Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

Retailers in Tampa's Hyde Park Village battle construction zone

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Retailers in Hyde Park Village, south Tampa's historic outdoor retail campus, recognize that summer months can be slow.

But that challenge has gotten even tougher now that their six-block turf has turned into a construction zone.

Half of Swann Avenue has been torn out, some pedestrian exits from the parking garage have closed, and storefronts have been completely covered by scaffolding. And the multimillion dollar makeover of what has been a key retail draw in Tampa remains far from complete.

"I walk here every day and that cloud of dust hits me in the face," said Jessica Nichols, a manager at the Shade Store on Swann Avenue.

Some small independent stores tucked behind the Bar Taco and Buddy Brew Coffee building are fighting for business.

"We wish there was more sign-age" for the small retailers, said Downtown Dogs' Margo Stewart.

The dog boutique turned 10 in May, but the team is waiting until the scaffolding is removed before holding an anniversary event.

Shop owners and managers remain optimistic.

The worst hit in business came when the construction barriers were first put up in April, said West Elm associate manager Tim Kilzer. Within a few weeks, though, everyone got used to the barriers and business returned to normal. After all, West Elm regularly attracts customers from Sarasota and northern Tampa Bay, he said, and those shoppers are not as likely to be deterred by local road construction.

For regional customers outside of walking distance, he said, "The restaurants are a big draw right now."

Last month, the village welcomed a new Buddy Brew Coffee location and one of the hottest new restaurants in the area: On Swann.

Gabby Soriano, marketing director for Hyde Park Village, commended the leasing team for attracting new retailers and restaurants to keep consumers coming back despite construction.

"(The small retailers) are our rock, but it has been wonderful to have such momentum behind us in regards to new stores and leases," she said. "We always want to show love to the stores and restaurants that have been here."

Hyde Park Village spans eight buildings, with three parking garages and about 50 tenants. The villages' national retailers include Anthropologie, Lululemon, West Elm, Brooks Brothers and Pottery Barn.

Boston-based WS Development, which owns more than 85 other retail properties around the country, bought the village for $45 million in 2013. It's bankrolling the makeover, but has not said how much it is spending.

Last summer WS kicked off the renovations by replacing the brick facade of the "C" building (home to Anthropologie and Timpano Chop House) with a more modern look of black, industrial steel. All the other buildings will be redone to match.

Now, construction crews are in the midst of replacing a chunk of Swann Avenue, where the sidewalks and streets are being raised. Once Swann is finished, the crew will gradually move into the village, tearing out and replacing S Dakota and Snow avenues.

Soriano said there may be a break in October to help holiday sales, but the company aims to finish renovations in 2018.

WS has been planning the renovations since it bought the property. To support more foot traffic from shoppers, the company wanted to add crosswalks, slow traffic, and replace the slanted, cracked sidewalks. The company has vowed that all business and parking garages will be open for the duration of the project.

One of the more striking changes so far has been tree removal in the village.

"The trees were originally planted incorrectly," Soriano said. "The roots were growing under the sidewalks, which killed the trees and became a huge liability."

They will be replaced. But in the meantime, the patio of Timpano Chop House has lost its daytime shade, said general manager Kevin Morton.

"We know it has to be done," he said. "We're asking everyone to stick with us through construction."

To maintain sales, the restaurant has reached out to its hotel partners to ask them to drop off customers rather than having them drive where they may get lost or turned around.

The street on the patio side of the restaurant, which sits on the corner of Swann and S Dakota, is closed to traffic. A path of construction barriers weave through the street so customers can still access the entrance of Brooks Brothers.

Morton is bracing himself for the months to come, when the section of Swann directly in front of the restaurant is torn out as well.

Up the street, the Shade Store opened just three months ago, but Nichols, the manager, said business has been going well. The company has 40 locations around the country and is tailored to Hyde Park's "educated, sophisticated" demographic.

"They can take as long as they need," Nichols said. "We're happy to be here."

This story has been revised to reflect the following correction: Only some of the pedestrian exits from the Hyde Park Village parking garages have closed. A story on June 30 was unclear on that point.

 
Comments
The Daystarter: Charles Manson dies at 83; Kriseman hints at bold experimentation; Bucs hold off Dolphins for two wins in a row; Thanksgiving Day 5Ks

The Daystarter: Charles Manson dies at 83; Kriseman hints at bold experimentation; Bucs hold off Dolphins for two wins in a row; Thanksgiving Day 5Ks

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• We should see overnight lows in the mid-40s recovering to the mid 70s Monday afternoon. That’s thanks to lots of sunshine, according to 10...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Charles Manson, cult leader of gory killings in 1969, has died

Charles Manson, cult leader of gory killings in 1969, has died

LOS ANGELES — Cult leader Charles Manson, whose followers killed actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, died Sunday night. He was 83. A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections said Manson died of natural causes. The gory slaying...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Petersburg pedestrian fatally struck in Osceola County

A pedestrian from St. Petersburg was killed Sunday night when he was struck by an SUV in Osceola County.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the unidentified 24-year-old man was struck along on U.S. 192 at Pine Grove Road in St. Cloud around 7 p....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s tourism chiefs at Visit Florida spend a lot of public money taking trips to exotic places to promote Florida as a top worldwide destination.Four former top-level staff members at the state’s tourism promotion and its c...
Updated: 7 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Did Rick Scott run ads bragging about Florida’s minimum wage?

PolitiFact Florida: Did Rick Scott run ads bragging about Florida’s minimum wage?

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine wasted no time attacking current Gov. Rick Scott as he jumped into the 2018 governor’s race.In a Nov. 1 speech announcing his run, Levine, a Democrat, criticized the governor for being so proud of the state’s minimum w...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

ST. PETERSBURG — Police Chief Tony Holloway has made getting officers out of their cars, walking streets and talking to residents a key plank in his effort to improve relations between his department and the community.But three years into his adminis...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For Kriseman, second term means finishing what he’s started, experimenting

For Kriseman, second term means finishing what he’s started, experimenting

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman says he is ready to put a recent nasty re-election fight behind him and, continuing a theme from the campaign, is looking to the future.In an interview last week, he said he is relishing the chance to see big proj...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Hearing set in effort by Leo Schofield to win new trial for 30-year-old murder

Hearing set in effort by Leo Schofield to win new trial for 30-year-old murder

BARTOW — A status hearing is scheduled Monday in an attempt to win a new trial for 51-year-old Leo Schofield, found guilty nearly 30 years ago in the stabbing death of his 18-year-old wife Michelle Saum Schofield.Court records show the case has been ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

MIAMI GARDENS — That was one ugly football game.The Bucs had a bad game. The Dolphins had a really bad game. And who had the worst game of all? The officials.In fact, the best part of Sunday’s game was before the game even started, thanks to a stirri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

MIAMI GARDENS — A dark cloud is hanging over this football team.It’s a heaviness. A dread. A dread for what might have happened in the past and what might happen in the future.And that makes it hard for fans to truly enjoy what happened Sunday.The Bu...
Updated: 1 hour ago