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The La Playa apartments are to make way for the 55 units, priced from $550,000 to $700,000.
By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 13, 2000
REDINGTON BEACH -- The aging La Playa apartments on the Gulf of Mexico are scheduled to be torn down next spring and replaced by a five-story, 55-unit condominium complex that should greatly enhance the small town's tax base.
Five of the condos, priced between $550,000 and $700,000, have been sold, according to Evelyn Page, owner of Beach to Bay Realty of Indian Shores.
"It's going to be really posh," Page said. "All the apartments will have a gulf view. There will be two swimming pools and four elevators."
The Mediterranean-style apartments will include three bedrooms and three baths and range from 2,400 to 2,700 square feet. Parking will be beneath the complex.
Frank Dagostino, president of SimDag Investments of Tennessee, holds a contract to purchase the property. He has developed other upscale condominium and townhome projects on the beaches, including the Chez Soliel and Water's Edge in Indian Rocks Beach and the Seascape in Indian Shores.
According to Page, Sunwest Construction of Largo will be the general contractor and the Bessolo Design Group of St. Petersburg will be the project architect.
The La Playa property, at 16326 Gulf Blvd., has a long and complicated history. Originally built as a hotel in the 1940s, the La Playa became a source of political and legal controversy in the 1990s after a town referendum restricted density to 15 units per acre.
B&H Travel Corp., then the owner, took Redington Beach to court and finally reached a settlement several years ago that allowed the property to be developed under the earlier 30-unit-per-acre density and 50-foot height restriction.
The property then was sold for more than $3.5-million to La Playa Ventures, a partnership that subsequently was unable to secure financing for its plans to construct townhomes. The apartment complex was refurbished, painted bright yellow, and returned to its original use as an extended-stay hotel.
More recently, Terry Coyle of Treasure Island-based Coyle Co., contracted with La Playa Ventures to develop the site. When Coyle received preliminary site plan approval in November from the town's Planning and Zoning Board, he assigned the development rights to SimDag.
SimDag is a privately held investment and consulting firm with offices in Florida and Tennessee. The company focuses on the real estate development market, particularly luxury waterfront properties in Florida.
Dagostino said his company will not close on the purchase until March.
"Everything is going forward. I don't anticipate any problems. This is the normal schedule for a project this big," Dagostino said Tuesday.
Dagostino declined to reveal the purchase price. Initial plans presented to town officials indicate that "La Contesa" will be valued at about $23-million when completed.
"It is really exciting. It will be a tremendous boost to our tax base," said Zoe Roseman, the planning and zoning board chairman. "They are paying total property taxes of about $5,200 a year now, and that is supposed to go up to more than $500,000. I don't know how much of that we will get, but it will be a lot."