Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Pinellas Park buys more lots for business incubator

PINELLAS PARK — Council members here are so thrilled by the progress of their "business incubator" that they've agreed to buy 11 more lots to expand it.

The idea behind the so-called incubator is for Pinellas Park to provide city-owned property at below-market rents to startups and other small businesses to help them get established. Once established, those entrepreneurs will move elsewhere in Pinellas Park to make room for the next baby business.

In developing the incubator, the City Council has focused on a few blocks in the center of the city's redevelopment area just east of Park Station, the city-owned reproduction train station at 5851 Park Blvd. The immediate area is also home to other city buildings including the Police Department, Auditorium and Senior Center.

This year, Pinellas Park paid about $650,000 to buy seven of the 10 lots on the north side of the 5600 block of Park. Officials wanted to buy the entire block, but three owners — Bottles Pub, chiropractor James Strubbe and council member Rick Butler — held out. That's just a block east of the United Cottages area, a small development a block off Park, where the city owns two lots.

The 11 new lots — nine parcels — council members have agreed to buy are located there. They've agreed to pay $350,000 plus closing costs to owner Nancy Hawkins. That's a bit more than the appraised market value of about $334,000. The lots are in the 5700 blocks of 75th Terrace and 75th Avenue N.

Developing the area has been a longtime dream of Pinellas Park officials. Butler, in particular, has long been an advocate of creating a business incubator.

And, though the incubator is barely off the ground, officials say they're getting lots of interest from the business and education communities.

They've rented the two houses they already own in the United Cottages area. One is rented to Rick Incorvia, owner of Sign Doctor in Odessa. Incorvia, brother of Pinellas Park planner Joe Incorvia, wanted a more central location to be nearer his customers. He'll live upstairs in the house and run his business on the ground floor.

The other has been rented to an artist, who will also live upstairs and work on the ground floor.

This month, the council agreed to rent the former Dolphin Plumbing building, 5681 Park Blvd., to another artist. Vincent Pompei will have a 10-year lease on the building, paying $550 a month rent for the first five years. Starting in the sixth year, he'll pay $600 a month, which will increase each year by $50 a month until he's paying $800 a month in year 10. Pompei will renovate the building to suit his needs. He will not live there.

It's unclear how Pinellas Park will handle the rentals of the new properties.

"We're going to examine the existing properties to see what condition they're in and what they could be used for," city spokesman Tim Caddell said.

But it's likely Pinellas Park will be somewhat flexible about listening to proposals from prospective renters because the whole idea behind the incubator is to encourage creativity and risk taking.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Comments
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURG ó Three people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the people arrived at a house in Childs Park, on the 41...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

NEW PORT RICHEY ó A 19-year-old driver died in a three-car crash on Moon Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.Jillian Faith Hitt, 19 and of New Port Richey, was driving north on the road in a 2008 Hyundai Accent, weari...
Updated: 2 hours ago
President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

STERLING, Ill. - As a longtime editor of small-town newspapers, Jeff Rogers has seen his industry face the collapse of print advertising, the rise of the internet and more. Today, his 18 employees work in a newsroom here that puts out two daily newsp...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police on scene at New Tampa traffic crash with critical injuries

Police on scene at New Tampa traffic crash with critical injuries

The Tampa Police Department is on scene at a traffic crash with critical injuries at New Tampa Boulevard and Wood Sage Drive.This is a developing story.Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG ó A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Making the case for more drones

Making the case for more drones

BLACKSBURG, Va. - They considered how well everyone slept the night before. They considered the chances a military jet might scream by on a training mission. They considered the farmer in the field.Then they considered some more.After making it throu...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

LEXINGTON, Va. - Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening - nearly 200 miles from the White House - when the choice presented itself.Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Published: 06/23/18
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFLís investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFLís investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Published: 06/23/18
Will this be Jameis Winstonís last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winstonís last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Published: 06/23/18