DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of an amendment to the Land Development Code Dec. 19 regarding the historic overlay district on the Fenway Hotel property.
For a number of years, a developer was going to try to renovate the historic Fenway Hotel, which has a historic overlay. However, after that failed and the hotel remained dormant, it has fallen deeper into disrepair. Now, another developer has requested to enter into a development agreement with the city to demolish then recreate the Fenway in its original style.
Greg Rice, the city’s planning and development director, said city staff talked to key people with the Dunedin Historical Museum to see if they would be satisfied with this option. He said that although they would prefer the building to be saved, if that was not possible then recreating it in the same façade is much more preferable than turning the site into single family homes.
The new structure also will be safer than the current all-wood structure, which is right in the middle of the velocity zone.
“The new structure, consisting of 80 hotel rooms and 24 condominiums, will be built to current Florida Building Code and hurricane hardened,” according to a staff memo to the commission from Rice. “The front of the new hotel will match the Mediterranean Revival Architecture of the old structure while keeping all of the key architectural elements. The goal of the project is to return this important Edgewater Drive property to its former glory.”
To accomplish this, the commission first had to vote to allow the historic structure to be demolished. City staff assured the commission that the language only allows for the Fenway to be torn down and would not affect any other historic properties in the city. The commission voted unanimously to allow this to proceed.