Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plans for Largo community center hit a bump in the road

A traffic problem may derail the city's plans to build a new community center on Alternate Keene Road.

Henry Schubert, assistant city manager, told city commissioners the Alternate Keene Road location has a dangerous turn from East Bay Drive.

The traffic issue has prompted city officials to look into other, safer locations, such as Largo Central Park, the downtown area and the grounds of the Highland Recreation Center.

City commissioners said they were disappointed the problem hadn't been noticed sooner, especially after six months of planning to build at the Alternate Keene location.

"I'm really just kind of embarrassed to be having this discussion," Commissioner Gigi Arntzen said. "I will not support another location."

Last year, the Goodman Group, the developer of the Palms of Largo retirement community, offered the city 8.5 acres of land on the east side of Alternate Keene Road so that it could build the center.

Mayor Pat Gerard said she was especially disconcerted that no one from the city had notified the Goodman Group that other locations were being considered.

Commissioner Harriet Crozier agreed. "I can't believe we're doing something like this without talking to them," she said. "I don't want to move from (the original location), but if we had to for some reason, that would be my last resort. Maybe we should have sat down and thought about (the traffic issue) earlier."

Also Tuesday, James Hosler of TBE Group, an engineering consultant, discussed possible areas for development and shared findings from a new market feasibility study performed for the Largo Mall.

The group looked at land within a 1.5-mile radius of the mall.

"What we found in this area was modest economic potential," said Hosler. "We don't like to look out for it. We like to find golden eggs under every tree."

One of those golden eggs in the Largo Mall area is a large piece of vacant property owned by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Other land surveyed also has potential, but builders say they can't maximize the potential on their own.

"In order for the area to turn around, it is going to need some positive government intervention," Hosler said.

The biggest problem the mall faces is maintaining the quality and quantity of its tenants, especially given added competition from the newly proposed Largo Towne Center, Hosler said.

The mall also does not have a good location that separates it from other local shopping centers, the report said.

It is too soon to tell what the exact development plans for the Largo Mall area will be, or how much they would cost.

"As of right now, it's too conceptual to pin that down," said Robert Klute, the city's assistant community development director.

Plans for Largo community center hit a bump in the road 04/26/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 27, 2008 1:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  2. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide

    Accidents

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated and released for a knee injury after an unmarked police truck collided with his patrol SUV while following a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  3. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
  5. Everyone on Twitter is making this same eclipse joke

    Blogs

    Today's total solar eclipse is, of course, a social media event as much as it is a natural phenomenon. Twitter even rolled out an #eclipse hashtag that automatically adds an eclipse emoji.

    The solar eclipse is inspiring Twitter humor.