Make us your home page
Instagram

Largo Tri-City 8 movie theater is closing; center to be redeveloped

The AMC Tri-City 8 movie theater at the corner of U.S. 19 and East Bay Drive is closing. The shopping center is being redeveloped and the theater is not part of the plan.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The AMC Tri-City 8 movie theater at the corner of U.S. 19 and East Bay Drive is closing. The shopping center is being redeveloped and the theater is not part of the plan.

LARGO — The AMC Tri-City 8 movie theater has been around for decades. It doesn't have stadium seating or 20 theaters, just big, crisp screens showing the latest flicks at a cozy location right off U.S. 19.

But the Tri-City 8 is closing by the end of the year, caught up in an industry-wide trend of older, smaller multiplexes shutting their doors.

The theater isn't part of the plans for a total redevelopment of Tri-City Plaza, an aging retail center at the northwest corner of U.S. 19 and East Bay Drive. Construction is expected to start within months on a transformation of the shopping plaza, which is nearly 50 years old.

Highlights of the plan:

• The work is to be done in two phases, allowing some existing tenants to move into new quarters while the project is ongoing.

• Several buildings will be demolished and replaced. Plans show large new retail buildings on the east side of the complex and more new storefronts on the west side lining up alongside the existing Publix.

• The shopping plaza's Publix will stay the same.

• More outparcels will be added.

• The complex currently has about 218,000 square feet of space and will have nearly 230,000 when the work is done.

• Parking and roads within the complex will be reconfigured.

"It's going to make the site more functional for vehicles and pedestrians," said Largo community development director Carol Stricklin. She added that many of the new retail spaces will be larger than the existing ones and will be geared toward attracting larger tenants.

All of this information comes from plans that have been submitted to the city. For the last 20 years, Tri-City Plaza has been owned by Kimco Realty Corp., one of Florida's biggest retail landlords. Neither Kimco nor AMC Tri-City 8 would comment about the redevelopment.

Tri-City Plaza's current retail tenants include Office Depot, Dollar Tree, Radio Shack, Party City, GNC Nutrition, Fantastic Sams, Supercuts and the movie theater. There have been no announcements about the lineup of stores in the new shopping plaza.

Kimco and city officials have been talking for the past year about plans for Tri-City Plaza. The work is being kick-started now that there's major redevelopment happening on the opposite corner of the interchange where U.S. 19 crosses East Bay Drive and Roosevelt Boulevard.

There, at the southeast corner, crews are rapidly putting up a new Walmart supercenter that's slated to open by January. It will be followed by a 342-unit apartment complex called Gateway North. This is happening on a 38-acre site that was once the home of the Crossroads Mall and, before that, the Bay Area Outlet Mall.

With the apartment complex's name, the intersection's southeast corner is being branded as part of the jobs-rich Gateway area.

"Now we have the northwest quadrant in play," Stricklin said of the Tri-City project.

As for the current Tri-City Plaza, it was built according to the standards of its time. It opened in 1966, designed by the same architectural firm that designed the original Clearwater Mall and Gateway Mall — places that have since been leveled.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Largo Tri-City 8 movie theater is closing; center to be redeveloped 09/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 4:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project

    Health

    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]