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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Deal for Leverock's, Perico marina off for now, says McClash

The ticking time bomb of more development on Perico Island got its fuse lit last week when Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash told Holmes Beach city commissioners that he understood a deal was in the works to purchase both Leverock's and the Perico Harbor Marina for a possible condominium development.

But the fuse has gone out - at least for now - according to McClash. He reported later in the week that he had talked to the real estate agent involved in the potential sale who told him that "the deal fell through."

McClash understood that the developers wanted both properties to build a "lodge-condominium," similar to what the Tidemark group plans to build in Holmes Beach.

While McClash said the potential buyer was not the Arvida-St. Joe Co., which plans to build a 686-unit condominium complex on the property adjacent to the marina, he added that it would not surprise him if Arvida might at some point be interested in both properties as part of an expansion.

"I don't think the price tag of $3.9 million [for Leverock's] would bother them too much," he said.

The Perico Harbor Marina is in the process of obtaining a Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit to dredge their basin to allow deep-draft boats to use the facility and add a large number of wet slips. They would also tear down the dry storage portion of the marina. A number of opponents of the Arvida-St. Joe complex have suggested that Arvida plans to either buy the marina or negotiate a deal for its residents to use the facility.

Arvida eyeing beachfront property?

On another front, Arvida could be looking for something more than expansion or a marina.

Holmes Beach City Commissioner Don Maloney said he's heard unconfirmed reports that Arvida might be looking for beachfront property for a private clubhouse for its Perico Island residents.

"I don't know anything for certain, and I've checked officially and can't confirm anything officially," Maloney said. "But it's obvious they would want beachfront property for a clubhouse once they are built."

When Arvida built Harborside and other condominium developments on Longboat Key, it purchased property on the beach for a private clubhouse.

One property on Anna Maria Island that could be a likely candidate for an Arvida purchase is the beachfront on 75th Street owned by Pat and Angela Kabris.

A portion of their property is zoned Recreation-1 and the city commission last year denied a request by Kabris for a zoning change to residential that would allow him to build up to two duplexes. Following that denial, Kabris sued the commission, although he has previously contended that if he didn't get the zoning change, he would sell the property.

Efforts to reach Pat Kabris for comment on any potential sale were unsuccessful by press deadline.

R-1 zoning allows for construction of a private clubhouse facility by a homeowners or condominium association, including food and alcohol services.

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