Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

Gym will power building's retail space

Though the Grand Central at Kennedy's 392 residential units now are about 95 percent occupied, the vast swath of retail space on the ground floor of the building has remained noticeably empty.

That will change soon. The condo complex at 1208 E Kennedy Blvd. will get its first major tenant in early 2009 — a Powerhouse Gym location that will take up about 15 percent of the available 108,000 square feet of retail space.

"A fitness center has been in our plans since the inception of Grand Central six years ago," said Ken Stoltenberg, a director for developer Mercury Advisors. "It's one of the most requested uses for all the people who live at the property. It's something that has been really lacking in the area, and … a key building block you want to have in a successful urban neighborhood."

Stoltenberg said he hopes to announce more tenants soon. A major supermarket is high on the developer's wish list. "It's extremely important for the neighborhood, and we are working on it very hard," he said.

Powerhouse Gym franchise owner Matthew Midyett said his family owned five Powerhouse locations in greater Los Angeles for 20 years. Now a Lutz resident, Midyett said ample parking at Grand Central and the developer's willingness to work out a deal made it the right time to jump into the Tampa market.

"It is just really difficult for a business owner to sink a million bucks into something" right now, Midyett said. "You need the help of an educated landlord that is aware of the times."

Powerhouse Gym of Tampa Bay will take up a corner unit. The Powerhouse brand is notable for high-end equipment and a policy that allows independent trainers to use gym facilities, Midyett said. For this location, he plans a cycling room that will feature virtual reality courses and blasts of pure oxygen.

Midyett hopes the Powerhouse location will open in mid January. The gym's Web site is

One other occupant has been confirmed for Grand Central's retail space. The Tampa theater company Stageworks will move into its first permanent home early next year. Mercury Advisors donated about 6,000 square feet of space for Stageworks as a condition of the project's approval, Stoltenberg said.

For a time, Mercury Advisors had hoped to sell the ground floor spaces as retail condominiums but in recent months has decided to lease them out indefinitely.

"Obviously, given the challenging economic times, it's always the most difficult to get the first (tenant)," Stoltenberg said. "It's a use that everyone in the building and neighborhood is going to enjoy."

The developer was able to fill most of its residential units by offering about 150 unsold condos as rental apartments.

More Miami than Monaco

Jesus Abad and Nestor Urdaneta had a concept that was pretty simple: offer hip clothes just a hop from downtown.

Their 2,500-square foot boutique opened in July at 2907 W Kennedy Blvd. The store is named Monaco Boutique and Salon, but what's in it is much more reflective of its owners' backgrounds as store owners in Miami and Venezuela, Abad said.

The clothes and jewelry are trendy and urban, and all of it comes from New York, Miami or Los Angeles. It's best suited for young professionals looking for outfits for nights out.

"We get some baseball players from out of town, Buccaneer players — pretty much the crowd I get is anywhere from 18 years old to 34," Abad said.

Abad and Urdaneta leased part of their space to accommodate a salon and spa, which opened this month. The combination gives the neighborhood "something Tampa doesn't have (elsewhere) — a high-end boutique with a high-end salon," Abad said.

Clothing prices range from $45 to $169. Hours at Monaco Fashion are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday by appointment.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call (813) 226-3394 or e-mail


$10 admission to the zoo

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo celebrates its 20th anniversary on Monday and Nov. 20 with discounted admission and special offers. Admission is "2 for $20" (ages 2 and under are always free) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. When you arrive, ask about the $2 specials for food, gifts and rides. Call 935-8552 for more information.

Amy Scherzer

Gym will power building's retail space 10/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  2. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  3. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week


    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  4. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma


    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]