Anna Maria reviews pier rebuild, permit schedule

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The Anna Maria City Pier bait shop lost its roof in September 2017 to Hurricane Irma, among other damages. The restaurant fared well, but the facility now awaits demolition in May. Islander File Photo: Jack Elka
A rendering of the proposed design for the Anna Maria City Pier looking landward shows a slightly altered floor plan to accommodate more storage inside the bait shop and restaurant. Islander Courtesy Photo: The Schimberg Group
Anna Maria Commissioners Carol Carter and Brian Seymour April 3 examine samples of the Kebony and HardiePlank wood considered for the buildings on the city pier. Islander Photo: Bianca Benedí

Work on the Anna Maria City Pier should begin in May.

In a commission meeting April 3, Jay Saxena, vice president of Ayres Associates, the engineering firm in charge of rebuilding the pier, delivered details of a timeline for the project.

The planks should be removed on or about May 15.         The timeline anticipates demolition to begin in early May and to be complete by early September.

Ayres received its demolition permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers March 7 and expects to receive a construction permit by July 31.

Work on the platform is expected to begin in late August and work on the restaurant is set to begin in April 2019.

A seagrass study requested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is set to start at the beginning of May, and is required before construction.

Saxena said NOAA is working with Ayres to move the date to May 11 instead of June, when it would normally be scheduled, to coincide with the season for seagrasses to be most fully in bloom.

Ayres has scheduled when it will issue requests for proposals for crews to perform the work. A demolition RFP will be issued April 20. A platform construction RFP will go out June 1 and a restaurant construction RFP is scheduled for Aug. 1.

The firm has yet to set dates for when it will order and receive materials for construction.

All work should be completed by December 2019, according to Ayres.

Commissioner Brian Seymour asked Saxena April 3 how sure he was the pier could go back up if they tore it down.

“There’s no reason they wouldn’t let us do it,” Saxena said, pointing out the existing pier poses a public safety hazard.

Saxena said the Army Corps is thankful that the city is going through the permitting process to repair the pier, noting that the pier had previously been constructed and repaired without permits or studies.

“We would really have to do some toe dancing with the Army Corps to be able to keep it,” Mayor Dan Murphy said.

 

Commission chooses pier siding

It’s Kebony, again.

In a split vote, Anna Maria commissioners decided April 3 to proceed with Kebony for the future siding on the buildings at the T-end of the city pier.

Kebony is created with pine and modified to perform like mahogany or teak, tropical hardwoods that last longer.

Commissioners Brian Seymour and Doug Copeland voted against Kebony.

Commissioners Carol Carter, Amy Tripp and Dale Woodland voted in favor.

The commission voted in March to use Kebony for the pier’s decking as well. The material comes with a 30-year warranty.

For side paneling, Kebony runs $8.50 a square foot. Material costs for 5,000 square feet are $42,500.

Jay Saxena of Ayres Associates, the engineering firm contracted to design and build the pier, and Barron Schimberg of the architectural firm, Schimberg Group, presented Kebony and other options April 3 in a meeting to finish selections for the building.

Other options cost less than Kebony.

HardiePlank, at $1.25 per square foot, was the least expensive option. Schimberg said the material should be painted unless ordered in a preferred color, but it is durable.

Beveled cedar costs $2.50 a square foot and cypress select runs $6.30 per square foot. Schimberg said cedar and cypress do not come with warranties, but they are durable materials that weather well.

However, Commissioner Doug Copeland said he did not think cypress or cedar would be as durable as HardiePlank. He said he built window shutters for his home 20 years ago with cypress select and HardiePlank.

“The (HardiePlank) board looks like the day I put it up,” Copeland said.

He also brought a sample of decayed cypress from his shutters. Most of the cypress he used is still in good shape, he said, but some is rotting.

He advocated for the use of HardiePlank, pointing out it is cheaper than Kebony and still provides durability.

Schimberg said the aesthetics of HardiePlank will be “flatter” and resemble concrete.

Selecting siding for the restaurant and bait buildings was the final decision for the city commission to make on construction materials, Saxena said.

Mayor Dan Murphy asked commissioners if they wanted to add railings to the design. “People seem to be divided on it,” he said.

Sissy Quinn, a resident of Anna Maria and head of a preservation group, said she preferred no railing, adding most people would feel it would less resemble the old pier.

Commissioners voted 5-0 against railing, but asked Murphy to look into raising the curb — toe boards on the edge of the walkway and T-end.

 

Input provided by pier tenant

      Some changes were made to the floor plan to accommodate requests by pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder, Schimberg said.

In a March meeting, Schimberg proposed opening up the restaurant by installing sliding-glass doors and windows along the back wall, so the restaurant could be opened for a breeze.

However, Schimberg said Schoenfelder retained only a sliding-glass door on the inside wall, for servers to go in and out.

He also requested clear plastic curtains along the edge of the roofing that could be dropped during inclement weather so customers could remain seated outside.

The bait shop would be redesigned to include sliding-glass windows, as well as boundaries redrawn to provide more storage space.

The kitchen also would be expanded for more prep space.

Schimberg said he was meeting with Schoenfelder April 9 to go over more design options, including altering the ceiling to improve acoustics.

One thought on “Anna Maria reviews pier rebuild, permit schedule

  1. Dr. Mike Thomason

    AMI commission: Just a bunch of unethical people at work with no clue what life means. Laying off 50 people and closing the pier for extended time costing taxpayer $1.5 to 2M more than rehab is just non-sense. They should be held personally accountable for their behavior.

    Reply

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