Pink Flamingos : Lost In Transition

One by one, the [tag]mom-and-pop motels[/tag] with neon signs and [tag]plastic flamingos[/tag], [tag]vintage beach cottage[/tag]s and small [tag]seaside shops[/tag] that for decades beckoned budget-minded families and tourists to [tag]Pinellas County beaches[/tag] are closing their doors. Although some have tried to tough it out, more and more are being forced out as property taxes soar and deep-pocketed developers come calling with visions of beachfront condominiums. Real Estate Development : Principles and Process

Developers are gobbling up prime locations along the coastline with an appetite not seen since the condo booms of the 1970s and 1980s. Their main targets: aging or rundown beachfront motels and apartments whose land has become too valuable to support $100-a-night rooms. Replacing them are taller, high-priced condos and condo-hotels with fancy names and deep-pocketed clientele. “These condos are a million and above,” said Laura Labadie, another Indian Rocks Beach innkeeper. “Nobody but the rich people will be able to come to the beach again.”