Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Last night at City Hall

Largo owns up to derelict look and will raze its two buildings on West Bay

City commissioners decided it was too expensive to renovate two city-owned buildings on West Bay Drive in the city’s redevelopment area. The city bought them in October 2006 for $800,000.


City commissioners decided it was too expensive to renovate two city-owned buildings on West Bay Drive in the city’s redevelopment area. The city bought them in October 2006 for $800,000.

The city plans to raze two boarded-up buildings on West Bay Drive.

Owned by the city of Largo, the structures are two of the worst-looking buildings on the road, said City Commissioner Woody Brown.

"It's bad when you drive down West Bay and two of the boarded-up buildings are the two that the city owns," Brown said Tuesday afternoon.

At a work session Tuesday night, city commissioners also considered refurbishing the buildings. But, after learning rehab cost estimates and hearing Public Works director Brian Usher describe the saga of maintaining them, city leaders decided the properties may be too expensive and difficult to fix and maintain.

"If I had a preference, I would just scrape them away and forget about them," Commissioner Rodney Woods said.

The buildings, a former drive-through coffee shop and a former print shop, sit on properties targeted by the city for redevelopment. Largo bought them for about $800,000 in October 2006, hoping to market them to a developer.

Marketing of the properties is at least a year away, said Community Development director Carol Stricklin.

The two-story print shop, vacant since the city bought it, has been vandalized. The city has had to paint over graffiti and fix broken windows and broken doors.

The city has also had to combat unwelcome visitors — humans and rodents — inside the former print shop, Usher said.

And about a year ago, Usher said, the city spent about $5,000 or $6,000 to rid the shop of termites.

As for the former coffee shop, Usher said the cost to bring it up to code would likely be prohibitive.

Nearby business owners said the Pura Vida coffee shop was fine when it was up and running. But it went downhill after the business left about eight months ago.

The cost to demolish both buildings is estimated at $23,875. Stricklin told commissioners it might cost from about $45,000 to $80,000, to rehab part of the former print shop, based on an estimate for basic repairs two years ago.

Mayor Pat Gerard was initially reluctant to raze the print shop and leave a vacant strip of land in its place, but after the 20-minute discussion, she was convinced.

"Fine," she said. "Go for it."

Largo owns up to derelict look and will raze its two buildings on West Bay 04/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 8:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners


    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  2. UF president Kent Fuchs: 'Charlottesville changed everything'


    GAINESVILLE — Wednesday evening, hazy rumors of an impending Neo-Nazi march reached some wary protesters. A few quickly rallied to denounce the marchers in downtown Gainesville, only to find plazas empty but for police.

    University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs talks with reporters Wednesday about white nationalist Richard Spencer's planned speech on Thursday. He said of Spencer: "In a small way, he is causing us to redouble our focus on supporting actions that are the opposite of what he wants." [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Kenya vote chief says 'difficult' to have credible election


    NAIROBI, Kenya — It is "difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election" in Kenya's fresh presidential vote just eight days away despite "full technical preparedness," the head of the election commission said Wednesday as another wave of uncertainty swept through East Africa's largest economy.

  4. International array of artists chosen as finalists for Pier project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A diverse group of six artists will compete for a chance to install their work at the city's multimillion-dollar Pier District, expected to open in early 2019.

  5. Former Jabil executive's fate in hands of murder trial jury


    LARGO — For a second time, Patrick Evans' future is in the hands of a jury.

    Patrick Evans talks with Allison Miller, one of his three public defenders, before jury selection this w eek. Evans, a former Jabil executive charged with killing his estranged wife and her friend almost 10 years ago, is back in court for a second trial after his original death sentence conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times