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Date of Issue: February 15, 2007

Tidemark plans major announcement

tidemark sign
Still waiting
A sign announcing the Tidemark Resort stands adjacent to the Holmes Beach boat basin along Marina Drive. A Tidemark representative said the company plans to hold a press conference in about two weeks with a "major" announcement on the project. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

In the wake of all the publicity surrounding the collapse of Island real estate projects such as Villa Rosa and Rosa del Mar, at least one development continues to move forward after overcoming a number of obstacles in the past five-and-a-half years.

Ken Dardis of the Tidemark hotel-condominium-marina resort in Holmes Beach said the company plans a "major announcement in about two weeks" concerning its marketing and campaign for the project.

Dardis said the company will hold a press conference at which time it will announce the name of the marketing firm chosen to sell the 40 planned condominium units at the property, along with the plan the marketing company has for the project. Dardis, along with Lance McNeill of Tidemark, will be at the conference to answer questions.

Details of sales and construction of the units will also be discussed at the conference, he indicated.

The Tidemark project had been beset by financial difficulties under original developer Nick Easterling. Tidemark received its site plan approval from the Holmes Beach City Commission in August 2001, but Easterling was forced to place the company into voluntary bankruptcy in January 2004.

Tidemark emerged from federal bankruptcy court in August 2005 as a new company — Tidemark Reliance LLC — with Dardis and his company, Reliance Property Group, as the financial saviors.

At that time, Easterling and Dardis announced they would begin construction of the marina phase of Tidemark in January 2006.

As late as December 2005, Easterling said the start of "real construction" was a few weeks away and "nothing could hold back the project." He said at that time he expected the marina and resort to open in 12 to 18 months.

But that didn't happen. By October 2006, Tidemark had only constructed the new seawall at the project, although Easterling maintained then that all construction bids on the marina had been received and it was simply a matter of "selecting the contractor."

Easterling left the construction and development side of Tidemark in October 2006, but said at that time he still has a contract to manage the property when it opens.

When Easterling departed the company, McNeill said Tidemark was waiting for its condominium documents from the state of Florida before it began selling units. Prospective buyers who had "reservations" on a unit before Tidemark went into bankruptcy will be given first opportunity to purchase a unit, he said then.

McNeill said he did not have a firm price range for the units, which will include one and two-bedroom units along with at least one luxury unit.

Construction of the marina and docks won't begin until the vertical construction of the buildings is complete, McNeill said in October 2006. At present, sewer, water and electrical hookups are being installed in addition to the foundation for the buildings.

Tidemark is planned as a 40-unit hotel-condominium and Easterling previously anticipated prices from around $500,000 to just over $1 million for the units. The marina will have 65 boat slips along with an accommodation for police and emergency service boats.

Tidemark leased the city's boat basin for about $10,000 per year, but promised to provide some public boat slips at the marina. Holmes Beach city treasurer Rick Ashley said the lease payments from Tidemark are current.

No construction plans for the buildings or marina have been submitted to the Holmes Beach building department. According to a building department official, there is no time limit on Tidemark's site plan approval. Permits for construction of the seawall and installation of sewer and water pipes have been issued, but not for the vertical construction.

The Tidemark will be located on the site of the former Pete Reynard's marina-restaurant at the intersection of Marina and Gulf Drives in Holmes Beach.

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