TAMPA, Fla. — After a late night of listening to pros and cons about the project, Tampa City Council members voted to approve an initial request to transform the historic Stovall House on Bayshore Boulevard into a social club.

  • City council votes to approve Stovall House becoming social club
  • Developer Blake Casper heading the project
  • Public comments split in favor and against project
  • Previous stories on the Stovall House

The project will move forward but plenty of area residents remain unhappy. 

The meeting, which went a little past 1 a.m., ended with a 4-2 vote to approve rezoning to allow for alcohol sales on the property. People packed the city council chambers Thursday night as the discussion lasted hours over the future of the property, located at 4621 Bayshore Boulevard.

Developer Blake Casper is heading the project to turn the historic Bayshore property, which he owns, into a private club. 

The Stovall House was built along Bayshore Boulevard in 1909. It's known for its rich history and unique architecture. The social club would feature dining and five guest suites. The landscaping on the property would be upgraded and new features would be added.

Thursday night's approval clears the way for the first step of allowing alcohol sales. 

Casper released a statement overnight thanking supporters and the city council for making a "difficult decision." He added that Tampa is leading the way with innovative projects like the Stovall House. 

However, plenty of detractors remain. 

"I along with my neighbors will be left to enforce the violations. Commercial development is not compatible with my single family neighborhood and alcohol has no business being sold two doors from my house," said Mary Estes who opposes the project.

The deal is far from complete, though. 

There will be another public hearing and vote on the ordinance. 

That is scheduled for Sept. 20.