YBOR CITY—Starbucks in Centro Ybor will close its doors at 9 tonight, more than a year shy of fulfilling its 10-year lease, which expires in October 2010.
The shop appeared to be popular, but the closing is part of a plan at Starbucks' corporate offices to shut down a number of stores nationally, Centro Ybor leasing agent Bill Pate said.
The change comes amid others for Centro Ybor, as officials try to reinvent the entertainment complex to attract a residential following. They will start in coming months by adding a salon and converting some space at Muvico 20 into offices.
Come Monday, the Starbucks sign and logo will be taken down. A new coffee shop will be announced in a couple of weeks, Pate said. Centro Ybor has begun talks with Indigo Coffee, Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Co. and Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co. among others.
"That's not good news," said Tony LaColla, Historic Ybor Neighborhood Civic Association president. A Starbucks brings prestige to an area, LaColla said.
The association had sent e-mails to the corporate offices, hoping to save the Starbucks. A Starbucks representative couldn't be reached for details by press time earlier this week.
In another change for the complex, part of Muvico 20 will be converted into about 45,000 square feet of office space. Officials hope the offices will be more profitable and counteract Ybor's reputation as a hub for nightlife, Pate said. Work is set to begin in early 2010.
South Tampa's Tribeca ColorSalon will open a second location with a five-year lease in the spot previously taken up by a Victoria's Secret. Salon owner Brandon Wagner said he's looking forward to Centro's transformation from a mall to a village center.
Ileana Morales can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3403.