Treasure Island gets offer to buy Isle of Capri lots
By KATHY SAUNDERS
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000
TREASURE ISLAND -- Developers of luxury town homes have offered to buy the city's two vacant lots on the Isle of Capri.
City commissioners on Tuesday gave initial approval for the sale of the property along 117th Avenue to the Barson Group of Tierra Verde.
Sanford "Sonny" Katz and his partner, Scott Cramer, have offered to pay $400,000 for the property where they want to build five town houses. The land was appraised at $250,000.
"We'd like to start now," Katz said. But the city still has to change the zoning on the land to allow for multiple units. The city's Planning and Zoning Board already has approved the change and commissioners are scheduled to complete that process in November.
The developers want to build five, 2,600-square-foot town homes with individual boat slips and two-car garages. The proposed homes would sell for about $285,000 each.
Treasure Island commissioners decided to try to sell the property earlier this year to raise money for some of their redevelopment projects. They interviewed several real estate agents and asked Jim White of Century 21 Jim White & Associates Inc. to handle the sale. White presented the contract to commissioners Tuesday.
This summer, the vacant lots were used by Durocher Dock & Dredge as a staging area for the jetty project on Sunshine Beach. The lots were filled with dirt, rocks and other raw materials needed to construct the 400-foot pier designed to prevent beach erosion and inhibit sand from collecting in John's Pass. But the contractors were asked to clear the site after residents complained about their rock-hauling operations.
City Manager Chuck Coward said the property will be returned to its original condition before the sale is complete. Once the property is sold, the city plans to spend the money on beach or recreational facilities or land acquisition.
"We may need it for Sunset Vista Trailhead Park," said Coward. The city is negotiating to buy several parcels at the entrance to Sunset Beach for the development of a park and sunset viewing area.
Katz and his partner recently purchased the Surfside Motel on Gulf Boulevard where they plan to erect a six-story building with five luxury condominiums starting at $700,000.
Construction on that project, being designed by Treasure Island architect Peter Jon Volmar, is expected to begin in December when the motel is demolished.
The design is contemporary, Volmar said, with a six-story atrium and a lot of glass.
"It's going to be very exclusive," he said.
Katz said the condominiums will be about 4,000 square feet with two-car garages and balconies that wrap around the building.
The developers bought the beachfront property about six weeks ago for $1-million, Katz said.
The Barson Group, he said, has developed more than 350 town homes in Tierra Verde, including Channel's Landing, Bridgewater and Tierra Shores, which is about 80 percent complete.
"Everything we have there is sold out," Katz said.
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