Saturday, November 18, 2017
Business

Tenants at Sterling Square left in dark about plans for demolition

RECOMMENDED READING


SPRING HILL — Tenants at Sterling Square, a block west of the busy Four Corners intersection, are adrift.

Do they have a home for a time or not? That nobody's telling them is hardly courteous or appropriate for a landlord, they say.

"An engineering survey crew was here for three days," said Bill Charmock, pointing beyond the window of Bill's Barber Shop, a fixture of the square for 35 years, on Spring Hill Drive a half-block west of Mariner Boulevard. "Look at all the little red flags. And there's paint marks on the pavement. I don't need somebody to hit me over the head to know something's going to be built."

"He's not renewing anyone's lease," added Andrea Pascucci, owner of the Barking Lot, a dog grooming studio at the square for at least 15 years.

The property owner of record, Elwood Inc. of Nobleton, Ontario, has not informed the two of any forthcoming changes. Also receiving no word are the other tenants, Tobacco House and MetroPCS.

Not that any of the business owners have ever had any interaction with the owner. Rather, the Spring Hill office of Century 21/Alliance Realty has served as property manager and collected rents.

Repeated calls to Elwood president Phillip Croft and Century 21 property manager Jose Torres for comment were not returned.

Pascucci offered that, when questioned, Torres had apologized to her for the lack of any information on the plaza's future.

Meanwhile, officials of the Hernando County Building Department are reviewing plans submitted April 19 for a rebuild of the McDonald's restaurant adjacent to the square. Plans show a new 4,490-square-foot restaurant in the middle of the two properties. Elwood and McDonald's of Hawaii Development Co. are shown as owners of each portion they occupy. A building permit has not yet been issued.

Joe Chabus, Florida regional director of communications for McDonald's, would say only that the current McDonald's structure is to be razed and a new restaurant built on the site by the end of this year. Unofficially, a McDonald's employee said demolition is scheduled for June.

Pascucci said her lease provides for the tenant or owner to cancel with a 30-day notice, which she has not received or ordered herself.

"I'm amazed how many people come in and ask where we're moving," she said. "The word seems to be out."

Responding to rumors, Pascucci went looking for a new location.

"I found a place in Kass Circle. But it won't be ready till June. It's not going to be easy. There's a lot of equipment."

She gestured to four work stations, all busy on a recent weekday afternoon.

Charmock is even more upset. Pacing the sidewalk outside his barbershop, he said, "I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in that place. I get choked up about it."

He told of his own work on his unit to accommodate three barbering stations and a comfortable waiting area, of replacing the flooring five times at his own expense, two due to water inundations from sources beyond his unit.

"That cost a bundle," he said. "I'd like to have money to reimburse that, but it's not going to happen."

He signed a lease and erected a barber pole a couple weeks ago on a site at Gramercy Park plaza, on Linden Drive.

"We've all looked forward to work," Charmock said of his four employees. "We're not looking forward to moving."

The shop moved overnight Saturday.

"Customers have always helped me out," Charmock said, "even to move to the new place."

At Tobacco House, owner Carmen Daniels said, "Nobody's notified us yet" of a lease cancellation or need to move. "We are looking at different places."

Does she think tenants have been treated shabbily?

"Absolutely," Daniels declared. "Everybody's saying the same thing."

Management of MetroPCS, the remaining tenant, did not return calls for comment.

Over at McDonald's, a manager's eyes bulged after overhearing that demolition is planned for June. It was news to her.

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Comments
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Published: 11/17/17
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Published: 11/17/17
HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and ...
Published: 11/17/17
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Published: 11/17/17
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Published: 11/17/17
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Published: 11/17/17
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

TAMPA — The two biggest trends in the automotive space are ones you’ve likely heard of: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. Both will feature prominently at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show today through Sunday. The event at the ...
Published: 11/17/17
Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

LARGO — Driving down West Bay Drive, you may notice some changes to downtown Largo.A new 29-unit apartment complex on Ridge Road stands finished and ready for residents. South of the complex, land that was formerly home to a community of rundown cott...
Published: 11/17/17
Want to travel solo? Local enthusiasts share stories, tips for holidays trips

Want to travel solo? Local enthusiasts share stories, tips for holidays trips

Stephanie Maisonneuve visited the walled city of Cartagena, a port city off the Caribbean coast of Colombia. She rode horseback down the city’s cobbled streets clucking past flower-filled balconies and massive, wooden arched doors. The travel enthusi...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17