Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin unanimously approves mixed-use zoning for former Nielsen site

Nielsen left the Patricia Avenue site in 2005. The building was later torn down and the site has remained empty since. The city of Dunedin’s approval in April 2014 for mixed-use zoning may finally get the site redeveloped. 

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2012)

Nielsen left the Patricia Avenue site in 2005. The building was later torn down and the site has remained empty since. The city of Dunedin’s approval in April 2014 for mixed-use zoning may finally get the site redeveloped. 

DUNEDIN — Officials say a new land use and zoning designation for the former Nielsen Media Research site has already sparked interest from at least one developer, who made a purchase offer even before the changes won final approval from the City Commission last week.

The new designations mean the developer who eventually buys the vacant 23-acre parcel at 375 Patricia Ave. can build a mixed-use project that might include condos, offices, boutiques, restaurants and other retail instead of a light-industrial project, which city and Pinellas County officials had been trying to attract since Nielsen left in 2005.

The developer would also be required to include a public square and designate at least 15 percent of the site, or roughly 3.5 acres, to offices for a target employment center — jobs in high-wage industries such as medical research, finance or information technology.

Joel Tew, land-use attorney for Wells Fargo, which owns the site, said the bank has authorized its broker to launch a brochure and "aggressive" regional marketing campaign.

Tew told city commissioners that even before their vote Thursday, a developer approached him with a "very credible offer" to buy the property. Tew told the Tampa Bay Times he was not authorized to disclose details of that offer.

"We're very optimistic," Tew said, "that we're going to be able to position this and procure a very reputable mixed-use developer that can get this thing launched and hopefully deliver what we'll all be proud of."

The City Commission's unanimous vote is the culmination of a year of meetings with residents and county leaders aimed at smoothing the way for a project that the bank's planning firm, the city staff and an independent economist have said would better fit market conditions.

One of the major points of contention was the county's reluctance to lose industrial and office space, which is scarce in Florida's most densely populated county, for fear that it would hamper the area's ability to attract high-wage employers.

However, city and bank officials proposed a trade-off that would allow an employment center nearby on State Road 580 even larger than what could have fit on Patricia Avenue. That roadway, they said, is better suited than the largely residential Patricia Avenue because it is among those being targeted for improved transit service under the Greenlight Pinellas proposal. That would make it an ideal location for employees who traverse the county without cars.

"It's not a loss of 23 acres," Dunedin planning director Greg Rice said. "Instead, we're going to shift it to a better spot."

The Pinellas Planning Council and County Commission unanimously approved the Patricia Avenue land-use change, officials said Thursday.

Dunedin commissioners enthusiastically praised the new direction, too, and encouraged the bank to continue collaborating closely with surrounding neighbors.

"This is an exciting project and it's going to help redefine the new corridor," Commissioner Ron Barnette said.

"I'm looking forward to seeing it unfold," Vice Mayor Julie Scales said.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or To write a letter to the editor, go to

Dunedin unanimously approves mixed-use zoning for former Nielsen site 04/22/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 6:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Man convicted of second-degree murder in killing of Baby Doe, his girlfriend's daughter


    BOSTON — A man was convicted Monday of murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl who became known as Baby Doe after her remains washed up on the shore of a Boston Harbor island.

    Michael McCarthy’s friend Michael Sprinsky, far left, gets a hug from sister Laura Sprinsky after McCarthy is found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Bella Bond, who became known as Baby Doe.
  2. Rays make Hechavarria trade official


    Here is the release from the team ...


  3. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  4. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena


    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  5. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]