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Largo's former Gulf Coast Museum of Art could be sold or leased

LARGO — After sitting mostly unused for two years, the former Florida Gulf Coast Museum of Art may go up for sale or lease by February.

"We're probably going to go out on the street for possible sale or lease," said Paul Sacco, the county's director of real estate management.

Sacco said the county likely would retain ownership of the land, but the museum building could be sold.

The underappreciated nonprofit museum closed in January 2009 because of low attendance after struggling for years. The building, with its classrooms and theater, defaulted into county hands.

Last February, the museum drew the attention of county planners as a potential location to house labs for the county's Environmental Management Department.

But as the current vacancy attests, that plan fell through.

St. Petersburg College had been leasing space in the building for storage, but that use ended in October.

The museum, with its modern architecture and open courtyards dotted with sculptures, sits tucked away at 12211 Walsingham Road, near the Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village, surrounded by trees and a rarity in that part of Pinellas: open, undeveloped space.

The 45,000-square-foot museum was built in 1999.

Largo's former Gulf Coast Museum of Art could be sold or leased 01/18/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:36pm]
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