Make us your home page
Instagram

Friends of Strays ponders big changes

Because of a need for expensive repairs, the longtime home of the Friends of Strays Thrift Shop at U.S. 19 and Gandy Boulevard has closed. It’s not decided whether they’ll rebuild or sell the property.

LARA CERRI | Times

Because of a need for expensive repairs, the longtime home of the Friends of Strays Thrift Shop at U.S. 19 and Gandy Boulevard has closed. It’s not decided whether they’ll rebuild or sell the property.

PINELLAS PARK — After 18 years at the corner of U.S. 19 and Gandy Boulevard, the Friends of Strays Thrift Shop has closed. The future of the very visible, high-traffic location is uncertain.

"We're exploring all our options. It wasn't an easy decision to close," said Beverly Passe, executive director of the nonprofit. "The thrift store is really a great source of money to help our shelter."

The roof and main trusses of the 47-year-old building at 3660 Gandy Blvd. need repairs that will cost at least $30,000. Now the board of directors must decide if it will sell the property or tear it down and build a new thrift store and shelter. The current shelter is at 2911 47th Ave. N in St. Petersburg.

"Here's my dream: to partner with a construction company and build a new shelter and new thrift store at the Pinellas Park location. Everybody knows us from that corner," Passe said. The property would have to be rezoned to allow animals and a lot of money would need to be raised, she said.

If Friends of Strays sells the property it could still open a new thrift store and shelter at another location, she added. The Pinellas County Property Appraiser's office gives the 8,000-square-foot building a just market value of $584,137. Friends of Strays bought it in 1995 for $650,000.

"If they own the property free and clear, they still wield a lot of power as owners of well-positioned land right now. Developers are on the prowl for good retail locations," said Paula Clair Smith, a commercial broker with Merritt Realty Corp. "A location with 1.42 acres on U.S. 19 across from the Shoppes at Park Place is a prime location for retailers who would take down the current structure to build their own design."

Comparable sales figures show land with that retail potential is going for around $1.5 million an acre, Smith added.

Friends of Strays also owns its 5,000-square-foot shelter in the Joe's Creek industrial area. It has a market value of $201,000, according to the property appraiser.

The shelter currently holds about 200 cats and six dogs ready to be adopted.

"We only serve strays. The cats that have kittens under your shed or the dog that's eating out of your garbage," Passe said. The shelter doesn't euthanize animals in need of medical intervention, she added. It has a staff of nine people.

Until the thrift shop reopens, the shelter asks people to take donations to the Pet Pal Thrift Store at 1500 34th St. N or Second Image Thrift Store, 9099 U.S. 19 in the Mainlands Village shopping center. The Friends of Strays board will meet in January to start weighing its options.

Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at (727) 409-3642 or kssmith@tampabay.com.

Friends of Strays

Shelter and adoption center, 2911 47th Ave. N; (727) 522-6566, friendsofstrays.com

Friends of Strays

Shelter and adoption center, 2911 47th Ave. N; (727) 522-6566, friendsofstrays.com

Friends of Strays ponders big changes 12/30/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 11:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  2. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  3. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  4. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]
  5. Cooking passion spurs owner to pull open AJ's Kitchen Drawer

    Business

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Tampa in May 2016, AJ Albrecht spent four months traveling around Southeast Asia and Australia.

    AJs Kitchen Drawer offers a wide variety of unique kitchenware items, such as handcrafted knives and wooden items, as well as local gourmet products. Photo by Danielle Hauser