Developer eyes mixed-use project in Clearwater's North Marina area

A developer wants to transform 21 acres in Clearwater’s North Marina District into a $350 million mixed-use project.

Rodney Riley’s RSR Captial Advisors is purchasing 15 parcels in the area north of downtown and has redevelopment plans that include office, residential, hotel, luxury condos and a heavy focus on affordable housing. 

“The affordable housing is for everyone, but we really want to put a strong focus on helping nurses, firemen and policemen,” Riley says about the workforce housing component of his plans.

This project is so significant that Riley made the move from Scottsdale, Arizona to Clearwater in January to give it his full attention. When asked about any other current projects in Florida, Riley says that the Clearwater Marina District is his main priority and where most of his focus lies. 

“Clearwater is a wonderful place and has tremendous development opportunity,” he says. 

According to a website RSR Advisors developed for the Clearwater project, Riley’s career in real estate has focused on the Sun Belt states and has included Florida projects in Winter Park, Coral Springs, Palm Coast, Orlando, Naples and Boca Raton. 

Clearwater officials have long sought to see redevelopment and increased business activity in the North Marina District. There has been progress in recent years. The busy Seminole Boat Ramp underwent a $6.5 million improvement project and craft beer brewery Clearwater Brewing Company opened. In May, the city’s Community Development Board approved a developer’s application for a 60-unit condominium and townhouse project in the area.

The City Council has also looked for private sector interest in the renovation of the old North Ward Elementary School building for adaptive reuse. The city has successfully gotten the circa 1915 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A recent request from the city for organizations and businesses to submit proposals on the reuse of the historic school building received one response- from Riley and RSR Advisors. A city selection committee felt there were issues with the proposal and did not elect to move forward with it, according to a city spokesperson.  

For more information on RSR Advisors' mixed-use development plan please go to The Clearwater Marina District.