Nostalgia for sale at Pier auction
Get ready to buy a piece of the Pier. The public is invited once more to the inverted pyramid to preview items from noon to 2 p.m. Monday and then to a live auction beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The Cha Cha Coconuts neon sign, bar stools, blue picnic tables and concrete benches are some of the more nostalgic keepsakes going on the block, according to Greg Farner of Bay Area Auction Services Inc. He expects to start the bidding for benches and tables at $100 each.
"The Crystal Mirage has about 100 lots for sale," he added. "There are some beautiful Swarovski crystal pieces, some beautiful art, glass paperweights."
A 6-foot tall, 400-pound anchor that once decorated Bay Breeze clothing store also must go. Restaurant supplies from deep fryers to can openers make up most of the lots.
Buyers must bring a driver's license and cash, check, Visa or Mastercard. Parking is available in the Pier lots. A receipt proving a purchase will allow buyers to drive down the pier to pick up their goods.
Kobie leases more space
Kobie Marketing is leasing another 10,000 square feet at City Center to make room for its steady growth. The 22-year-old company added about 30 jobs last year and will add 30 more this year, according to CFO Ashby Greene. It specializes in loyalty marketing programs from developing strategies to designing software that tracks and rewards customer activity
"Ten to 20 years ago, very few companies had it. Now it seems like if you don't have it you're in trouble," Greene said. "Then it's up to Kobie Marketing to determine what to do."
Its clients include BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, TGI Friday's and Bank of America.
City Center is about 93 percent occupied now, said Larry Feldman, an owner and manager of the building at 100 Second Ave. S. It was at 44 percent occupancy when Feldman's group bought it for $16 million in 2010. He attributed $3 million in renovations to the boost in tenants.
ST. PETE BEACH
A taste of southern Italy
Shapardo's Ristorante and Pizzeria recently opened at 4599 Gulf Blvd. Featuring tastes from southern Italy, the restaurant's sauces, pizza dough, manicotti and cannelloni are made fresh daily.
Center offers surgery, rehab
Alexander Medical Group has a striking, new three-story facility at 2438 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.
"It's one-stop shopping," for orthopedic needs, said Allan Alexander, an owner of the newly constructed, 18,600-square-foot office. "We diagnose the condition of the patient, treat with surgery if they need it and rehabilitate right at the same facility."
His son Vladimir Alexander is among the doctors practicing at the new center. They have a first location at 12416 66th St. N. in Largo. More than 33,000 patients have been seen there since it opened in 2002.
The new operation will specialize in sports medicine, joint replacements, the spine and upper extremities, Allan Alexander said.
His group invested more than $8 million in equipment and the new building, which was built by Bandes Construction.
"It came in under budget and before deadline," Alexander said. "We want to give patients in this area another choice."
Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer
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