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Pinellas Commissioners Finalize Purchase Of Undeveloped Dunedin Property

Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times
Part of the 44-acre Gladys Douglas Preserve in Dunedin.

Plans for the 44-acre parcel include hiking trails and an observation platform.

The biggest piece of financing has been secured to buy one of the last major undeveloped parcels in Pinellas County.

County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve spending $3.5 million to help purchase the Gladys Douglas Hackworth property in Dunedin. That will be added to $2 million already approved by the city.

The 44-acre parcel on Keene Road would be combined with adjacent land that is owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. There are plans to build hiking trails, an observation platform, and fishing pier on the lake.

The land was originally under contract with a real estate developer, but when the deal fell through, the city, county and a private donor offered $8 million.

But the Hackworth estate countered with a $10 million asking price and provided time to raise funds through a community campaign. Nearly $5 million came in after that appeal.

Closing of the deal is expected by the end of April.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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