Residents in the coastal town of Shell Point are pinning their hopes on plans to bring a marina and restaurant back to life. We spoke with many residents who say reviving the centerpiece of their town may be just what the doctor ordered, but some are still skeptical, saying they have to see it to believe it.
Welcome to Shell Point, Florida, where the sea breeze rustles the trees, where upscale homes line the shore where a local resort looks rundown.
Ennis Bass struggles to describe the old Shell Point resort. He and his wife Linda have been living here since the 50's and can't believe the town's only marina, restaurant and motel has fallen by the wayside.
Empty docks and gasoline tanks clutter the area. It's the remains of a bankruptcy filed years ago by the Taff family. Just feet away is the old green water yacht. It sunk years ago.
If you ask locals, it's fall from grace parallels the fall of the marina.
Jim McGill, a Shell Point resident, says, “They've been bad neighbors for five years. They have not talked with the community like they should have until now.”
A proposal is on the table. The newly reorganized company wants to makeover the resort, and it's already taking shape. The docks are being restored, even the grass is freshly cut, but the plan is very preliminary and locals say they're cautiously optimistic.
Among the plans are to tear down the motel and put up condominiums. The company also envisions a new restaurant, store, and fuel dock.
McGill says the company owners informed residents it would take roughly six to nine months just to complete the planning stage, so it may take a while, but residents say they're cheering the company on because they need a place to gas up!