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Dunedin clears way for upscale townhomes

City leaders approve two projects. Unit prices for both will start at $600,000.

Published October 8, 2005

DUNEDIN - Carl Krave had never heard of this town when he came to Pinellas County two years ago for a conference.

He had never developed a piece of property, either.

But now the former Internet executive is trying his hand as a developer with Glen Cairn, a project of 16 high-end townhomes along Douglas Avenue.

"One of the things that make these different is they are very people-oriented," said Krave, 55, whose development company, Pocket Neighborhoods, is based in Dunedin. "They all face a central courtyard. All the ugly stuff is in the back. It really does encourage the interaction of the people who live there without sacrificing privacy or security."

On Thursday, Krave showed city commissioners some renderings before he received their stamp on approval on Glen Cairn.

Commissioners also approved Alinda Villas townhomes, another luxury project, planned for the corner of Wilson Street and Bayshore Boulevard.

Alinda Villas would be situated on the Pinellas Trail across the street from Seagate at St. Joseph's Sound, a 33-unit townhome neighborhood under construction.

Prices for Glen Cairn and Alinda Villas start at $600,000.

The Glen Cairn townhomes are three-bedroom, between 2,270 and 3,340 square feet. They feature elevators, 10-foot ceilings, rooftop terraces and French doors on the front that open to the courtyard.

Each has its own style, ranging from West Indian to Florida's traditional St. Augustine.

Krave said he hopes to attract empty nesters who don't want to live in a condo or a big house and want to be within walking distance of shops and restaurants. The neighborhood is 21/2 blocks from downtown.

"People can walk to some of the best restaurants in Pinellas County," he said. "They can attend all the craft fairs. They can watch Mardi Gras go right down Douglas Avenue.

"Dunedin is just a neat place to be," he said. "The neat thing is you don't have to get in your car and drive there. You're literally there already."

Glen Cairn would be the first private redevelopment along Douglas Avenue in years, said Kevin Campbell, director of community services.

The street, which is home to Knology Park, the senior center and the public library, has been targeted as a gateway to Dunedin.

Krave, who moved to Dunedin from Pennsylvania, said he stumbled on the property when he was driving from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg during a conference. He saw a bunch of people heading toward downtown and went to investigate. The city was hosting an art and antiques fair.

"I thought, "Gee, this is really a beautiful little place,"' he said. "I had to park two or three blocks south of Main Street and started walking through the neighborhoods. It was just a beautiful place."

That beauty is also what attracted Rule, the Clearwater company that is developing the Alinda Villas project, to Dunedin.

Those townhomes range from 2,400 to 2,800 square feet and feature elevators and balconies on each floor.

"There really isn't a target population with Alinda Villas," said contractor Jay Deckard. "In this day and age, with the baby boomers, it will probably be an empty nester. It may also be people who want a vacation home."

Rule is planning to break ground on the townhomes in January, with completion sometime before the end of the year.

Krave hopes to begin building Glen Cairn this year. Presales start next month.

[Last modified October 8, 2005, 01:26:19]

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