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Redington Shores, Long Pier owner reach a settlement

Bill DeYoung

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The 1,200-foor Redington Long Pier was built in 1962, and demolished in 2020. Photo: LoopNet.

The Redington Long Pier,  Dec. 27, 2019. Photo by Bill DeYoung.

Although the historic Redington Long Pier was demolished in the spring of 2020, the drama over the dilapidated overwater structure, and the remaining .78 acres on Gulf Boulevard, is far from over.

In August, the Town of Redington Shores agreed to an out-of-court settlement with pier owner Nashaat “Tony” Antonious, who’d alleged “improper inspections, invalid liens, refusals of reasonable rezoning requests, and concerted action to prevent Plaintiffs from selling, rezoning, or repurposing their property.” Antonious’ lawsuit sought over $15 million in damages.

The mediation settlement filed Aug. 3 called for the town, while admitting no wrongdoing, to pay Antonious $800,000.

Redington Long Pier owner Nashaat “Tony” Antonious, December 2018. Photo by Bill DeYoung.

In 2019, Antonious sued Redington Shores after commissioners voted 4 to 1 to deny a land use change, required so that developers could build a 120-room, nine-story hotel on Antonius’ property, the former pier parking lot at 17490 Gulf Blvd.

Constructed in 1962, the 1,200-foot wooden pier was a popular fishing destination, and the one and only tourist attraction in tiny Redington Shores.

As such, its official land use designation was for Recreation/Open Space.

Time and the elements tore away at the pier as it changed owners several times. Antonious, an accountant, purchased the facility in 2000, but found himself unable to keep up with the constant repairs.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma pushed the failing overwater structure past the point of no return. Antonius put both pier and parking lot on the market for $6.5 million, but had no takers.

RELATED STORY: Unfinished business: The Redington Long Pier is for sale and in dispute

Last year, after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection declared the crumbling structure unsafe, its remains were removed at state expense.

RELATED STORY: Demolished: The Redington Long Pier passes into history

On May 12 of this year, the Redington Shores Town Commission’s Planning and Zoning Board again voted down Antonious’ proposed land use change, from Outdoor Recreation/Public Open Space to Medium/High Density Multi Residential.

That means the .78 acre parking lot site can only be used for green space or a recreational business, such as a mini-golf course.

According to a story in Tampa Bay Newspapers, Commissioner Jennie Blackburn questioned Antonious’ motives during the May meeting. “So if I were the owner,” she said, “all I would have to do is let the pier fall into disrepair, to where it had to be torn down, and then it’s, ‘Now I get to develop this and make my big payday.’”

On the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s website, 17490 currently has a land use designation of “Vacant commercial w/FXSB,” which indicates there is a “special feature or extra building,” such as a deck or shed. It was not clear what sort of structure remained on the site.

Reached by phone Sunday afternoon, Antonious said he was pleased with the settlement, but vowed to continue his effort to get the zoning designation changed.

“Let me put it this way – the battle got easier and easier after that settlement,” he said.

As is, the property’s asking price is $5.2 million, according to Antonius. “If we can change the zoning, the price is going to go up.

“That’s why we’re not listing at the current time, until we see where we’re standing.”

Antonius predicted that the Planning and Zoning Board won’t approve a zoning change to “Commercial,” for hotel construction, but will vote for “Residential,” so a small condo building can eventually be erected. His property is bookended by the Sea Oats Hotel on the north side, and Anglers Cove Rentals on the south.

“And we’re not in a rush any more,” he said, adding that he spent 75 percent of the settlement money on legal fees.

The zoning designation, according to Antonious’ real estate agent John Burpee, is being appealed. “They had filed for a zoning change, for 10 condo units on the property, which would be the absolute minimum,” Burpee explained. “And that got denied. So what we’re doing is waiting to find out exactly how many units we’re going to be able to get, with density. And if they win this suit, what the zoning is. We can’t price the property because we have no idea what we’re selling.”

RELATED STORY: Long Pier owner alleges something fishy in Redington Shores

 

 

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Brian Kelly

    September 28, 2021at4:14 pm

    The man got nearly a million dollar reward for greediness. Redington Shores should keep the zoning as is and build a park with beach access. Maybe a small restaurant too. A dog park would be super nice. By no means should they give that man anything more.

  2. Avatar

    Sam

    September 28, 2021at9:24 pm

    I loved it when he renamed it the Dubai Pier. That guy is full of piss and vinegar.

  3. Avatar

    Sandy

    September 29, 2021at2:33 pm

    It’s guys like this that ruin what beautiful places we have left!
    I say hell no! He has already cashed in. Please do not change the zoning.

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