Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

BayWalk urges more patience to sign tenants

ST. PETERSBURG — Six months after they persuaded the City Council to cede a public sidewalk in front of BayWalk, its managers still have no major tenants to announce at the nearly empty shopping and entertainment complex.

BayWalk lost another tenant last week when Trade Secret, a salon products merchant, moved out. That makes five tenants to close since the Oct. 15 vote that allowed BayWalk to shoo away loitering teens and protesters from the public sidewalk at the project's entrance.

Considering that council members were told the sidewalk was needed to sign new tenants, the lack of tenants and a vacancy rate of 80 percent promises to make a presentation to the council today less than celebratory.

"I'm tired of excuses," said City Council chairwoman Leslie Curran, who voted against vacating the sidewalk. "The whole idea was, we vacate the sidewalk, they sign tenants. It's been six months and I don't see any tenants."

Curran scrapped plans for a BayWalk presentation last month after Mayor Bill Foster told her its managers needed another month to sign tenants. Curran agreed, saying it was pointless for them to come to the council without tenants.

But BayWalk's representative, Tom McGeachy, managing principal for Ciminelli Real Estate Services of Florida, said he doesn't have any new tenants to announce this time around, either.

"We're getting close," McGeachy said. "But we can't give names until they sign."

He said BayWalk has two or three prospects for each restaurant space in the complex, and that he still plans to sign major restaurants by the summer or early fall. He said he could have signed some tenants already, but he wants the right mix of restaurants to make BayWalk prosper in the long term.

"I'm not at all disappointed where we are now," McGeachy said. "My only frustration is while we know how well things are going, people won't believe it until they see the signed leases."

Foster, who is calling potential tenants on behalf of BayWalk to persuade them to sign a lease, said he is eager to see tenants move in rather than out.

"I'm frustrated," Foster said. "We're trying to do everything we can to support them."

It doesn't help that people remember BayWalk's justification for taking control of the sidewalk.

"They probably oversold that point," Foster said. "It's done and to lament that ...we just have to move forward and make sure this succeeds."

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or

BayWalk urges more patience to sign tenants 04/14/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility


    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia


    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber


    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]