Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Excitement greets Marbleside restoration; contest takes the cupcake

The buzz started more than a month ago.

Of late, downtown dwellers and business owners in the Sunshine City have started to hum with enthusiasm since learning that the Marbleside Building at 33 Sixth St. S is being restored. The midcentury modern building is home to City Gym and Lab Corp.

But the office space on the upper floors has been vacant.

The building was recently acquired by Maryann Lynch, owner of Times Square Properties, who has had a large presence downtown since moving to Florida in 1995.

The property is under new management. Offices and suites in the building range from 250 to 3,800 square feet. There are three work-live spaces in the building. Leases for studios start at $292 per month.

According to its website and Facebook page, "Times Square Properties is the premier leasing company for downtown St. Petersburg with more than 90 properties and 300 units within the downtown area."

Some in the community are applauding the restoration of a building that sits in the gateway of an area being reclaimed by and for artists.

The seven-story building is just north of the [email protected] and south of the 600 block of Central Avenue — in the heart of an arts hub.

Lynch is no stranger to renovations. Just last week, she bought the Stewart building at 233 Third Ave. S. Nearly three years ago, Lynch led an effort to transform an old fire station at 2701 Fifth Ave. S into an art gallery and event venue, Station Number Three. Two big events are in the works in that space: Keep St. Pete Local and the Warehouse Arts District will host big parties there this year. Stay tuned.

Cupcake contest

Three years ago, when the Morean Arts Center decided to shake up its fundraising calendar with unusual events, organizers couldn't have dreamed that cupcakes could deliver such a sweet windfall.

Now, the Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest once again promises to bring out creativity in both novice and professional bakers and bring in crowds of people who plunk down $1 a vote to pick their favorite confections.

In its first year, there were more than 90 entries, but this time organizers are limiting it to 65 entrants to maintain order.

Some of this year's offerings will include blood orange creamsicle, pistachio and sweet ricotta dream cakes with meringue buttercream. Yum!

The contest starts at noon Saturday at the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg, 719 Central Ave. The event is free to sample, but it will cost $1 to vote. A new wrinkle this year: the center is using a raffle ticket system to make it easier to use credit cards to stuff the ballot boxes.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at [email protected] or at (727) 893-8874 and on Twitter at @StPeteSandi.

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Published: 01/16/18
Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

For the longest time, injured workers in Florida were basically at the mercy of the whims of employers to treat them fairly. A 2003 law aimed at reducing the cost of workers’ compensation coverage for businesses had the desired impact, but it also di...
Published: 01/16/18

Another voice: Why just Florida?

Cynicism has always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Donald Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. First they announced a new offshore drilling plan that ...
Published: 01/16/18
Editorial: King’s legacy still relevant in digital age

Editorial: King’s legacy still relevant in digital age

Today’s holiday honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. couldn’t be more timely. At a moment when the nation’s civic dialogue is choking on personal and political division, it is hard to remember an earlier time when role models were role m...
Published: 01/15/18

Another voice: 38 minutes of fear in Hawaii

In 1938, Orson Welles panicked the nation with a false alarm about a Martian invasion in the radio broadcast The War of the Worlds. That was farfetched, of course. But what happened on Saturday, sadly, was not so hard to imagine — or believe.Authorit...
Published: 01/14/18
Updated: 01/16/18
Editorial: Florida’s chance to make it easier to restore civil rights

Editorial: Florida’s chance to make it easier to restore civil rights

As it has for decades, Florida stubbornly clings to an inhumane, inefficient and indefensible system of justice that permanently sentences more than 1.5 million residents to second-class citizenship. This state automatically revokes the right to vote...
Published: 01/13/18
Editorial: Speak out against Trump’s vulgar remarks

Editorial: Speak out against Trump’s vulgar remarks

President Donald Trump’s vulgar outbursts during a White House meeting on immigration are racist and indefensible no matter how he parses them. They are not presidential, they undermine U.S. foreign relations and they do not reflect America’s values....
Published: 01/12/18

Editorial: Pinellas commission stands up for accountability

The Pinellas County Commission has gotten the message that it should not be a rubber stamp. Commissioners sent a clear signal this week they will demand more accountability of local agencies by refusing to approve nominees for the board for CareerSou...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Editorial: Progress on Tampa Bay graduation rates

Tampa Bay’s four school districts all reached a significant milestone last school year: achieving graduation rates over 80 percent. It’s believed to be the first time Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties all surpassed that threshold, a...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Take deal; build wall

President Donald Trump says he is optimistic a deal can be struck to shield "Dreamers," the young undocumented immigrants whose lives he put in jeopardy by stripping them of work permits and deportation protection, beginning March 5. His price, and t...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/11/18