Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Business

A hint of big changes at St. Petersburg's BayWalk

ST. PETERSBURG — The new owner of BayWalk has revealed a few of the plans he has for the struggling retail center he bought in September for $5.2 million. To make the complex more visible and accessible, the two-story, 689-square-foot building along Second Avenue N that houses White House Black Market will be torn down within three months. The box office in front of the Muvico theater will also be razed.

"We plan on totally demolishing the front … to make it more user friendly. When you come down the street (now) you have to go inside to see what's going on," owner Bill Edwards said.

Edwards and Joe Jimenez, managing director of the Edwards Group, are trying to assemble "iconic" anchor tenants before they fill in with smaller restaurants and stores. They want a high-end steak house and are in conversations with Apple and similar-caliber retailers about opening stores.

"I don't think I should have to go all the way to Bern's (in Tampa) to get a good steak," Edwards said while meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Monday. His goal is to provide dining and shopping in St. Petersburg that residents now must drive to Tampa to find.

Although the shopping complex is a ghost town with a handful of stores, downtown's luxury condos and the growing flourish of activity on Beach Drive make BayWalk an intriguing venture for potential retailers. The Edwards Group has hosted several national brand retail and restaurant executives at the Vinoy resort to pitch BayWalk.

"When they made that walk from the Vinoy to BayWalk … they said, 'Why didn't I know about this?' These are people who know retail in Chicago and Martha's Vineyard," Jimenez said.

The name "BayWalk" will definitely be dropped and a new name could reflect a new anchor tenant, he added. White House Black Market will remain a tenant but move, as will its sister store, Chico's.

While Edwards called his $2 million investment in renovating the Mahaffey Theater he manages for the city "financial suicide," he thinks BayWalk will prove to be a smart investment.

"If we get the people we want in there … I think at the end of the day it will make money," he said.

The mortgage magnate plans to formally announce a master plan with a lineup of tenants and architectural changes within three months.

Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or [email protected]

Comments
Guess co-founder steps aside after allegations from Kate Upton

Guess co-founder steps aside after allegations from Kate Upton

Associated PressNEW YORK — Guess Inc. says that co-founder Paul Marciano will give up his day-to-day responsibilities at the clothing company until a sexual misconduct investigation is completed. Model and actress Kate Upton told Time magazine earlie...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Associated PressThe privately held owner of Safeway, Vons and other grocery brands is plunging deeper into the pharmacy business with a deal to buy Rite Aid, the nation’s third-largest drugstore chain. Albertsons Companies is offering either a share ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

After national headlines and a public outcry over the deaths of 14 people at a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, nursing homes across the state are working to comply with new rules requiring them to have back-up power.But the process ...
Published: 02/20/18
Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

A California-based company that promises to bring limited on-site car maintenance directly to you — from an oil change to a fill-up — has picked Tampa Bay as its next pit stop."Anything that your car needs, we’re going to bring to you," said Nick Ale...
Published: 02/20/18

Pasco Business Digest for Feb. 23

Business digestBrieflyLOCAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZED: CHUY’S RESTAURANT TO OPEN: Chuy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant, will open its first Tampa Bay area location this spring near Cypress Creek Town Center in Wesley Chapel. The restaurant at 25750...
Published: 02/20/18
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Updated: 9 hours ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Published: 02/19/18
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Published: 02/19/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Published: 02/19/18