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South Tampa notebook: Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market to open ahead of schedule

NORTH HYDE PARK

Good news for North Hyde Park residents: the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 1610 W Kennedy Blvd. is ahead of schedule. Spokeswoman Quenta Vettel said the grocery store has progressed faster than anticipated.

"There's no exact date set but we're hoping sometime in mid or late fall," she said.

The store, which replaces SaveRite at Kennedy Boulevard and Rome Avenue, will give residents an alternative to the Publix on Bayshore Boulevard. It has been in consideration since the spring of 2007 and was originally slated to open in early 2009.

Unlike Wal-Mart's usual big box stores and supercenters, the neighborhood market is smaller and sells mostly groceries and pharmaceuticals with some general merchandise.

Vettel said the company should have a clearer idea of when the store will open sometime in late August.

GANDY/SUN BAY SOUTH

In other Wal-Mart news, Al Steenson, president of the Gandy/Sun Bay South Neighborhood Association, says the wet zoning for the Wal-Mart to be opened at Gandy Boulevard and Lois Avenue has been continued until Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m.

In an e-mail this week, Steenson said Wal-Mart "has not worked out all their issues with the Florida Department of Transportation regarding access points on Gandy and should have an approved site plan by then."

"I will attempt to have the Wal-Mart folks attend our October meeting to review the plan," Steenson said.

WEST TAMPA

The city of Tampa is holding a public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss potential uses for the historic Guida House.

The house in MacFarlane Park was designated a local historic landmark in 2005 but has since sat vacant. The meeting will request input for future use.

Tom Johnston, urban planner for the city, says the challenge will be finding a partner to provide funding to rehabilitate the building.

"The city isn't in a position to restore it at this point," he said.

The house was named for "Mr. West Tampa," George Guida Sr. A prominent businessman, fundraiser and philanthropist, Guida died in 1986. Three years later, his family sold the house to the city, which moved it to MacFarlane Park but never renovated it.

The city is now looking for tenants to lease the 5,000-square-foot home.

"The challenge with that house is that we can't use it as a residence and it needs quite a bit of rehabilitation, which would be quite costly," Johnston said.

The meeting will be at David Barksdale Senior Citizen Center, 1801 N Lincoln St. For information, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 274-8615.

YBOR CITY

The nonprofit organization Tampa Historic Streetcar will hold a public hearing from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss possible changes to the TECO Line Streetcar System.

The meeting will be open-house style and will give residents and businesses an opportunity to present their views and comments on proposed changes that may occur this fall. Participants will discuss fare increases and adjustments to weekly operating times. The proposals would change operation to every 20 minutes from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Currently, streetcars run every 15 minutes. The schedule would also mean reducing service by one hour on Thursdays, when streetcars now run until 11 p.m.

HART, which operates the streetcar program, says the changes are needed to meet the budget goals reflected in the business plan and to increase efficiency during nonpeak travel times.

The meeting will be held at the HART Ybor Station, 1201 E Seventh Ave. For more information, call 254-4278.

If you know of news in your community, contact Eric Smithers at esmithers@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3339.

South Tampa notebook: Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market to open ahead of schedule 07/10/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:31am]

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