Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Negotiations to begin for new Columbia restaurant at new Pier

ST. PETERSBURG — With no other restaurant submitting a competing bid to operate at the new Pier, negotiations with the Columbia Restaurant are set to begin in earnest.

The proposed lease calls for the family-owned Columbia to operate a restaurant on the approach to the Lens, the city's proposed new $50 million Pier, as well as a smaller restaurant at the Lens itself. The deal could go before the City Council in June, said Chris Ballestra, the city's managing director of development coordination.

Mayor Bill Foster held a news conference in February to announce an agreement with the Columbia to run restaurants at the Pier. State law, however, required that the city also invite other businesses to submit proposals for the restaurant sites. A newspaper notice set April 2 as the deadline for other offers.

As proposed in February, the initial 10-year Columbia lease calls for the restaurant to pay a minimum annual rent of $15 per square foot at the Hub — an area to be located at the Pier's Pelican parking lot — for the first five years and $20 per square foot for the next five years. The Columbia would pay $10 per square foot for space at the Lens itself. The city would receive a percentage of annual sales from both sites.

The new Columbia restaurant on the Pier approach is expected to have 7,500 square feet of air-conditioned space and indoor seating for 220. There will be outdoor seating for about 100 and a rooftop venue.

Ballestra said the Columbia will work with Lens designer Michael Maltzan Architecture and consultants to create the restaurant spaces.

"I wouldn't expect to see any 'pretty pictures' for a long time — the discussion just started," Ballestra wrote in an email.

The Columbia opened at the current Pier in 1988. It also owns the Cha Cha Coconuts, a bar and grill, on the roof.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283.

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Florida authorities identify remains of man missing 3 years found under backyard concrete slab

Florida authorities identify remains of man missing 3 years found under backyard concrete slab

TAVARES ó Florida authorities say theyíve identified the man whose remains were found under a concrete slab in his wifeís backyard.Lake County sheriffís deputies announced Friday that the remains are those of Michael Shaver, who hadnít been seen in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Peteís shuttered Edward White Hospital

Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Peteís shuttered Edward White Hospital

ST. PETERSBURG ó Edward White Hospital, closed four years ago because of declining revenues, has been sold to developer Grady Pridgen for $2.7 million.Pridgen is the second developer to see potential in the hospital site at the 2300 block of 9th Aven...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editorís note: Ethan Hooper wrote todayís column to give Ernest Hooper Fatherís Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater and Tampa want to turn flushed water into drinking water. Is it safe?

Clearwater and Tampa want to turn flushed water into drinking water. Is it safe?

Twenty years ago some people called it "Twerp." Others, wrinkling their noses, called it "toilet-to-tap," or something more vulgar.In 1998, Tampa tried to boost its drinking water supply by supplementing it with treated wastewater, calling the progra...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg teen, 16, and unborn child killed in Pasco crash

St. Petersburg teen, 16, and unborn child killed in Pasco crash

A St. Petersburg teen, 16, and her unborn child were killed Sunday night in a crash in Pasco County, according to a release from the Florida Highway Patrol. Emily Pearson was killed on Little Road at 9:11 p.m. She was a passenger in a 1997 Ford Rang...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg teen, 16, and unborn child killed in Pasco crash

St. Petersburg teen, 16, and unborn child killed in Pasco crash

A St. Petersburg teen, 16, and her unborn child were killed Sunday night in a crash in Pasco County, according to a release from the Florida Highway Patrol. Emily Pearson was killed on Little Road at 9:11 p.m. She was a passenger in a 1997 Ford Range...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Hot and humid across Tampa Bay, with potentially wet weekend

Forecast: Hot and humid across Tampa Bay, with potentially wet weekend

Summer officially doesn’t start for another three days, but that won’t stop the searing temperatures and stifling humidity from making for a hot and sticky week across Tampa Bay. Temperatures will climb well into the 90s — and feel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A sports story that we all can love

A sports story that we all can love

When we think of sports — hard-nosed, competitive sports — what words immediately come to mind? Tenacity. Grit. Guts. Perseverance. Courage. Intensity. Determination. You get the idea. Sports are usually cutthroat, give no quarter, sho...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays. The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last ...
Updated: 4 hours ago