Waterline Resort making way to opening day

Waterline trolley
A new trolley, currently parked at the Mainsail Beach Inn on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach, will be used to ferry guests between the Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club and the Gulf-front resort property. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH — It’s been a long, bumpy road for the city of Holmes Beach and Mainsail Property Management, owner of the new Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club.

After months of delays, both parties met during the Aug. 23 city commission meeting to hammer out the details of two agreements that will allow the staff to ready the resort for guests.

Mainsail Vice President of Development Brian Check appeared with attorney Robert Lincoln on behalf of the resort to ask commissioners to consider two agreements presented, one for additional off-site parking and another verifying the 37 two-bedroom resort units would not be used as 74 one-bedroom lock out units.

City Attorney Patricia Petruff said she’d previously met with Mainsail management to discuss the terms of the two agreements on behalf of the city and was satisfied with the outcome.

Commissioners posed no objections to the agreements, allowing them to be recorded and enforced by building department and code enforcement staff.

One of the conditions stipulated for approval by commissioners was that any temporary occupancy certificates issued for the property only allow resort staff, trainers and other necessary personnel to stay overnight at the property. No guests, paying or not, are allowed by the city to occupy the resort until a full certificate of occupation is given.

Check requested that a TCO be issued for Building B, a seven-unit building located on the south side of the property, and the first floor of the main building in the coming weeks to allow for staff on site training. He said the expectation is to have on site training for at least two weeks prior to opening while last-minute work is going on at the resort. Some of the work includes furnishing rooms, landscaping and hardscaping, including parking lots.

Commissioner Judy Titsworth questioned where staff members would park with work still being done on the resort’s parking lot.

Anticipating a reduction in construction workers as work is completed, Check said hotel staff will occupy those vacated spaces as well as parking under Building B which is near completion. He estimates less than 20 staff members will be on site at any given time once the TCO is issued.

Building Official Jim McGuinness advised Check and Lincoln to create a punch list of items still in need of completion on the resort property before officially requesting a TCO. He also suggested to make the list “as small as possible” before applying. A TCO can be issued for up to 90 days. Check said he expects to apply for a full certificate of occupancy as early as mid-September.

The second agreement for commission consideration was an off-site parking agreement for the rental of 32 spaces from neighboring Wells Fargo bank to provide additional parking for the 50-slip marina. The resort’s site plan, approved by commissioners, requires a minimum of 17 parking spaces designated for the marina.

Lincoln said the additional parking gives the resort the ability to “handle future needs” at the marina.

“They’ve made a lot of progress but they’ve still got a long way to go,” McGuinness said of the resort project.

The opening date for the hotel is currently expected to be Oct. 1.