Holiday Motel UPDATE

Holiday Motel Hearing – Community Planning and Preservation Commission (CPPC)
April 9th | 2 pm | St. Pete City Hall
Please Attend or Submit a Letter of Support!

On Tuesday, April 9th, the Community Planning and Preservation Commission (CPPC) will hold a public hearing at City Hall beginning at 2 pm.  The purpose of this hearing is to determine if the Holiday Motel is worthy of the City’s designation as a historical landmark.  CHNA is asking for your help via written comments or in-person support at the meeting.  The application for historical landmark status was submitted to the City by Preserve the Burg (not CHNA).

What Can I Do?

The site developer has been responsive to CHNA and residents to help ensure the new development will not redirect traffic into the neighborhood and will limit negative impacts to neighbors on 24th and 25th Ave N.  The developer requests resident support for the CPPC hearing (see sample text below) and your efforts could help ensure that the site is redeveloped in a way that is positive for the residents of CHNA.  If this developer pulls out of the deal, the next developer may not be as flexible in addressing neighborhood concerns.

Please consider sending an e-mail of support to the City or attending the CPPC hearing on April 9th at 2:00 pm.

CHNA is not taking an official position on this matter; however, we did want to disseminate information to residents as this matter will have a significant impact on our neighborhood.

Sample Letter of Support

If you would like to support Armstrong Properties effort to redevelop in a way that is responsive to neighborhood concerns or if you feel that the structure is not worthy of designation, please consider sending the following letter of support to Katherine.Connell@stpete.org:

Dear CPPC member:

As a neighbor of the Holiday Motel, I object to its designation as a historic property.  The Holiday Motel perhaps once served tourists, but today offers no historic use or quality that the city should desire from its historic structures. The nondescript architecture, placement of the buildings, size of the buildings and quality of the construction eliminate any potential historic benefit that could exist. Nostalgia should not be the basis for designation of historic properties. Our neighborhood has many traditional qualities – and retaining this transient housing does not contribute to that quality. Please do not designate this as a historic property.  I can/cannot attend the meeting next week but wanted to be sure you were aware of my objection.

 Sincerely,
 NAME
ADDRESS

If you believe that the Holiday Motel is worthy of historical landmark status (regardless if it remains in our neighborhood or elsewhere in St. Pete), Preserve the Burg requests that you send the following letter of support to Katherine.Connell@stpete.org:

Commissioners::  We all need to work hard to keep St. Petersburg special! The Holiday Motel on 4th St. N. at 24th Ave. is a piece of what makes us special! It is an excellent, early example of visually distinctive roadside architecture, built at a time when the family road trip was an intrinsic part of the Florida Dream! The motel, previously known as the Wilmarth Apartments, dates to the mid-1930s. The buildings clearly meet the criteria for landmark designation, having been first evaluated in 1995 as part of the St. Petersburg Historical Resource Survey project – at which point they were considered to be individually eligible for both local and National Register designation. Let’s preserve the ‘Burg! Please say YES to the Holiday Motel landmark application. Let’s respect our city’s past  and its sense of place.

What’s the Issue?

The owner of the Holiday Motel has sold the land and the two residential properties at the back to a Tampa-based developer, Armstrong Development Properties, Inc.  The owner of the property wishes to retire, so the Holiday Motel will be sold and change will come to the site.  The owner objects to the designation application and does not wish for the Holiday Motel to be considered a historical landmark.  Additionally, Armstrong Properties has met with Preserve the Burg to discuss different ways that they could donate the structure or incorporate some of the historical aspects of the structure into the site plans; however, Preserve the Burg has not consented to withdrawing the application in exchange for the concessions offered.

Armstrong Properties submitted site plan drawings to CHNA residents in February, and was receptive to feedback and concerns.  Revised site plans have been drawn up and submitted to the City for review and approval.  However, the approval process on the City’s end is currently unable to proceed while the landmark application is active.

Preserve the Burg is considering relocating the Holiday Motel buildings to another area downtown.  This means that the site in Crescent Heights may be redeveloped either way if the Motel is awarded historical landmark status.  However, CHNA neighbors may have to work with a new developer that won’t be as receptive to suggestions and feedback.

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