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. Video: Heroic Hooters manager helps two sheriff's deputies subdue unruly customer


    BRANDON — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office praised a heroic Hooters Restaurant manager Wednesday for coming to the aid of two deputies struggling to subdue an unruly customer.

    It took two deputies and a Hooter's manager to get control of Ashton B. Toney after he threatened to kill an employee who refused to serve him alcohol at a Hooter's in Brandon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.
[Booking photo from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Editorial: Turn the heat up on AC problem in Hillsborough schools


    Hillsborough County School District students do not want to hear that their buildings are decrepit. They do not want to hear that Florida's legislators are complicit. All they want to hear is the sweet sound of a classroom air conditioner kicking in at full power. Anything less creates uncomfortably hot classrooms and …

    Superintendent Jeff Eakins and the current Hillsborough County School Board did not create this air conditioning mess, but they own it now.
  3. Man in bunny mask part of trio that breaks into Odessa McDonald's to haul away ATM


    ODESSA — A man in a bunny mask and two also-masked accomplices broke into a McDonald's early Wednesday, hoisted an automatic teller machine into a stolen minivan, then dumped the ATM and the van into a pond, deputies say.

    Three masked men, including one in a bunny mask, broke into an Odessa McDonald's early Wednesday and stole the ATM.
 [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest


    Plan your weekend


    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  5. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, is proposing an end to public financing of campaigns. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]