Entrepreneur developers rejoice — the most “amazing,” and possibly last-ever great waterfront development opportunity on the west coast of Florida is still on the table. All you need is $100 million.

That’s the asking price for the SunWest Harbourtowne property, more than a thousand acres of the former SunWest Mines property on the Gulf off Aripeka Road in Hudson. The next-door neighbor is Pasco County’s SunWest Park, a white-sand beach with championship beach volleyball courts, concessions and a water adventure park with obstacle course and zip lines. There will be a lot more there if the grand Harbourtowne Gulf Front Resort development vision is realized.

A few folks recently got the idea the project is beginning, citing signs on the property stating things like, “Future Site of…” and “SunWest Harbourtowne Marina Coming Soon.”

Not so, according to Realtor Buddy Selph with Tommie Dawson Realty in Hernando County, the listing agency for the property. The signs, he said, are there to inform potential buyers that county and state approval for much of the project is in hand.

The “entitlements” include 1,071 private acres and more than 2,500 of state preservation land, 2,500 residential units, 300,000 square feet of commercial, 50,000 square feet of office space, a 250-room resort hotel, an 18-hole golf course and a marina on a canal leading to the Gulf with 350 wet slips and 150 dry slips. All that wraps and winds around several spring-fed freshwater lakes — formerly the limestone pits of SunWest Mines.

“There’s nothing like it left on the entire west coast,” said Selph of the property, adding it is a “tremendous opportunity” with “lots of possibilities.”

But first someone, some company or group will have to step up.

Selph said there are some parties showing “serious interest,” and the current partners who own the property are open to partnership proposals.

“We would just have to come to an agreement,” said Selph.

The SunWest property has long been tied up in legal wrangling between the partner owners, though most of the issues were resolved in court a year ago, clearing the way forward for a sale or joint venture that could make Habourtowne a reality, said Selph. There would be more design and engineering to do, and there remains the issue of dredging a shallow section of a canal that leads to the Gulf to allow larger boats to pass. Selph said approval to remove what amounts to a “hump” near the end of the canal where it enters open water nearly got approval a few years ago, but the owners came up “just short” of required mitigation acreage needed to broker a dredging permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Many area environmentalist and anglers have voiced concerned about the boat traffic Harbourtowne would bring to Filman Bayou, a pristine backwater that boats coming from a marina would have to pass through on their way to the Gulf. Much of that concern is over the potential environmental impacts of dredging.

Selph said many misunderstand what dredging was proposed. 

“It wasn’t a proposal to dredge a channel,” said Selph, who described the work as limited to a portion of the existing 90-foot-wide canal where the bottom humps up before it enters the bayou. The hump would make it difficult for some boats to pass on low tide. There are sea grasses in the portion that need work, said Selph, and as far as Florida is concerned, “sea grass is the holy grail of the environment.” Typically, environmental impacts from dredging or other work require developers to compensate the state through mitigation, such as the donation of land for preservation, paying for restoration of habitat, environmental remediation of wetlands and the like. Selph said another run at getting approval may come, or it could be dealt with by a new owner or developer.

If a heavy hitter does step up on Harbourtowne, Selph said they’ll have the benefit of having a good head start. In addition to the current entitlements, project engineer and planner Stantec has done “significant due diligence,” completing an overall master plan, a master roadway network, master drainage and utility designs.

For anyone with an extra $100 million lying around, aerial photos and videos, as well as concept artwork that shows what a few million more on top could make happen, are online at www.tommiedawson.com.