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Builder pledges old Florida cottage to remain

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

A 1938-built home at 9802 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, was recently purchased by builder/developer Shawn Kaleta, who said the house will be renovated and maintained as an old Florida cottage. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

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.

6 Responses to Builder pledges old Florida cottage to remain

  1. Mike Deal says:

    Just because the wolf does not eat your sheep this time, he is still a wolf!!! I would not get too excited

    • John says:

      Please don’t allow any building permits to him in the city limits of Anna Maria. I believe his only concern is making money, not about the feel of A.M.I.

  2. John S. says:

    Great! One time out of 50, Kaleta decides NOT to tear down a modest island home and replace it with a towering duplex eyesore, and the Islander feels the need to trumpet it to the masses. I guess the Islander is handling all of Kaleta’s PR now.

    • Ted says:

      I think you missed the point here John. By publishing his promise in the paper it more or less makes him keep his word this time. I think the Islander did us a favor by doing so. It’s the other paper on the island that seems to be silent about his shenanigans. Thanks Islander for making this info public.

  3. Mermaiden says:

    Ruined the area we’ve gone to for the past 20 years. I feel so bad for the nice people who still have their homes on all the streets he’s defaced.

  4. Mrsviper says:

    Its unfortunate some people get a reputation like this. But, truth will prevail it always Lets keep an eye on this situation the more publicity the better informed..

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