Only the best deals!
Call Us : 727-488-4825

New hope for Clearwater albatross: “The Strand” may have buyer

Share Button

strandCharlie Frag Times Staff Writer  –  Friday, May 9, 2014 9:46pm

CLEARWATER — The gloomy saga of “the Strand” — a looming 15-story eyesore, its unfinished shell visible from every direction in downtown Clearwater — might have a happy ending.

An as-yet-unnamed Chicago investment group is seriously considering buying the distressed building at 1100 Cleveland St. and finishing the project, either as high-end condos and townhomes or as apartments, a real estate brokerage firm confirmed Friday.

That would be bad news for the homeless, partying teens and rodents that have sheltered, cavorted and scurried through the building since work stopped in the fall of 2009, but a welcome turn of events for the city, desperate to revive the sagging East Gateway district on the edge of downtown.

The group was scheduled to sign a contract on Friday, said Casey Babb, associate vice-president investments for Marcus & Millichap, a commercial brokerage firm that is marketing the property.

The Chicago firm, which has done billions of dollars of condo and apartment development nationally, can finance the $15 million or so to complete the project out of pocket, Babb said.

But first, it wants to tap on the weathered concrete and kick the rusty steel beams for a few months before closing on the deal, Babb said.

“It’s been exposed to the elements in a salt-water environment for the last three years,” Babb said. “It’s not for the faint of heart.” If all goes well, the group could close on the building sometime this summer or early fall, he said.

City officials welcomed the glimmer of hope on a snake-bitten project that has bedeviled developers for more than a decade. “It’s promising,” said Rod Irwin, assistant city manager for economic development.

It’s the first time since the Strand, owned since 2004 by an American subsidiary of the Spanish firm Espacio, has been in serious play since work stopped on what was once touted as “a slice of European luxury,” Irwin said.

Espacio representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.  Irwin said part of the delay in finding a buyer was that Espacio had overpriced the building. An original asking price of $16 million in November was cut a few months later to $12 million. The city has levied $250 daily fines for code violations on the building since April 2013. Espacio has already paid $62,500, said City Clerk Rosemarie Call. A buyer could absorb the outstanding fines — $32,250 as of Friday — or ask the city to reduce or eliminate the fines after they finish the project, said Joelle Castelli, a city spokeswoman.

After years of looking at a very depressing symbol of the real estate crash, city officials might be in a forgiving mood.

“Hopefully (the project) goes because if it does, that will be first domino to fall for that side of Clearwater,” Babb said.

Charlie Frago can be reached at or (727) 445-4159. Follow him on Twitter @CharlieFrago

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

Share Button
Leave a Reply

Anti-Spam Quiz:


416 Laura Street - Downtown
Clearwater, FL 33755
Phone: 727-488-4825
Fax: 727-216-3469
realtor equalhousing cdpe SFR-logo wise-logo mls-logo

Service Areas

Serving Tampa Bay, Tampa, St Petersburg, Clearwater, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties, South Tampa, Seminole Heights, Carrollwood, New Tampa, Channelside, Harbor Island, Davis Islands, Hyde Park, Gulfport, St Pete Beach, Madeira Beach, Largo, Seminole, Belleair, Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, Downtown Clearwater, Island Estates, Clearwater Beach. Tampa Clearwater Residential Homes, Tampa Clearwater Homes for Rent, Tampa Clearwater Land for Sale, Tampa Clearwater Townhomes/Condos, Tampa Clearwater Waterfront Homes, Tampa Clearwater Foreclosures, Tampa Clearwater Multi-family Homes

Equal Housing and Copyright

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Information provided is thought to be reliable but is not guaranteed to be accurate. You are advised to verify facts that are important to you. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the user. This information is protected from unlawful duplication by Copyright. Any reproduction in full or in part of this Website without the written consent of the Website owner, will be legally persecuted. Important Notice: Great Homes Realty, inc. is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.