residential development.
The project could include a midsized resort, about 80 hotel rooms and a 150-foot condominium tower, the city's planning director said Thursday.
Developers have not submitted a formal application, but Planning Director Michael Delk thinks that could come by next week. A local representative with Taylor Woodrow did not return a message seeking comment Thursday.
The new project would remake the southern gateway to the city's main tourist district.
It also would cost the city another 120-plus overnight rooms. Developers last month won the right to demolish the 210-room Holiday Inn Sunspree for condos, and other condo projects are in the works.
City Council members are pushing changes to make the conversion more difficult, but Delk thinks developers will beat the process in this case.
"The upside here is they also intend to construct new hotel units," Delk said.
The project would further fuel a beach busy with new development.
More than $1-billion in private construction is now planned or already under way. And in the last four years, 1,549 hotel rooms, 1,255 residences and 58,000 square feet of commercial space has been proposed, according to city estimates.
The Adam's Mark has been closed since October because of hurricane damage. Its owners, Boston's Pyramid Advisors, have said they intended to reopen the resort as a Radisson after the repairs were completed.
A sign on the property now refers to the property as a Radisson, as do receptionists who answer the phone. The hotel's general manager, Jason Reader, did not return a message seeking comment. A spokesperson for Pyramid Advisors said he could not reach anyone in the company Thursday.
Taylor Woodrow, a publicly traded British company, boasts $5-billion in annual revenue. It has had dealings in North America since 1936.
The company, which has several Florida offices, is building an exclusive 44-unit midrise condominium in Madeira Beach. Units in Sereno have sold for almost $1-million a piece, on average. The six-story building replaced an old Holiday Inn.
Taylor Woodrow also will build Ladera, a 168-home community situated around a 60-acre lake, in north central Hillsborough County. Homes there start at $800,000, according to the company's Web site.
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