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Lululemon hip athletic apparel coming to Hyde Park Village; jewelry boutique opens soon

HYDE PARK — Hyde Park Village scored a retail coup in getting Lululemon Athletica, a yoga-inspired apparel company, to fill three units, a combined 2,400 square feet, for its first full retail location in Tampa Bay. A March opening is expected in the former site of Bang & Olufsen and two adjacent, now relocated stores, City Street Sweets and the Pink Petticoat.

For now, Pink Petticoat occupies the former site of Kit's Well-Heeled & Well-Dressed, while the candy store has a Snow Avenue presence, next to the Wine Exchange, for its artisan chocolates, chocolatemaking classes and birthday parties.

Exercise wear by Lululemon is not like your Target workout togs. The high-end, "athletically hip" gear was created by a Canadian snowboarder who took up yoga but didn't like the baggy, stretchy clothing he found. That led him to develop a line of high-tech fabrics designed for wearers "with a goal of owning products five or more years," says Amanda Casgar, area community manager.

The company has grown to 150 stores since the first opened in 2000 in Vancouver. Each outlet is "hyperlocal," says Casgar, cultivating "healthy living" professionals called ambassadors.

"We support the goals of local yoga instructors, coaches and personal trainers" who, in turn, are likely to promote the Lululemon lifestyle, Casgar said. Modular store fixtures roll aside for in-store fitness classes and events, complimentary in many cities. At the Lululemon showroom at 1315 S Howard Ave., a free yoga class is offered Saturdays at 9 a.m.

In Hyde Park, Lululemon Athletica will be located at 727 S Dakota Ave. For information, call the showroom, which will close before the Hyde Park Village store opening, at (813) 251-4751 or visit lululemon.com.

More Hyde Park Village happenings

Albisia's Jewelry will host a grand opening party Thursday on Snow Circle behind the Wine Exchange. The store will feature the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind designs of owner-artist Albisia Pojani, including natural stone charms, $5 to $15, that slide onto sterling silver pendants, $30.

Pojani, 24, is a native of Albania and a senior at the University of South Florida. She took her jewelry from hobby to craft shows to a storefront. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, till 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit bisia.etsy.com or call (727) 657-1650.

• Coco Brazil closed Oct. 31 after seven years in the village. Owner Patricia Lacognata will concentrate exclusively on wholesale business as Couture Trading Co. "I'm sad to go but happy about the new phase,'' she said, noting that 167 stores carry her clothing, jewelry and shoes, including Bella Moda on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg.

• Lifestyle Fitness has just completed a $1 million expansion, taking over the ground floor loading dock area plus 4,700 square feet on the second level for classrooms and child care.

• Nature's Table Café was still serving salads and smoothies early this week, even though the lease was up Nov. 30. Management was not available for comment.

South Tampa Pilates moved to 610 S Armenia Ave., behind Gourmet Pizza Company. Co-owners Kelly Griffin and Natalie Mandeville kept the phone number, (813) 374-8875.

Amy Scherzer can be reached at ascherzer@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3332.

Lululemon hip athletic apparel coming to Hyde Park Village; jewelry boutique opens soon 12/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 3:30am]
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