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Proposed boutique Dunedin hotel would have direct linkage to Pinellas Trail

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the hotel that will occupy two parcels at 380 Main Street and 830 Douglas Avenue. All images: City of Dunedin documents.

An 89-unit boutique hotel proposed for Dunedin’s Main Street will provide a connection to the Pinellas Trail and bring new amenities to the community. 

Tampa-based Founders Hospitality LLC’s planned project is made up of the two parcels at 380 Main Street and 830 Douglas Avenue, and is bordered by Main Street, Douglas Avenue, Monroe Street and the Pinellas Trail.

A rendering of the aerial view of the hotel.

Founders executives stated they are expecting to close by mid-December on the site that currently houses a building used by manufacturing firm Ocean Optics. 

The three-story building would be demolished to make way for the mixed‐use development comprised of a boutique hotel, a restaurant and retail, a day spa and a rooftop pool with underground structured parking.

A rendering of the rooftop terrace.

The name of the project is the Stirling Resort and Spa. The boutique hotel would be branded by a national flag, four-star hotel. 

The hotel units are a mixture of studios, one-bedroom units and two‐ and three‐bedroom suites. The hotel will offer a 4,459-square-foot day spa and fitness center, and  5,130 square feet of meeting space. 

A rendering of the green spaces in the development.

On Wednesday, the Dunedin City Council is expected to discuss the design review application regarding the removal of the existing building, and the new build. 

The pool, day spa and fitness center at the site would all be open to the public on a membership basis, according to county documents.

A rendering of the entrance that would be seen in the evening.

Parking for the entire development will be underground and valet only. The restaurant/retail spaces are approximately 9,270 square feet with covered patio areas along Main Street, Douglas Avenue and the Pinellas Trail. 

The project includes two courtyards that open to the Pinellas Trail “to entice guests on the trail and invite trail users into the development.”

“Our intention is to approach the county, with the city of Dunedin’s help, to gain direct access to the trail from the courtyards. The courtyards are open to the public,” the documents read. 

A corner perspective of the hotel.

The group is proposing to have a landscape sculpture near the corner of Main Street and the Pinellas Trail, sculptural metal bike racks on either side of the entrance on Douglas Avenue and other artistic elements throughout the development. 

Founders is working with Charlotte, North Carolina-based rba architecture interiors on the project. 

The site was once slated for a project named Courtyard on Main, a mixed‐use project with condominiums. 

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bill Blizzard

    November 10, 2021at10:11 am

    This is absolutely the perfect use for this languishing site. I have long pitched the idea of a city park located on just the existing parking lot to open up the space to the trail and civic use. It was of course not economically feasible to do so. This is. Congrats on the idea and incorporating many of my thoughts, albeit unknown to you, into your proposal. The building will be a signature statement for Dunedin and a welcome addition. The only other point that comes to mind is this. During the pandemic I so enjoyed City’s temporary action to remove the parking and allow outside dining on the south side of Main Street. Incorporating this idea by the City on a permanent basis would enhance this section of town and improve the opportunities and property values of the existing uses. Think of the physical and visual synergy that could exist among the properties on both sides of Main Street if parking did not impede this interaction.

    Thanks,
    Bill Blizzard, AIA Emeritus
    Dunedin Resident

  2. Avatar

    Ralph N Torres

    November 10, 2021at2:27 pm

    The idea is horendoous.The small town feel that draws so many people who enjoy Dunedin as is,will be displaced.This is not Clearwater Beach.

  3. Avatar

    Joyce Allen

    November 10, 2021at3:48 pm

    It will crowd and commercialize the area and the trail to the point that ordinary citizens and trail users will avoid it. As it is it’s often uncomfortably crowded.

  4. Avatar

    Emma

    November 10, 2021at5:05 pm

    Yes, they will ruin Dunedin just like they did to Clearwater Beach. So crowded, parking difficulty keeps the locals away. So sad, every thing is geared for the vacationers.

  5. Avatar

    Tom Marco

    November 10, 2021at7:00 pm

    This is Exactly what downtown Denedin Does Not Need. Let’s just loose everything that the Downtown area is loved for. Any town can over development their downtown area. This will take away another piece of Dunedin that makes it so unique. We Do Not need yet another Developer to come into the area and literally change the landscape. Please enough damage has already been done ! This will take away the quaintness that the downtown is known for. If your trying to kill off the Dunedin vibe this is how you do it with this outrageous proposal. People it is time we organize in a Very Big way to fight these people who wish to destroy our lifestyle ! I have recently started The Dunedin property owners rights advocacy group. More to come on this at the next meeting. All interested residents please come. We must stop this nonsense.

  6. Avatar

    marjorie yedlin

    November 10, 2021at8:43 pm

    Our charming town of Dunedin is being ruined by these types of developments. Why do we need all this upscale tourist attraction. As a resident I will avoid this area.

  7. Avatar

    Linda L

    November 10, 2021at10:15 pm

    Little by little destroying what we knew as Delightful Dunedin. Being over developed, becoming over crowded, saturated, and eventually unrecognizable.

  8. Avatar

    Kay Sand

    November 11, 2021at4:29 am

    The quaint village of Dunedin will be destroyed ‘by commercial traffic/people visiting in droves.’
    NO way would this be good for our small town.

  9. Avatar

    Sharon Labrecque

    November 11, 2021at7:52 am

    I vote No on this! It does Not fit in with the area and will remove valuable parking space.

  10. Avatar

    Douglas

    November 11, 2021at8:32 am

    Parking has been an issue in Dunedin for a long time, the crowding will just get worse.
    The hometown feeling is what draws tourists and locals to the area,and makes it a great place to visit. Clearwater ruined its beaches for tourist dollars, alienated the locals, ruined it’s relaxed, classic hometown appeal.
    We don’t need this build in our beloved, downtown Dunedin.

  11. Avatar

    Juliet Lewis

    November 11, 2021at10:48 am

    This is a terrible terrible idea! It will change Dunedin into something that’s hard to recognize.

  12. Avatar

    Bill Blizzard

    November 11, 2021at11:37 am

    A close, 9-1 split decision. As the possessor of many minority opinions I find it fortunate that we are not the “deciders.” I also find this conversation interesting, but not surprising. Guess what … things change … towns evolve. Nothing is forever. This site will be purchased and developed for some use by some developer/owner. Count on it. As residents we might want to leave things the way they are, but in reality the best we can hope for and work towards is to have the change occur in keeping with the character of our town. This does. It is not a “Clearwater Beach” scale or density. It respects the scale of Dunedin both horizontally(by wall undulation and fenestration, change of materials, colors and the like) and vertically (by height, balconies, terraces, awnings, roof lines, etc). It is NOT a monolithic, non-articulated building, although zoning may permit this type of construction in this location … think about that. The boutique hotel would allow visitors to enjoy Dunedin on an extended stay rather than automobile based “day trip”. It appears to be a high quality project as well. (Check out some of the completed work produced by the selected architect.) The building also appears to be set back from the street an additional 10′ to allow for parallel parking, presumably for guest check in. All parking is contained below ground – not an inexpensive proposition. And probably most importantly it respects Pinellas Trail and draws people into the site for community use. For the nine of you, I appreciate your sentiments, but respectfully ask you to consider some of my comments. As and architect, I have nothing to do with the development of this project. I too just want the best for Dunedin. Thanks for listening, Bill.

  13. Avatar

    Merria Agnew

    November 11, 2021at3:36 pm

    I attended the planning board meeting last night. The presentation had contradictions and unanswered issued. There are least three unresolved issues concerning heights and setbacks. There is no approved access to the Trail requiring the town and county to provide upgrades. It was mentioned that Hyatt would manage the hotel and parking. There are 89 units plus retail, There are condos as well as hotel rooms so its not really a hotel. Add restaurants, and a 250 occupancy catering hall to that parking shortage. There are 118 parking spaces to accommodate all this density. Thus inadequate parking and lack of a loading dock to support deliveries for this. Their answer was the city planned to build a parking lot someday. Its a bad plan for a huge building that will choke downtown.

  14. Avatar

    Alison

    November 11, 2021at7:43 pm

    This is an awful idea as stated in other comments. This will take away the feel of Dunedin downtown that everyone enjoys. The thought of a 3 story concrete block right on Main street, is horrible. We are known as a small quant walkable town.

  15. Avatar

    Bill Blizzard

    November 11, 2021at8:47 pm

    Merria,
    Thanks for a fact based response. I assume that you and others will work toward a resolution of these and other issues.

  16. Avatar

    Elissa W

    November 11, 2021at8:56 pm

    Where is the Resident Advocacy Group meeting? We need to speak up to save our town! This developer greed will ruin one of the best gems left in Florida. Our area is precious in so many ways and we need to protect it…DO NOT PAVE OVER PARADISE…we do not have room for another quick pop up depressing condo/hotel. Our residents deserve the opportunity to vote on this land permitting situation.

  17. Avatar

    David Wallace

    November 12, 2021at1:36 pm

    I’m bewildered by many of the comments.
    1. We’re nowhere near the development of Clearwater (15+story high rises).
    2. The site is already paved (parking lot with an out-of-place 3-story building to be demolished).
    3. This is not a large hotel or condominium development.
    4. Not sure how we’ll become overcrowded. I love the downtown market & festivals (overcrowding is a success).
    5. Trail connectivity – we need MORE of this. I like that a number of businesses are open to the trail.

    I recall unhappiness over the Artisan 3-story apartments with street level retail. It appears that many of the existing businesses around it are doing well. And the city continues to improve.

    Parking may be an issue (this comment concerns me the most), because you can use a bike, walk, golf cart, scooter, bus, etc. I wish we all could untether ourselves from automobiles. Parking is the bane of modern existence. I bike regularly from north Dunedin (Curlew) into town and love it. Its much better than driving and parking an automobile.

    For most commenters who disagree; look at the land use map for the city. Most of this area is a Community Redevelopment District: https://dunedin-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5590c8f613394a9c99b83960b839ef5c

  18. Avatar

    Richard Chiriboga

    November 12, 2021at2:13 pm

    This project, as far as I can see, seems to be on a scale that would fit into Dunedin. I can imagine that if it does not happen, there would always be the possibility of something much much bigger getting built instead. I am still worried that the destruction of the beautiful Causeway to Honeymoon Island will someday happen.

  19. Avatar

    Sue

    November 12, 2021at2:19 pm

    I just visited Dunedin for the 1st time this summer, and I’m horrified by this idea and the impact it will have on residents. I can choose whether or not to visit, but they can’t. The small town vibe, super friendly people and that wonderful trail make this such a special place. I hate to see it go the way of all the other commercial (and can I say dollar-driven?) development nearby.

  20. Avatar

    Bunny Dutton

    November 13, 2021at11:42 pm

    This is larger than the other plans to come before the Commission. Where is the set back and green space we were all told about. The arched entries don’t make up for the general appearance of this way to tall building.

  21. Avatar

    Vanessa

    November 17, 2021at12:25 pm

    I am excited about this new hotel! I live in Tampa and take my family to Dunedin a couple times a year and the hotel we like to stay at The Fenway, requires us to use a car since it’s a mile or so down the road whereas this lovely hotel is right in the middle of everything. With two young kids it will be nice to just walk out the front door and start enjoying the little city!

  22. Avatar

    Victor Farinas

    November 18, 2021at7:50 am

    I’m amused by all the comments of don’t over build. I wonder if these are the same people trying to save the green spaces? If you want to save green space you have to have density building in core areas. If you don’t want over crowding in city center you have to give up those precious green spaces. I for one would prefer to see an old building that is not making good use of the ground it occupies with more density and proper design. This being said Dunedin should consider making Main Street a walking street only on weekends or possibly always.

  23. Avatar

    David B

    November 30, 2021at10:54 am

    This is a great use of the site and seems thoughtful to hide parking. The NIMBYs seem out in force on this post. Tourists walking and biking in lovely Dunedin will bring more shops and more restaurants. This is nothing like Clearwater beach, instead I think it will be more like Winter Park. Remember you live in a lot that someone once loved as woods or farm, and moved into a home a developer built. This infill development is good for Dunedin.

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