Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater in talks to buy site of Times office

The Times building at 710 Court St. in Clearwater was built in 1978. The windmill was supposed to provide power but has not operated in years.

Times files (1998)

The Times building at 710 Court St. in Clearwater was built in 1978. The windmill was supposed to provide power but has not operated in years.

CLEARWATER — The publisher of the St. Petersburg Times and city officials are negotiating a potential sale of the Times' Clearwater property.

The city would likely use the Times property at 710 Court St. to build a transit hub. The hub would replace the downtown bus terminal on Park Street, Assistant City Manager Rod Irwin said Tuesday.

The site — on the main route to Clearwater Beach and close to the Pinellas Trail — has been referred to in transit studies as a "key parcel" for future transit development such as beach shuttles or light rail, Irwin said.

The building currently houses news and advertising staff for the Clearwater & North Pinellas Times.

"The city has been interested in our property for years, and when officials recently made a fresh approach, we were able to reach a tentative agreement," the Times said in a statement Tuesday. "If this sale does go through, we'll have time to find other suitable quarters in Clearwater. We have deep roots in this community."

Any deal for purchase of the Times property would have to be approved by the City Council in a public meeting.

No price for the property has been released. However, the city's capital improvement plan shows the city has reserved up to $2.5 million in Penny for Pinellas sales tax revenue for the purchase.

The Times property could round out a complex of city property spanning several blocks near the intersection of Court Street and Myrtle Avenue, including the Municipal Services Building and police and fire headquarters. The city also owns unused property next to the Times parking lot.

The Times site and parking lot, Pinellas property records show, has an estimated market value of about $1.5 million.

Built in 1978 for the staff of the Times and the Evening Independent, the bureau was designed by the Clearwater architecture firm Williams and Walker as an experiment in energy efficiency. Solar panels and grass boxes provided energy and insulation. A 100-foot-tall rooftop windmill was intended to produce power to charge up lights and computer terminals. The windmill, perhaps the building's most defining feature, has not spun for years.

Reporters, editors and advertising staff have come to call the building, which lacks windows, "the bunker."

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Drew Harwell at [email protected] or (727) 445-4170.

Clearwater in talks to buy site of Times office 03/29/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun


    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive


    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.