Schooner Hotel redevelopment in Madeira Beach goes ahead | Madeira Beach
MADEIRA BEACH – In a close 3: 2 vote, the city commission approved the planned development (PD) zoning for the waterfront Schooner Hotel expansion on Gulf Boulevard at 146th Avenue . The vote, at first reading, took place after a two-hour hearing in which city staff, the developer and interested property owners and citizens spoke at the committee meeting on April 14. .
The new hotel, which replaces an aging hotel on the site, was first offered as a planned development in early 2019. At that time, architect John Bodziak was touting it as “a remarkable and iconic hotel in the world. sense of Vinoy. and Don Cesar. The plan was for a five story, 40 unit hotel with an oceanfront restaurant / bar and a two story building across the street with 16 hotel suites and retail space. A footbridge on Gulf Boulevard would connect the two properties.
After a two-year delay due to the city’s need to revise its PD procedures, and then the COVID pandemic of 2020, the developer is ready to move forward with a revised plan.
The latest proposal is for a two-phase mixed-use development, according to a memo from the director of community development, Linda Portal. The first phase would be a seven-story oceanfront building with a 56-room hotel and rooftop restaurant, with above-ground parking under the building and additional parking across the street.
The second phase, which the developer said would begin as quickly as possible, would include up to two levels of parking on a retail space on the east side of Gulf Blvd. The previously proposed footbridge on the boulevard is replaced by a normal pedestrian crossing.
The city’s planning commission voted 7-0 to recommend approval of the PD zoning and associated concept plan.
Jeff Beggins, co-owner of the hotel project, real estate agent and local resident for 20 years, told the commission he wanted to do something special with the property.
“We put a lot of thought, energy and love behind this project,” he said. “We took the time to rethink and think about what would be the coolest thing to do.”
The hotel building has changed from a square box shape to an L-shape to create a view corridor for residents who live on the south side of the Arie Dam condo complex next door, Beggins said. Some rooms were lost in the remodel, he said, “so we added two floors,” to keep the number of rooms at 56.
Beggins also pointed out that the planned 56 rooms are just 14 more than what currently exists in the old hotel buildings on the site. This means that there would be no significant increase in overnight parking needs.
Developer Jack Bodziak said the design of the previous hotel was “a bit too decorative”.
“We wanted to combine compatibility with the neighborhood with the functionality of the building,” he said. “We created a very attractive building, with a more sophisticated approach, and we moved away from the old Don CeSar, its chic and glitzy appearance.
Feedback from citizens on the planned development of the Schooner Hotel during the meeting and via email has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I love everything I hear about the project,” said resident Nicholas Newbury. “It’s about taking the old, dilapidated units that are not being used by the highest quality people and replacing them with 56 new, beautiful and modern ones. I think the guys doing the project have done a lot for the city, and I have full confidence in them.
Jim Everett called the proposed hotel “beautiful” and said it was good to see a new hotel by the sea. “We haven’t really had a nice hotel on the beach since they destroyed the Holiday Inn many years ago. So I think it’s a fantastic addition, especially in light of what’s out there now.
Many of those who emailed comments supported the project and were happy to see the redevelopment underway in the city. “I am very happy to see all the improvements in my seaside town. The redevelopment is necessary to improve the quality of life, ”said Michelle Christmas.
Among the negative comments, one person said, “We don’t want to be another beach in Clearwater.” Others objected to the increased traffic congestion that the development would cause. “We are already experiencing traffic jams on Gulf Boulevard. This development will only exacerbate the problems of our residents. The restaurant and bar will bring more traffic, ”John and Theresa Spooner said in their email.
The reaction of the commissioners to the redesign of the hotel was mixed. This commission has changed almost completely from two years ago, when the Schooner project was first presented, with only Commissioner Nancy Hodges still on the board since that time.
Commissioner Helen “Happy” Price said she liked the more ornate and decorative style of the previous design and at least wanted a more Mediterranean look like most of the newer buildings in Madeira Beach.
“I don’t want another big cube and a modernist look,” Price said. “I am excited about the old design. I thought this was a great centerpiece for Madeira Beach.
Commissioner Dave Hutson expressed concern about the loud music from the rooftop bar. He said upon hearing the noise and music from Cambria’s new rooftop bar, “I can’t use my garden.” His suggestion was to ban amplified music or require that they have some type of noise shield.
Price agreed with Hutson that potential bar noise was an issue. She also said that the planned development process was intended to allow negotiation between the commissioners and the developer to address these types of citizen concerns.
“We will address the sound issue in the development agreement,” said city attorney Thomas Trask. That and other conditions can be added to the development agreement that the committee will see at second reading at the next regular committee meeting, Trask said.
Mayor John Hendricks said he was ready to go along with the Schooner Hotel redesign “just as it is”, and Commissioner Doug Andrews also wanted “to move forward”.
The vote was 3-2 in favor of the planned development zoning required for the project to pass second reading. Hendricks was joined by Commissioners Andrews and Hodges in voting yes. Commissioners Hutson and Price opposed it.