Holiday Isle development gets final OK

The Holiday Isle Marina project as proposed in 2016 included six buildings. This view from the northeast shows, clockwise from bottom right, a hotel, a restaurant, three condominium buildings at the end of the property, and a condo-hotel.

The second major development proposed for the Madeira Beach east gateway area got a final approval from the city commission at its March 7 meeting.

The Holiday Isle Marina, to be built on the Holton property at the foot of the causeway bridge, has been significantly downsized from the original plan.

The number of buildings was reduced from six to two, and includes a 150-room hotel and a five-floor condominium building that replaces three previous seven- and nine-story structures. The number of condo units is being reduced by more than half, from 68 to 31. The buildings were also moved eastward on the property to open up the view corridors for residents living in nearby condos, and redesigned with a “fishing village” look.

The commission had approved the ordinance and development agreement needed to proceed forward with the Holiday Isle Marina project on first reading at last month’s commission meeting. A second and final reading was required, and that was done at the March 7 meeting.

The commission has already given its final approval to the Madeira Town Center, the other major development planned for the area. That project, by William Karns, will be built along Madeira Way and 150th Avenue.

The Holiday Isle Marina’s final OK came on a unanimous vote of the commission, following a brief summary presentation of the development by Katie Cole, a spokesperson for developer James Holton. She told the commission the development plans were the same as approved by the commission last month. Then she added a warning to anyone who might be considering challenging the development as presented.

She said that this development agreement, like the Karns project, has a provision that allows the developer to revert to the larger scale project originally approved if litigation is filed to challenge the downsized development. The intent is to discourage lawsuits. If none are filed within 30 days after the March 7 approval, the developer will go forward with the scaled-down plan.

Four residents who were scheduled to make presentations as “affected parties” did not show up at the meeting.

The final approvals of the Holiday Isle Marina and Madeira Town Center mean both projects can now move ahead to construction, once the 30-day pause is over.

John’s Pass to get a light-up

The city’s biggest tourist attraction is brightening up. The commission agreed to pay just over $100,000 for Bollard Lighting Fixtures to light all the major palm trees along Village Boulevard in John’s Pass Village. City Manager Shane Crawford said the illuminated palm trees would be “really spectacular.” A prototype tree is lit up outside of Delosa’s Pizza now, which Crawford said is “something to see.”

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, Crawford said the lighted trees would also improve pedestrian safety at the Village. He commented that people at John’s Pass Village don’t always cross at crosswalks, and said the extra lighting “will make it safer.”

State funding is paying for the project, Crawford added. “This is an example of another amenity that Madeira Beach residents are receiving through a state appropriation,” he said.

Finance director to leave

In a later comment, Crawford confirmed reports that Finance Director/Assistant City Manager Vince Tenaglia is leaving. He is taking a similar position at St. Pete Beach, replacing Administrative Services Director Elaine Edmunds, who is retiring, Crawford said.

Tenaglia has been Madeira Beach’s chief financial officer since being hired by Crawford shortly after the city manager started his job in 2012.

Crawford spoke highly of Tenaglia and his accomplishments. Tenaglia brought stability to a financial structure that was “in turmoil” when he arrived, Crawford said.

He added, “Vince will be hard to replace.”

Tenaglia’s departure follows the recent exits of two other high level Madeira Beach officials. Planning director Michelle Orton left in January. City Clerk Aimee Servedio, a 34-year city employee, resigned in February, facing a quit or be fired directive.

Revised to correct name of the development.