Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

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

RECOMMENDED READING


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 [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Comments
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

 
Updated: 4 hours ago

Updated: 4 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Published: 11/23/17
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17