Waterline: A Fresh Draw for Holmes Beach


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, March 21th, 2016 – Relief is in sight for homeowners in Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, who may have been bothered for years by the eyesore of rebar in the ground for what was supposed to be the Tidemark Lodge at Marina Drive. By end-2016, the posh Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club is expected to be up on this site that Tampa-based Mainsail Lodging and Development has taken over.

Waterline nearly suffered the same misfortune as the Tidemark Lodge which failed to take off due to bankruptcies and foreclosures after its project launch in 2002. The city and local residents initially opposed the original plan for Mainsail because it was deemed as too dense and presented parking problems and other issues. The Waterline plan though was eventually approved after the size and height of its buildings were scaled down and moved farther away from nearby private residences, steps that may have also helped strengthen values of homes for sale in Holmes Beach.

Biggest in Holmes Beach

Waterline: A Fresh Draw for Holmes Beach

All the necessary permits for the construction of Waterline’s buildings have been obtained, and after foundation work, the project should be set to “go vertical” by mid- or late April, a Mainsail executive said. This resort hotel undertaking looms as the biggest in Holmes Beach’s history, city officials noted, with construction costs on permits issued totaling some $11 million already. Earlier published reports on the Waterline project put its value at the $20 million and $30 million range.

Located bayfront at 5325 Marina Drive, Waterline is also shaping up as the only full-service hotel on Anna Maria Island. It will feature 37 luxury resort units within two three-story buildings built around an existing 50-slip marina. The hotel units, programmed for two rooms each and available for overnight up to 120-day stays, will occupy the buildings’ two upper floors.

The ground level is reserved for 2,000 square feet of meeting rooms and for an 80-seat signature restaurant which would be open to the public. Besides a fitness center, offices and gift shops, Waterline will also feature a resort-style pool with an oversized sun deck, plus 98 parking spaces, Mainsail said.

Community Benefits

The company also owns and operates the gulf-front Mainsail Beach Inn at 101 66th Street northwest of Waterline. An electric jitney service is being considered to ferry guests between Waterline and the Beach Inn as well as serve other destinations. Mainsail further seeks to reduce its properties’ impact on local vehicular traffic by promoting use of the island’s public trolley and bike rentals.

Also beneficial for Holmes Beach residents, Mainsail is likewise giving a facelift to a strip mall that it owns too adjacent to Waterline. The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, a restaurant and other businesses are located here. The Waterline project is seen creating 400 new jobs, including those generated by its construction and the equivalent of 70 full-time positions when it is already operational.

The tourist traffic in Waterline should likewise help bring some market exposure to Anna Maria Island homes for sale at Holmes Beach such as those at Westbay Point & Moorings. Located at Flotilla Drive just a short distance north of the marina and luxury resort hotel project, this is a bayfront condo community with heated pools/spa, shuffleboard, tennis courts, boat docks, kayak launch and fishing pier. Typical sales listings here are at the $300s and $400s price range, featuring floor plans ranging from about 1,000 up to 1,458 square feet designed with two bedrooms.