ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg's Skyway Marina district shut down unexpectedly, just a little over a year after it opened.
The Getaway Restaurant inside Maximo Marina closed last Tuesday without notice, stunning those who live near the waterfront restaurant.
Donald Wagner can't understand why the picturesque eatery would close after a $25 million renovation project at Maximo Marina.
“The Getaway was open one day and literally abandoned and closed the next,” he explained.
The restaurant was billed by St. Pete leaders as a catalyst for new development in the slow to grow Skyway Marina District.
“Everyone I’ve talked to around here didn’t have a clue that this was going to happen,” Wagner, who lives just down the street, said.
Owners of The Getaway Restaurant wouldn't go into details about the reason for the closure, only posting a brief announcement on social media saying "We will no longer be operating out of this location. Please visit us at our Gandy Boulevard location."
Just a few miles away on 34th Street South, signs outside an overgrown lot advertise a condo project claiming to open in 2018. City leaders say construction on the Phillips Surclub Project, which was held up by lawsuits and permitting issues, is now expected to start next month.
“The good news is development is coming," Alan DeLisle, St. Pete's City Development Administrator explained. “Some things work and some things don’t but overall in the near future it is going to be much more sustainable than its ever been.”
Two more residential projects are also in the works along 34th Street South, including one which will go on the land where the recently closed Flamingo Resort currently sits. City leaders also say they're seeing renewed interest in new office buildings and are working on a plan to make the busy corridor safer for walkers and bikers.
William McFadden, who lives in Skyway Marina District hopes new development will help his area of South St. Pete grow.
“They need some more restaurants, a little more nightlife. There just isn’t that much,” McFadden added.
“Oh I hope something does come in in place of this restaurant," his neighbor Terry Wilyoung weighed in.