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    Condos may rise near Venetian Point

    The $13.2-million Villa Del Mar project is planned for the site where the Aloha Motel now sits.

    By LISA GREENE, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 16, 2002

    CLEARWATER -- A developer wants to build a luxury waterfront condominium on N Fort Harrison Avenue, just east of Venetian Point.

    The $13.2-million project, Villa Del Mar, would house 24 condominiums in a Spanish Mediterranean Revival-style stucco building with a terra cotta tile roof.

    Each condominium would be about 2,300 square feet and average about $550,000 per unit.

    Both the Oldsmar developer and city planners hope the project will spur more new construction in the area.

    "This is something that would really trigger some redevelopment," said Robert Szasz, vice president of R & S Investments of Pinellas, Inc.

    "It's hard to tell what the market will do, but every little bit helps," said Mark Parry, city planner. "Redevelopment is bits and pieces coming together."

    The project is on Tuesday's Community Development Board agenda, and the city's planning department recommends its approval.

    No one has objected to the plan, Parry said. If the board approves it, the project wouldn't require City Commission approval.

    The site, 1860 N Fort Harrison Ave., is now home to the Aloha Motel and is valued at $827,500. To the north is Clearwater Harbor. To the west is the entry to the Venetian Point Yacht Basin.

    The motel has two, one-story masonry buildings with 28 hotel rooms. The new building would be L-shaped with five stories: a garage plus four stories, with six condos per floor.

    Every unit would have a water view, Szasz said. The company put a contract on the site because of the waterfront location, he said.

    The building also would have a pool and a small fishing pier on the water. The condos would each have three bedrooms and 21/2 baths.

    "It's a nice project," Parry said.

    Szasz hopes to start marketing the condos this summer and start building next spring.

    Szasz is vice president of another company, SRJ Development, that now is building Seaside Estates, a 67-unit townhouse development in Oldsmar featuring boat slips and a fitness trail. He's also building Curlew Trails, a smaller project in Dunedin.

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