Anna Maria resident and builder/developer Shawn Kaleta is taking some flack for building rental homes that are large enough to accommodate several families in Holmes Beach. His name was mentioned at one Holmes Beach commission meeting as someone who didn’t care about the old Florida charm of Anna Maria Island.
But after purchasing an older family home from the Moss estate last year at 101 Willow Ave., Anna Maria, Kaleta pledged to do what he could to preserve the historical significance of the Moss home and others he might buy in the city.
He now has that chance.
Kaleta recently purchased a small, 1938-built, ground-level vacation rental at 9802 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, but said he has no plans to tear the structure down.
“I plan to restore the cottage and a local resident has already bought it as a full-time home/office. It will remain a quaint, Anna Maria cottage,” Kaleta said.
The property lies within the city’s retail-office-residential district, and Kaleta could build a three-story ROR structure with a residence atop a ground-level business.
But he says that’s not the plan.
“I want to help preserve as many of the old Florida homes as possible,” he said.
Sissy Quinn, chair of the city’s historical preservation committee, was ecstatic to hear Kaleta’s comments.
“That’s just wonderful. That’s just so good to hear. I hope some of the other builders will follow his example,” she said.
“This is what we on the committee are working for. Everyone comes to Anna Maria for the old Florida charm. If developers keep building three-story homes as vacation rentals, old Florida in Anna Maria will disappear. I really congratulate Shawn.”
Kaleta also owns a single-family home at 9405 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, which he renovated. The house will remain a vacation rental, he said, although it sits on two lots.