CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - A major development project in downtown Clearwater may not happen after a vote by the city to purchase land coveted by the Church of Scientology.
The city voted Thursday night to buy a vacant lot beside city hall from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for $4.25 million. The Church of Scientology also bid on the property - for $15 million. The vote was preceded by a long line of community members eager to comment on the potential purchase. Many of them were in favor.
Now that the city has decided to buy the land, the plan is for them to build a shopping plaza. The church hoped to expand its footprint in that location and put millions into redeveloping Cleveland Street. The church had planned to bring in high end retail and spruce up store fronts.
Some in the area now say the church's plan to redevelop the Cleveland Street area may have been better for local businesses.
Read more about the city's purchase here: http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/249804888-story