Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas' Ridgecrest area targeted for revitalization

Pinellas County Commissioners recently approved the purchase of Gus’s Bar in the Ridgecrest area. Neighbors remember owner Gus McCrea fondly, but say they’ll welcome a new home there.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Pinellas County Commissioners recently approved the purchase of Gus’s Bar in the Ridgecrest area. Neighbors remember owner Gus McCrea fondly, but say they’ll welcome a new home there.

The faded peach and yellow bar on Gooden Crossing has been closed for three years.

Nearby, there are a few tidy homes with manicured lawns, decorative sculptures and fresh mulch. But a restaurant next door appears vacant. And some other homes on the street are ragged and neglected.

"Everything's dying," said neighbor Alfred Lee Mitchell, 71.

Pinellas County leaders want to turn that around. Last week, they okayed a contract to buy Gus's Bar as part of a bigger plan to revitalize the Ridgecrest area and build about 10 new single-family homes.

The county owns eight other parcels in the Baskins neighborhood. Five are on Gooden Crossing and three others are on two nearby streets.

The county plans to buy the bar at 1263 Gooden Crossing for $87,250. The money will come from Community Development Block Grant funds, which are generally targeted toward blighted areas.

Over the past couple of years, the county has met with residents to see what they want in their neighborhood, said Bruce Bussey, urban development manager with the county's Community Development Department.

The community has mostly single-family homes and residents wanted more homes because "some of those former businesses don't fit with the nature of the community," Bussey said.

The 850-square-foot bar sits on a quarter of an acre, just west of the Pinellas Trail and north of Ulmerton Road.

The bar will be demolished soon, Bussey said. And by the end of the year, the county plans to seek proposals to build one new home there and nine others nearby. Several will be affordable, he said.

The county also plans to widen the street and add a sidewalk that will lead to the Pinellas Trail, Bussey said.

Gus's Bar closed after owner Gus McCrea, 78, died in January 2005.

"Everybody liked him," said Mitchell, who used to hang out there.

And neighbor James Dolden, 80, used to play pool at Gus's.

"It was a nice place," Dolden said.

But it would be fine if a new home replaced the vacant bar, he said. After all, he said, "It's just sitting there."

Lorri Helfand can be reached at lorri@sptimes.com or 445-4155.

Pinellas' Ridgecrest area targeted for revitalization 09/06/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 8, 2008 12:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  2. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion." 

  3. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again

    Blogs

    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  4. Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honors Memorial Day (w/video)

    Blogs

       Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honored those that served during their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with …

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor.
  5. Authorities release name of Tampa woman killed in Temple Terrace apartment fire

    Fire

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Authorities have released the name of a woman who died in a fire that destroyed a dozen units in an apartment complex here Sunday.

    Firefighters battle an early-morning fire Sunday that claimed the life of 28-year-old Tenecia Renee Brannon and left about 30 others homeless. [Temple Terrace Fire Department]