Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Simply blue as dollars go missing

I stumbled upon this abandoned building while out driving on Rocky Point. I was intrigued as I saw the formal and imposing archways and classy-looking logo amidst decay and a trash-strewn driveway. Rocky Point is an island of offices, restaurants, hotels, apartments and condominiums located less than a mile out into Tampa Bay via the Courtney Campbell Causeway. (It is not a place I would want to be when the hurricane enters the bay from the Gulf of Mexico.) There has been a lot of investment and development over the years that has seen tremendoust success. Its a beautiful place to work and live and many large corporations have Rocky Point addresses. It's also a delightful place to dine and enjoy the water view.

But at least one project, the Blue Meridian, never got past the opening of its preview sales center. Conceived as a 14-story, "luxury resort," residential community, it was to sit on 3 acres of Rocky Point, a "paradise" of island living with 108 residences ranging in size from 1,500 to 4,300 square feet. Its marketing copy claimed it would be where "city life is balanced by the relaxed elegance of island living." Cost per unit would go from $600,000 up to $3 million. Whether this project ever gets built I haven't a clue. But, stuck smack in the middle of a new waterfront Hampton Inn Rocky Point and the new Westin Tampa Bay, are the remains of sales center for the Meridian,
once an elegant and luxurious preview of fine living. Why it now stands empty, practically crumbling and overgrown, is a good question. And it is a substantial structure that I'm certain was designed to impart the kind of "paradise" the developers were trying to sell. Today, the only thing that remains of the project is BLUE. As in depressing and ugly. Vines are overtaking the building, weeds have grown up through the parking lot and drive, and the once lush plants are trying to survive on drops of rain water, even as the huge terra cotta pots crack and topple over. It is all terribly sad and blue.

8 comments:

Beth Niquette said...

WOW! I would love to go a'wandering around there. My sister Clytie and I often wander through a giant abandoned building across the street from where we grew up. That is such a beautiful entryway. Wow--and they just left it. I wonder what story is behind all that...it is so beautiful...

Steffe said...

That is a bit of a mystery. But just like Beth I'd love to have a look around.

Lois said...

Oh my gosh, that is sad looking! You can tell they once had high hopes for this one.

Jacob said...

It is a rather sad testimony to the state of our economy. We have a number of places where everything stopped mid-swing, so to speak, but nothing quite this dramatic!

Excellent composition.

Frank said...

@ Beth Niquette and Steffe - To all who'd like to venture inside, it'd be tough with the closeness of the two big hotels on either side to sneek in. I feel bad for those properties trying to shield their guests from the view.

Come to think of it, all the great "preview" stuff may still be inside. Interesting. Got the flashlights ready?

Don and Krise said...

You guys better not go without me. I see a place like this and it just begs me to go in with my camera. What a shame. Without a doubt someone or several someones sank a hefty sum of money into this venture. It makes you wonder what the future holds.

magicpolaroid said...

abandoned building? wow like this architecture!

Anonymous said...

From the photo looks like a small building. I would love to see the freeze frame of life from the day the doors were closed for the last time.

A bit of Urban Exploration anyone?