Saturday, December 16, 2017
Business

Trader Joe's officially working to open store in South Tampa

TAMPA — Forget the rumors. Trader Joe's is definitely planning to build a grocery store along Swann Avenue near Dale Mabry Highway.

A variance request filed with the city of Tampa says Centennial American Properties is in the process of permitting and constructing a Trader Joe's store at 3808 W Swann Ave. The site is home to Shapes, a women's-only gym.

The request marks the first time city documents have referred to Trader Joe's by its full name at that address. Previous architectural drawings referred to the project as TJ-Tampa and showed a "Tenant Sign" in the Hawaiian-style letter widely use by Trader Joe's.

The developer is seeking a variance to more than double the amount of signage approved for the 1-acre site. The proposal calls for four signs — one on each side of the building — totaling 299 square feet. City code allows for 134 square feet based on the building's proposed 12,301 square footage.

"(I)t is expected that Trader Joe's will attract customers who are not familiar with the South Tampa area," states the request. "This makes the visibility of signage a critical component to Trader Joe's development and success."

The issue is scheduled to go to the Variance Review Board at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

The developer said three additional signs were needed because efforts had failed to buy the adjacent corner site facing Dale Mabry. That property previously housed Berryism yogurt and Pipe World and appears slated to become South Beach Tanning Co., according to signs posted some time ago.

More signage would also help drivers better locate Trader Joe's without having to slow down or impede traffic on busy Dale Mabry, the proposal said.

The property owners have denied a Trader Joe's is headed to the site, and California-based Trader Joe's has not commented on potential locations.

However, members of Shapes said they were told a few weeks ago that the gym is closing and many of the fitness classes have been canceled. Members were told their memberships might be transferred to an equivalent gym, but there is no women's-only facility in the area that has a pool.

The gym owners have said nothing is certain about a deal with Trader Joe's. A closing date has not been announced but could come later this month. So far, memberships have not been refunded.

The highly anticipated Trader's Joe's would be the first for the Tampa Bay area. The nearest, in Sarasota, opened in September. The grocer sells gourmet fresh and frozen food, many of it under its own label at prices cheaper than other name brands.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

Comments
Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

TAMPA — For the half of the year that Harry Nichols lives in Oldsmar, he plays 18 holes several times a month at Rocky Point Golf Course. On a good day, Nichols said he shoots close to par on the Dana Shores course. And if he’s really lucky, it’ll on...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a hostess and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute, little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and the...
Published: 12/15/17
Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Shrieks of laughter echoed off the walls of the hospital as Thunder the mini pig flopped onto his side and the children huddled around him, scratching his pink, hairy belly. He and his wet-nosed partner, Bolt, drew patients in wheelchairs and bandage...
Published: 12/15/17
Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

LARGO — Eight months after paying $10.15 million for the office building that houses IT services company Vology, a New York company is suing the Pinellas County Property Appraiser and Florida Department of Revenue contending its $5.5 million tax asse...
Published: 12/15/17
Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

In 2010, Florida was in the throes of an unprecedented housing crisis. One in every eight homes was in some stage of foreclosure. Today, the foreclosure rate is one in every 83. Because of that enormous drop, Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund will s...
Published: 12/15/17
Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

By ELAINE KURTENBACHTOKYO — Global inequality has stabilized at high levels in recent years, a report said Friday, despite gains among the poor in China and much milder disparities in incomes and wealth in Western Europe. The World Inequality Report ...
Published: 12/15/17
How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

Associated Press NEW YORK — After years of tremors, the earthquake that had long been predicted finally shook Hollywood. Disney’s deal to purchase most of 21st Century Fox ends the era of the "Big Six" major movie studios, toppling one ...
Published: 12/15/17
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Published: 12/15/17
Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Today is the day that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will close for most people. But those affected by the slew of hurricanes that pummelled Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other states earlier this year can take advantage of a two-week ...
Published: 12/15/17
Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season.The American Automobile Association projects that 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles by planes, trains, automobiles and other mod...
Published: 12/14/17