A recent question about 16th Street on the City’s Facebook page prompted this response, which includes information for other questions that may be on the minds of some residents.
1, When will 16th Street be repaired? Before the answer, an explanation: Most of 16th Street is owned by the County. In 1996, the County put a drainage pipe 72 inches in diameter under the street. This pipe is part of the A1A Beach Boulevard drainage system. Over the years, the pipe has settled and the street’s pavement has become cracked and uneven. In recent letter, the County Administrator, Mr. Michael Wanchick, informed me that repair of 16th Street will begin in June 2018. For A1A Beach Boulevard, also owned by the County and widened in 1996, repair of it will be done when FEMA approves the funding.
2. When will Mickler Boulevard between Pope Road and 16th Street be repaired? It is scheduled to be repaved by the City in 2020.
3. When will the Embassy Suites be finished? The unofficial guess: September or October 2018.
4. What will be built on the west side of A1A Beach Boulevard between 4th and 5th Streets, between 7th and 8th Streets, and on the east side between 5th and 6th Streets? Several years ago, the owner of the Marriott Courtyard proposed a Holiday Inn Express between 4th and 5th Streets. This would have required changing the land use of six lots from residential to commercial. The City Commission didn’t approve the change. Of the 14 lots between 7th and 8th Streets, 10 belong to the Marriott owner. Most were cleared for overflow parking from the Marriott, though the parking lot wasn’t constructed. No proposal has been submitted for other uses of this land, nor for the vacant property between 5th and 6th Streets on the Boulevard’s east side.
5. How many licenses for transient rentals remain? The City allows transient rentals of 30 days or less in medium and medium-low residential land use districts, which are located in the residential areas east and west of A1A Beach Boulevard between 16th and F Streets. The Commission has capped the number of licenses at 100. Once that limit is reached, applicants will be put on a waiting list. By the middle of June, 92 licenses have been issued. There is no cap on licenses for transient rentals in the commercial land use district, which borders the Boulevard’s east and west sides between Pope Road and F Street.
6. When will Panama Hattie’s be renovated? Good question. Your guess is as good as mine.
7. What will happen to the former Mosquito Control District property on Old Beach Road? The County now owns it. In a recent letter, County Administrator Michael Wanchick wrote “that reserving this site for the eventual relocation of Fire Station 7 [from pier park] is the most prudent course of action at this time….” He didn’t say when the fire station might be built.
8. Odds and ends: After 36 years on the Boulevard at 11th Street, the Shell Shop has closed. The building will become a real estate office. The Olde Carriage Realty office at 16th Street and the Boulevard has also closed and may be the location of a non-franchise donut shop. Which brings to mind this observation: that the Boulevard’s east side seems to be the City’s snack/sweet tooth side (Antonio’s Pizza, Rita’s Ice, Cone Heads Ice Cream, and now the donut shop), while the west side is the domain of full-scale restaurants.
To be sure, there are also restaurants on the east side, but definitely the Boulevard’s beachside is more calorically dense, shall we say.