Buffalo Gal is riding into the sunset
Customers and Facebook fans are bemoaning the impending closing of Buffalo Gal Vintage clothing store. The shop at 911 Central Ave. is shutting down Sunday.
"The economy has been tough and I opened during a recession," said owner Desiree Sheridan. "I think the biggest thing that hurt me, and retailers here in general, is the slow summer. The summers just kill us."
It isn't that the snowbirds take flight in summer, but the fact that there aren't many special events that drive people to the shop where racks from numerous decades are filled with one-of-a-kind looks.
As the sole proprietor, Sheridan was working seven days a week and decided it was time to give herself a break. She will continue to sell online and may eventually open a smaller location somewhere else. Buffalo Gal opened at Gas Plant Antique Arcade in 2008 and then was on Martin Luther King Jr. St. for three years before opening on Central Avenue about 18 months ago. Sheridan amassed the ample collection of clothes, hats, accessories and home decor from thrift stores and other vintage dealers around the country.
Most items are 50 percent off through the closing date.
Downtown apartments to cater to seniors
The southeast corner of Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue S is dotted with hard hats and earthmovers as work on a five-story apartment project gets under way. Urban Edge, with 125 rental units and 5,000 square feet of retail space, will be going up fast.
"We're hoping to be moving people in in December," said Scott Culp, a principal with Winter Park-based developer Atlantic Housing.
The building will have 85 apartments designated for seniors with limited income and 40 unrestricted units. Monthly rents for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units for seniors will range from $600 to $800.
Culp, along with other developers starting projects downtown, said the increased number of restaurants, stores and entertainment venues makes St. Petersburg a big draw for residents wanting an "urban" life on the water.
"Downtown St. Petersburg continues to grow from the standpoint of amenities and services," he said.
He expects the retail tenants to be a coffee shop, cafe and professionals, such as real estate agents.
There are currently more than half a dozen multifamily residential projects in various stages of development downtown.
Interest in Snell Isle condos strong
Water Club luxury condo towers on Snell Isle won't be completed for 18 months, yet a number of units have already been reserved, according to developer Carlos Yepes. He officially broke ground and opened a sales center last week at the former site of the Snell Isle Market. His Belleair Development Group is partnering with West Palm Beach-based Kolter Group to build 84 condos and 11 townhomes.
Yepes wouldn't specify how many units have been reserved but said interest has been strong. Prices are in the $500,000 range.
The sales center offers potential buyers photos of the views from each floor. Pictures to the east, west, north and south were taken from a helicopter hovering at the same height of each of the planned elevations.
Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer