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. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  2. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  3. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.
  4. Rick Kriseman's administration lashed in St. Pete sewage report

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — A state report places much of the blame for the city's 200-million gallon sewage spill crisis on the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system. St. Petersburg dumped up to 200 million gallons of sewage over 13 months from 2015-16. A new state report blames much of the crisis on mistakes made by the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman, but also critcizes past administrations. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. Somalis in Minneapolis on defensive after police shooting

    Nation

    MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned Friday at the request of the mayor, who said she lost confidence in the chief following last week's shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman by a police officer.

    Justine Damond