Residents of the Town of Belleair are seeking help against the request to demolish the grand wood-framed 4-1/2 story hotel built for Henry Plant in 1896. Current owners want to demolish the hotel and guest cottages and build condominiums on the site. You can support area residents in their efforts to preserve this unique part of Florida’s history by attending the Tuesday January 17, 2011 Belleair Town Meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Belleair Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard. If you are unable to attend the meeting, make your opinion known by sending emails to local officials (see contact info here). In addition, preservationists ask the following:
Unfortunately KAWA (the current owner) has absolutely no interest in restoring the hotel themselves and is currently trying to sell it since they bought it. Currently KAWA has plans to build 180 townhomes after demolishing the Biltmore. There is a long legal process including rescinding the 2005 preservation ordinance that would have to take place for this to happen, BUT the important fact is that Belleair officials need to know citizens STILL want the Biltmore saved.
If you know of any investors, developers, hoteliers or real estate companies to contact to purchase the hotel OR if you know of investors who might be willing to help other investors in the renovation process, let me know as soon as possible! We have spent a lot of time writing to possible investors, but we need YOUR help also again at this time to help save the Biltmore since the current owners unfortunately have NO interest in renovating this magnificent hotel!
Please, please contact any realtor in your area or email them from the web and let them know the Biltmore is in urgent need of a buyer. Mention our web site www.savethebiltmore.com so they can contact us.
Our goal would be to help put together a team of investors to save the hotel in case one buyer does not have sufficient investors for its renovation in these challenging economic times.
The hotel offers an opportunity for the area to have a unique destination that would be an economic boon to the town if the right investor steps forward. Additional way you can help are also found on the www.SavetheBiltmore.com website as well as some background history.
News story from the Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/article1209820.ece with some more information.