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Amendment will allow changes at Tarpon Point development

By Staff | Dec 13, 2011

The Cape Coral City Council approved an amendment to Ordinance 77-11 Monday, giving Tarpon Point and its marina the go-ahead to convert some of its hotel units to condominiums.

The approval also allows for portions of “submerged lands” to be added to the development.

The “build-out” date was also extended from 2012 to 2021.

The amendment will aid in propelling the 148-acre mixed-use development into the next phase of its existence. In development since 1973, Tarpon Point had its grand opening in 2009, only to see the property fall into foreclosure last year.

The development has hundreds of hotel units, 40,000 square feet of commercial space, marina and conference or special event space.

Now under the ownership of Freeman & Hasselwander Resort Properties LLC, many of those hotel rooms could be converted and sold as condominiums. Each hotel room is like an apartment, complete with kitchens, living rooms and one, two or three bedrooms.

Representatives from Avalon Engineering, speaking on behalf of ownership, said the three-bedroom units would likely be the first targeted for sale.

City Planner Chad Boyko said the amendment does not give or deny authority to expansion of the marina in regards to the “submerged lands” portion of the ordinance.

But, the new owners could look to expand the marina and add slips, according to representatives from Avalon Engineering.

Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz had some concerns about the new marina space, as well as the loss of bed tax coming to the city through converting hotel rooms to condos.

A former boat captain who frequented the marine through the years, Chulakes-Leetz is skeptical that certain boats would have trouble navigating the marina once the changes were made.

“You’re going to have problems with sailboats in the future,” he said.

Councilmember Kevin McGrail said he believes the Arkansas-based firm of Freeman & Hasselwander Resort Properties has what it takes make sure everything goes smoothly and Tarpon Point is successful into the future.

“I have to assume the people that spent the money on this development know how to make it a success,” he said.

Resort General Manager Kyle Johnson could not be reached for comment.