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Townhome plan tees up on golfers' former turf

A locally based company plans 60 to 68 townhomes overlooking the Pasadena Yacht & Country Club golf course.

By AMY WIMMER

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 2000


GULFPORT -- A developer is fast-tracking plans to bring at least 60 new townhomes to an old golf driving range, a property eyed by a series of developers during the past several years.

Mike Konefal, planning and development supervisor for the city of Gulfport, said he has seen a wide range of plans pitched for the 8.8-acre property: It was to be the home of an office complex or a shopping plaza, and the city dealt with three different nursing home companies that hoped to build an assisted-living facility there.

But unlike the other proposals, this new plan, from locally based CFS Investments, requires no zoning changes or similar administrative obstacles. Bob Fleeting, managing partner of the company, said he plans to build 60 to 68 Mediterranean-style townhomes on the golf course side.

The townhomes should sell for $249,000 to $310,000, Fleeting said.

"We build very nice homes," Fleeting said. "The people who have them are really happy with them."

CFS is wrapping up the Villages of North Redington Beach, 69 three-story waterfront townhomes. Most are Key West-style homes with aluminum roofs, but one section has a Mediterranean look to complement the homes built by a previous developer.

In Gulfport, Fleeting looked to Stetson University College of Law, across the street from the site of his new townhome development, and the Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, his next-door neighbor, as inspirations for his project.

"Stetson has a big influence," Fleeting said. "If you look at the style of homes that have been built in Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, a lot of them fall into the Spanish or Italian style."

The project is to overlook the ninth tee, the eighth green and the sixth-hole fairway of the Pasadena Yacht & Country Club course. Townhomes that did not have views of the golf course would have views of the pool.

"I think a residential development there is very logical," said Dale Johnson, the attorney for Pasadena Yacht & Country Club. "It's going to be a nice townhouse-type facility that is going to be good for Gulfport."

Besides Fleeting, CFS partners include Harry Chadwick, his father-in-law and a former Pinellas County commissioner, and Clark Scherer, who heads Scherer Construction, a local builder for the past 18 years.

Fleeting, who moved here permanently from Scotland four years ago, owned a Scottish professional soccer team with his wife's parents until about a year ago. In the United Kingdom, the developer built shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and even a soccer stadium.

Fleeting would not disclose the amount that CFS paid for the old driving range, which was purchased from one of the companies that hoped to build an assisted-living facility.

CFS, which bought the property less than two weeks ago, is expected to submit a site plan by the end of the month. The site plan must be reviewed and approved by the Gulfport City Council. The company hopes to break ground in January. What CFS doesn't have is a name for the new project.

"We don't have a name," Fleeting said, "so if anyone has any suggestions ..."

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