ST. PETERSBURG — Eight national tenants have signed contracts with the Shops at St. Petersburg and will open when the revamped BayWalk debuts in the first quarter of 2014, according to owner Bill Edwards. Two are restaurants; six are retailers.
But Edwards isn't naming them until all or at least most of the spaces at the downtown shopping plaza are leased.
"I don't want to say anything until everything is in place," he said recently at his office at Mortgage Investors Corp.
This is a departure from the timeline laid out by Joe Jimenez, managing director of the Edwards Group, when he went before the City Council in September to request parking agreements for employees and customers of the Shops. He stated then two or three restaurants would be announced in 30 to 60 days and three retail anchors 30 to 60 days after that.
Edwards said the project is on track, but he'd rather announce the full package than a few tenants at a time. He is also in talks with two local restaurants but doesn't have contracts yet.
The Tampa Bay Times reported in July that likely tenants include Zakarian's Steak House and Morimoto, an Asian fusion restaurant. The Shops' New York-based retail consultant said they are "likely" tenants and Zakarian's was pictured in a rendering on an earlier Shops website. Representatives of the two restaurants could not be reached Thursday.
Edwards has filed plans with the city and they are under review, said zoning official Philip Lazzara. "I expect the permits will be approved in advance of their desired (March) start date," he added.