ST. PETE BEACH – City commissioners voted unanimously April 11 to approve a request for a conditional use permit for a mixed-use development on the site of the Coral Reef hotel property at 5750 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.
Owners of the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort plan to build a 217-room hotel on the site with an 811-space multi-story parking garage, which will make up the proposed Sugar Sands at TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort. The building will include a timeshare sales center, a spa, fitness center, a marketing office and a reception area.
The proposed height is 116 feet, which is the reason for the conditional use permit.
According to Cynthia Tarapani, a certified planner with Florida Design Consultants, the project falls within the current allowable density for the area, which is 75 units per acre.
The project, which is estimated to cost $60 million to $75 million, is pending bank financing.
As part of the deal with the city, the owners of the TradeWinds will contribute $6 million in sewer system improvements from 55th Avenue northward. A certificate of occupancy for Sugar Sands will not be issued until the sewer work is complete.
The sewer work is an important component for the city, which is seeking to completely rebuild its sewer system. Owners of the TradeWinds will be reimbursed over a 30-year period by sewer hookup fees.
In addition to the sewer upgrades, the city is requiring 10-foot wide sidewalks in front of the property on Gulf Boulevard. The deal also calls for RIA-Coral Reef Inc. to provide a 10-foot beach access on the south end of the current TradeWinds Island Grand property, a 30-foot landscape buffer on both ends of the property, completion of the dune system on the beach and the donation of a north-south beach easement for public use.
Plans call for the project construction and sewer renovations to begin this summer. Both the sewer work and the Sugar Sands are targeted for completion by the end of 2018.
Bob McClure is editor of the Beach Beacon. He can be reached at 727-397-5563, ext. 308, or by email at bmcclure@TBNweekly.com.