Commissioners to Vote on Belleview Biltmore Hotel's Fate

Apr 14, 2014

The future of one of the largest wooden structures in the world will be decided Tuesday. Belleview Biltmore hotel near Clearwater is up for demolition if a rezoning measure is approved.

The Belleview Biltmore Hotel, built in 1897, hosted business giants, local socialites and even presidents back in the day. It closed in 2009 for renovations but with the housing market crash it never reopened.

Now, a rezoning measure would allow developers to bulldoze it and build condos in its place.

The "White Queen of the Gulf" has been closed down for five years in need of serious repairs. Commissioners will decide whether to allow preservation for the wooden structure or allow demolition to build future condominiums.
Credit National Trust for Historic Preservation

Save the Biltmore Preservationists member Karmen Hayes says another 4- 1 yes vote would mean the end of the hotel.

"The town commission is obligated to look out for the public. That's who they swore their oath to," Hayes said.  "They also swore an oath to protect that hotel and if they pass the zoning they will be doing the opposite of that."

Hayes said developer Belleview Biltmore Partners has secured enough money for restoration.

Commissioners meet Tuesday at 6:30 P.M. at Belleair Town Hall.