Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fate of popular Bayshore spot worries those who park there

Carla Cornett, center, chats with Scott Blow, right, and Adriane Thorpe in the lot at Bayshore and Bay to Bay boulevards.


Carla Cornett, center, chats with Scott Blow, right, and Adriane Thorpe in the lot at Bayshore and Bay to Bay boulevards.

BAYSHORE GARDENS — In the shadow of a for sale sign, water cooler buzz has turned to the fate of a parking lot used by runners, flag wavers and tourists.

The city has leased the corner lot at Bayshore and Bay to Bay boulevards since 1998. But a $4.9 million price tag is too hefty, said city real estate manager Herb Fecker. "We have no money," he said. "None."

Owner Bill Robinson approached Fecker to gauge the city's interest before listing the property with Toni Everett last month. Several callers have expressed interest, she said. The acre lot with a view of Hillsborough Bay is zoned for 32 units and 15 stories.

Tampa currently pays Citivest $15,000 a year, under an agreement that can be terminated by either party with 30 days' notice. City workers put in a water fountain and picnic tables. They spread mulch to even out ruts and transformed the spot into a parking lot and meeting place for hundreds who cross the street to jog, skate or walk their dogs along Bayshore Linear Park Trail.

Beth Bryan comes daily with other members of the running group Blue Sharks. She worries another high-rise will add more people and more traffic, making crossing Bayshore more hazardous. She says the 10-foot-wide sidewalk has become cramped in the past years with bikers, walkers, runners, strollers and dog walkers and needs to be widened.

Lately, she said in an e-mail, they stop for water at the lot and wonder:

"Where will we and these other people park?"

"What is the city thinking?"

"What can we do to stop the construction?"

They toss ideas, such as charging fees or finding a philanthropist. But, so far, there has been no solution.

The location is also known as Patriots Corner for the American flag wavers who showed up days after Sept. 11 and have returned each Friday since. Bayshore Patriots founder Julie Whitney says the property's sale would not stop her group from gathering. They will park on side streets.

Citivest Construction bought the lot for $3.8 million in 2005, according to county property records. The most recent year's taxes on the property were $8,790. Robinson, president of Citivest Construction, declined to comment for this story through his attorney, John Grandoff III.

In 2004, Mayor Pam Iorio formed the Bayshore Task Force, a group of neighborhood and city leaders who recommended ways to make the scenic corridor more pedestrian safe after a jogger was killed on the roadway.

The city has since added crosswalks, traffic lights and sidewalks in front of mansions along the thoroughfare.

The group's recommendations included more parking, said Vicki Pollyea, president of the Bayshore Gardens Neighborhood Association. But she worries the city won't be able to afford it.

Pollyea would be sorry to see a high-rise grow from the parking lot. Bayshore is a "unique asset," she said, with its "stately homes set back, I'd rather see something that fits in with what we know as Bayshore."

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at or

Fate of popular Bayshore spot worries those who park there 08/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 6:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.