Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Orange Blossom Groves site, home of fruit and kitsch, for sale

This vintage postcard shows the original Orange Blossom Groves in its prime. The 60-year enterprise grew into a multimillion-dollar operation that had great appeal to locals and tourists alike. 
Co-founder Al Repetto died in July. His daughters have decided to sell the 9.2 acres, of which 7 acres is zoned residential.

Courtesy of Al Repetto

This vintage postcard shows the original Orange Blossom Groves in its prime. The 60-year enterprise grew into a multimillion-dollar operation that had great appeal to locals and tourists alike. Co-founder Al Repetto died in July. His daughters have decided to sell the 9.2 acres, of which 7 acres is zoned residential.

SEMINOLE — One of the last remaining Pinellas County landmarks from the Florida of tourists and kitsch is on the market.

The former Orange Blossom Groves is for sale for $2.9 million for about 9.2 acres.

That includes five commercially zoned parcels totaling about 2.2 acres fronting the road at 5800 Seminole Blvd. The remaining 7 acres on the west side of the site is zoned residential.

Residents and tourists alike know the commercial portion of the property as the place where Al Repetto and a brother-in-law opened a business in 1946 selling oranges, fresh juice and orange ice cream. That business eventually grew into a multimillion-dollar-a-year operation with 350 employees and a second store in on U.S. 19 at Belleair Road in Clearwater.

The residential portion is undeveloped and contains the remains of one of the orange groves that Repetto used to supply his stores.

For about 60 years, Orange Blossom Groves, one of the biggest in the state, was a major draw for locals and tourists alike.

"It's historically important," said Sandy Hartmann, who is handling the sale of the property. "It's just one of the last pieces (of Old Florida). I think the history of it is the important part for locals."

But change happens, even if it's unwelcome, she said.

Tourists stopped shipping oranges up North. Citrus canker wiped out thousands of trees. Repetto, who had resisted the changes, gave in and retired. The Clearwater property was sold. Repetto died in July, and the Seminole property went to his daughters, who have decided to sell.

"It's just a family decision," Hartmann said.

Repetto's daughter Sandy Miller could not be reached for comment.

Hartmann said potential buyers have a choice: Purchase the entire 9.2 acres or take either the commercial or residential portion alone. The commercial land is $1.35 million; the residential property, $1.55 million.

The commercial parcel contains a 21,400-square-foot building with an office and a store. It's currently leased by Florida Citrus Country, based in Orlando.

"They would love to stay there," Hartmann said.

The residential portion is open for development. Under Seminole rules, up to 48 single-family detached homes would be allowed, said Mark Ely, head of Seminole's development department.

Ely said several potential buyers have contacted him about the city's flexibility in developing the land. Seminole, he said, would be open to negotiating a development agreement that could alter lot size and perhaps increase density. But the city "would not be supportive of rezoning the property to multifamily."

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Orange Blossom Groves site, home of fruit and kitsch, for sale 06/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 14, 2013 3:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trumps travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, the New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the plans.

    President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said Friday. The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration's original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa. [Associated Press]
  2. New World Brewery is closing. Where will all its concerts go now?

    Blogs

    Ever since it was announced that New World Brewery was closing its beloved Ybor City location and relocating to a spot farther north, there’s been an outpouring of nostalgia from artists, promoters and fans throughout the Tampa Bay music scene.

    Allison Weiss performed at New World Brewery in 2015.
  3. Farewell, New World Brewery: 11 Tampa music scene regulars toast a beloved venue

    Blogs

    It's hard to put into words what New World Brewery has meant to the Tampa music scene over the past 22 years.

    Matt Burke and Have Gun, Will Travel, shown performing at New World Brewery in 2009. Burke credits the venue with shaping how the band wanted to develop.
  4. Betsy DeVos rescinds Obama-era rules on campus sexual assault

    Blogs

    Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has said over and over again that sexual assault on campus is an issue she wants to get right.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
  5. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]