Ciccio's to grow into space that was Blockbuster
Ciccio's California Cuisine at Northeast Park Shopping Center, 294 37th Ave. N, is doubling its seats to 80 by adding 1,000 square feet from the former Blockbuster space next door. "We've been waiting more than two years for that" to close, said co-owner Jeff Gigante. "We're going to expand upon what we do now and have a more aggressive wine and beer presentation." The restaurant opened nine years ago in 1,400 square feet featuring California cuisine such as wraps, stir fry plates and bowls of chicken or tuna with items mixed in. Construction in the new space will start next month while the existing restaurant remains open. It will close for about four days before both spaces reopen as one in October. About 1,500 square feet of the old Blockbuster space will remain empty. Leasing agent Tracy Harrison would not comment on potential tenants.
Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer
Solar heating going in at USGS center
A new solar heating system designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save energy is being installed at the U.S. Geological Survey's building. The solar collectors atop the USGS Coastal and Marine Science Center at 600 Fourth St. S will supplement the current natural-gas boiler to provide heat in the winter and conditioned air in the summer, according to agency officials. They expect it to save enough money that it will make back the cost of purchase and installation in four to six years. The new system, being installed by St. Pete Solar Energy, should be up and running by the end of summer.