Lido Beach pavilion, pool plan dividing neighbors

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A contract to allow the owners of the Daiquiri Deck to add a restaurant, tiki bar, cabanas and operate the public pool at the Lido Key Beach Pavilion will be voted on at a City of Sarasota Commission meeting Nov. 6.

Contention is growing.

A draft of the contract was obtained by Sarasota City News on Oct. 27 and the term calls for a 10-year lease of 2.5 acres of the 13.71-acre publicly-owned beach property overlooking the Gulf of Mexico to a private Limited Liability Corporation for a 200-seat restaurant, ice cream parlor, event lawn, sundry store and other operations that would be performed by the tenant.

The proposed tenant, Lido Beach Redevelopment partners, LLC. — whose principals own the local Daiquiri Deck restaurants — would pay an annual rent starting at $80,000 per year with annual escalations.

The redevelopment plan has sparked both public criticism and support with those in favor saying much needed renovations to the bathroom and pool and an overall modernization of the facility will be beneficial.

Opponents fault the idea on a both philosophical and pragmatic basis.

Philosophically, some says the privatization of the public structure and allowing the expansion of the commercial activities to include a bar, restaurant, and cabana rental system, as well as a site for weddings and events, is an irresponsible direction for the city commission to take.

Other opponents fear that once the public-private partnership is forged, an ever-expanding effort by the private entity to use the site will incur.

For Lido Key property owner and resort owner Mark Walsh, it is an extremely bad deal for city residents.

“It is time to rethink this Lido Beach Pavilion plan. It our duty to preserve these public assets for each generation to use and not to farm them out to a private developer. We have a growing community that is growing very quickly and we need to be very careful with what happens to the any beach and make it available to all families. Any time public lands such as parks and beaches are opened up to private interests, you have to wonder where it will end. In this case, the idea was to simply fix the restrooms, operate the pool, and add shading to the concession area. Now it has expanded too far, far beyond what is needed for all the families in Sarasota to experience a day at the public beach,” said Walsh.


Details still lacking…

Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch told Sarasota City News that she has not officially seen any details as to what the city would be paid for the lease agreement, how many seats the restaurant proposes, or any of the necessary information she needs to consider the proposal, as well as what she needs to discuss it with her constituents.

“We’ve had meeting after meeting and we still do not know what we are talking about. We need the details. and we need to think about it and let the residents think about it before we proceed,” said Ahearn-Koch.

The Lido Beach Development Partners plan to build a new splash pool for children, add a tiki bar, renovate the restroom facilities and develop a new restaurant to be named “Castaways of Lido Key.”

The Development Group is headed by Troy Syprett and Gavin Meshad, who also developed the Aloft Sarasota Hotel downtown.


Genesis of plan

The issue began in 2011 when the city talked about closing the pool due to a lack of use and maintenance and the cost to operate. Residents cried out to not only keep, but rehabilitate the pavilion and pool which date back more than 50 years.

The Lido Key Residents Association worked with a City consultant to develop a Master Plan. That plan to renovate the facility would cost about $3.2 million to undertake. That led the city to develop the idea of a public-private partnership because the city had only earmarked $1.25 million to redevelop and renovate the site. In 2014, the City Commission told staff to develop an Intent to Negotiate.

In 2015, the Daiquiri Deck owners responded to the ITN and the City and since then the Lido Beach Redevelopment partners have worked with residents and adjusted the plan.

The Daiquiri Deck owners’ plan originally included a mini golf course and a 305-seat restaurant. Since then, the mini golf has been nixed and the restaurant has been reduced to 200 seats, which is 25 percent more than in the current concession area.

In January 2017, the City Commission voted to move forward with the current plan with the Daiquiri Deck owners and to develop a contract reflecting the terms, which will be voted on at the Nov. 6 meeting.


Lido Beach Draft Lease Highlights

• Leasehold area is approximately 2.5 acres.

• Lease will commence on May 1, 2018 for the construction phase.

Tenant covenants to construct the initial improvements within the lease such that final certificate of occupancy for initial improvements will be issued on or before June 30, 2019.

• During the construction phase the Tenant shall be responsible for providing interim food service for beach patrons from 11:30 am –

5:00 pm 7 days a week.

• The Initial lease term will be 10 years from certificate of occupancy allowing the leasehold to be open to the public (the lease phase).

• The Tenant shall have two additional 10-year renewal options for the extension of the lease phase.

• Tenant will construct the following initial improvements to the leasehold: Remodel building A into a restaurant, kitchen and service bar, remodel building B restrooms, sundry store, offices add an ice cream parlor. Add fabric roof structure over pavilion area. Construct a tiki bar, construct a splash pad for children.

Construct cabanas along west side of pool deck, install decorative concrete for pavilion area, pool area and splash pad. Construct playground and open green space on east side of building A.

• Tenant is responsible for obtaining a major conditional use, which requires public hearings before the Planning Board and City Commission regarding the major conditional use and site plan.

• Commencing with the lease phase the annual rent for the first year is $80,000. The annual rental amount for year two is $90,000. The annual rental amount for year three shall be $100,000. (base rent) or 3.5% of gross sales whichever amount is greater. Starting in year four an increase to the annual base rent shall occur each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 4%.

• Maximum operating hours shall be 8:00 am – 10:30 pm 7 days a week. Tenant covenants to maintain the restrooms and keep them clean and open 8:00 am – 10:30 pm every day including holidays and weekends.

• The Lido pool shall be available to the public a minimum of 7 hours a day Tuesday- Sunday.

• Tenant assumes full responsibility and liability for the operations, management, maintenance, security, trash removal, mowing landscaping, lighting, signage, parking, utility costs, taxes, insurance and impact fees relating to the use of the leasehold.

• Tenant acknowledges City shall have no responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the leasehold. City shall however be responsible for 50% of the total cost incurred for repairs or replacement with regard to the existing roof of the structures or any under slab plumbing. City’s financial responsibility for these matters shall be in the nature of a rent credit to Tenant as reimbursement for any of these costs with a maximum annual rent credit of $40,000.

• In the event Tenant would like to make capital improvements to the leasehold after 24 years of annual rental payments have been made and if the lease agreement has not yet been extended beyond its initial potential 30 year lease phase term, Tenant shall notify City Manager of its desire. Tenant may request an extension of the lease in order to amortize the desired capital improvement, or Tenant may receive a rent credit against the annual rent amount up to $50,000 per year.

• Tenant covenants to provide office space and storage space for lifeguards of Sarasota County

• Tenant covenants to coordinate and continue City’s special events which had previously been held within the leasehold so as long as it does not impose an undue hardship upon the Tenant.

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1 Response for “Lido Beach pavilion, pool plan dividing neighbors”

  1. Betty j Allen says:

    I personally feel that the city of Sarasota should put the funds into upgrading the beach and pavilion area for the regular residents instead of saving money for the city. I recall that Siesta Key was upgraded at the cost of several million dollars. What are we, the poor relatives? Soon there would be no more free parking and the average resident would be pushed out. It would become an area for the tourists or otherwise wealthy people.

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