BELLEAIR - While it appears DeBartolo Development has backed off from its plans for a project on the site of the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, a rival bidder for the property is a threat also, according to Diane Hein, president of Save the Biltmore Preservationists.
“(We) are against putting hotel/condo units (on the Biltmore site) as being proposed by Rory Hiller,” Hein said.
“What has happened is that one developer has backed off, and another developer has signed on to make millions of dollars with his condo/hotel units built inside the Biltmore north and south wings to be bought by investors,” she said.
Hiller is a Clearwater real estate consultant.
Hein pointed out that her group is happy that DeBartolo has backed off “because their most recent plan was to demolish the north and south wings” of the hotel.
She said DeBartolo stepped out of the picture “because of public pressure and lack of support by the town officials for their plans.”
DeBartolo representatives made a presentation to the Belleair Town Commission September 15 about putting more than 360 residences on the golf course that is owned by the hotel.
Formerly known as the Pelican, the course is the one on Indian Rocks Road, not one of the courses adjoining the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel. Those courses belong to the Belleair Country Club.
This plan received a cold reception from citizen present at the meeting and commission members say it is a non-starter.
Hein makes it clear that her group is opposed to the total demolition of the Biltmore. She wants complete historical preservation of the hotel.
A lawyer specially engaged for the purpose, Nancy Stroud, has formulated a preservation ordinance that will be coming before the Belleair commission next month.
Hein points out that the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables is run as a successful hotel that has been extensively preserved through the efforts of a strong preservation ordinance.
Other hotels in the country, she says, that are similarly run as successful hotels while being under preservation protection are Victorian Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island in Michigan and the Coronado Hotel in San Diego.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition