REDINGTON SHORES (FOX 13) - An investor who recently bought part of John’s Pass Village wants to save a landmark just down the road.
Ben Mallah wants to buy the Redington Long Pier and build a $20 million hotel on what is now the pier’s parking lot.
“Right now it's a blight,” says Mallah. “It’s a shame that it got to this point, but it is what it is. The only viable plan I see is to have a hotel there.”
The pier, built in 1962, stretches 1,200 feet into the gulf. Hurricane Irma damaged the pier. And during recents storms, boards came off, littering nearby beaches.
Some call it a safety hazard.
The pier’s owner, Tony Antonious has been in a legal battle with the town of Redington Shores. Town officials won’t comment because of a lawsuit.
“It’s a situation,” says Mallah. “We just want to come in and do what makes sense. We want to use logic.”
Mallah says if the town will change the zoning of the pier and its parking lot, he could build a hotel atop a parking garage.
“ I don’t know what the ultimate plan will be for the pier, but we have every intention of saving it and rebuilding it,” says Mallah.
The next Redington Shores zoning meeting is Oct. 3. Sources tell FOX 13 News plans to demolish the pier are in place, awaiting final approval from state environmental officials and the courts.