CLEARWATER - South Clearwater Beach may be the recipient of an unexpected Christmas present courtesy of a delay in the construction schedule of the Kiran Grand resort just south of the roundabout. The City of Clearwater has entered discussions with the principals of the project to use the vacant portions of their land as a temporary parking lot, providing south Clearwater Beach with 100 to 150 additional parking spaces as early as January.
Kirit Shah, a principal of Kiran Grand, said that the city initiated the discussion; "We want to be a good citizen and, if possible, we want to help. We're waiting for the city to propose exactly what they'd like to do," he said.
Parking on Clearwater Beach has long been an issue, and the planned removal of about 300 spaces during Phase II of Beach Walk construction is expected to exacerbate the situation even more during the 2007 Spring Break.
Garry Brumback, Clearwater's Assistant City Manager, said, "This was an opportunity we didn't think we'd have. It became an option when Shah said that the Kiran Grand construction timetable was slipping."
According to Shah, construction of the resort is now planned to start in the March through May 2007 timeframe. The availability of the temporary lot could cover a substantial portion of Spring Break, and perhaps all of it if construction slips until May. But the city is willing to accept the extra parking regardless of how temporary it might be. "We don't want to cause Shah any harm. He's been very gracious to allow us to pursue this," said Brumback.
Brumback said that the city does not desire any revenue from the lot, and expects Kiran Grand to charge market rates. The lot would likely be attended, the city not being interested in spending the money for meters in the temporary facility according to Brumback.
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