ST. PETERSBURG — Marilyn Monroe is coming back to St. Pete.
This time she won't be here for spring training with Joe DiMaggio, but she will arrive in the form of a high end spa that carries her name.
And guess where the blond bombshell is setting up camp? Sundial.
The Marilyn Monroe Spa is the first confirmed new tenant for the long awaited retail plaza formerly known as Baywalk in downtown St. Petersburg....
ST. PETERSBURG — Another high-rise residential project is in the works for downtown St. Petersburg. The city recently approved plans for a Mediterranean-style 16-story condominium tower with 72 homes on Fourth Avenue N.
Two older two- and three--story apartment buildings, at 131 and 145 Fourth Ave. N, will be demolished to make way for the project.
"We think there is a huge lack of supply based on the fact that nothing has been built in the last six years," said developer John Shine. He plans to call the project O N E, a nod to the nearby Historic Old Northeast neighborhood....
03/10/14 Real Estate
If there's a term equal to "one-armed paper hanger" or "chief cook and bottle washer" for the commercial development business, it would apply to Carlos Yepes. The head of Pinellas Park-based Belleair Development Group has nine projects in various stages going on in southern Pinellas County.
From luxury condos on Snell Isle to a Wawa in Largo, the deep-pocketed Yepes has deals and buildings of all sizes percolating....
03/07/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — Reality star Brent Bruns II gained fame preparing for doomsday. Now he's auctioning off his rock 'n' roll themed, nine-bedroom historic home to prepare for legalized medical marijuana.
"I think the future is growing marijuana," said the local 42-year-old who starred with his family last year in Doomsday Castle, a spinoff of Doomsday Preppers.
The auction of what he once hoped would be the Rock 'n' Roll Bed and Breakfast and its contents will take place March 23....
Jo jo's is no more in progress plaza
After 23 years as a downtown fixture, JoJo's In Citta Italian Restaurant in the Progress Plaza building has closed. Owner Antonio Condello and the landlord have been in a dispute for close to a year over the lease.
Condello also owns Famous Pizza at 2810 34th St. N. He plans to add more of JoJo's menu items to that location in the short term. In the long term, JoJo's will return, Condello says....
ST. PETERSBURG — Five years after the revered Italian restaurant Basta's closed a Mexican restaurant is opening in its place.
Come April, expect a very different look and feel at El Gallo Grande. Translation: The big rooster.
Phil Farley, the man who turned an aging public housing complex into the hip Urban Style Flats, is a part owner in the new business at 1625 Fourth St. S. He regularly drove past the former Basta's on his way home and ultimately decided it was time to revive it. He recruited two other partners, Carlina and Javier Sarabia, to make El Gallo Grande authentic....
The executives at Glad headquarters in Oakland, Calif., have no idea there's a 42-year-old mother of three in St. Petersburg who sits at her sewing machine dreaming of taking them down.
Well, maybe not taking them down exactly, but she does want to win over their customers with her reusable snack bags that double as hand puppets. She calls them Snuppets and thinks the idea is promising enough she has had the name trademarked....
Sundial is the new name for the downtown retail complex formerly known as the Shops at St. Pete that was formerly known as BayWalk. The much-awaited shopping plaza's new title comes from an ornate metal sundial that will sit in a fountain in the middle of its courtyard.
"The sundial came before the name," said Rick Baker, president of the Edwards Group. But as Bill Edwards, the center's owner and visionary, kept talking about how people would meet at the sundial the idea for the name was born. And he thought it was a nod to St. Petersburg's nickname, the Sunshine City....
Fried chicken to waft downtown
One year after the closing of Gilbert Jewelers, a downtown fixture for six decades at 364 First Ave. N, a new business is going in the corner space. Krispy Krunchy Chicken will serve up a variety of fast food.
"Any time I go to Publix I see lines just for fried chicken. There is nothing else downtown like this," said Abdul Alabadi, who is opening the franchise. "It is something quick you can eat even in the car or anywhere you want. This will also be a breakfast place with chicken biscuits." ...
As construction hums along on the Shops at St. Pete four months after its first anticipated opening, owner Bill Edwards has brought a real estate veteran on board. Mark Stroud is the new president of the newly formed Edwards Realty Group.
Before this post, he was a principal in Marcus Partners, a Boston real estate investment firm.
Stroud and Edwards declined to comment on the hire....
ST. PETERSBURG — A new art gallery in the lobby of the city's tallest building houses unconventional pieces by Timothy Raines and Jack Dowd. Gallery, as it is called, is in 7,000 square feet on the south side of the former Bank of America tower at 200 Central Ave.
Raines drips paint on canvas to create images of luxury cars and pro baseball logos. Dowd is known for his sculptures and iconic pop art, including life-sized statues of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí. (The two are paired in a window as a tribute to the exhibition at the Dalí Museum.)...
The new Tracy Negoshian store on tony Fifth Avenue in Naples features the designer's bright printed dresses, tops and shorts in a sleek, elegant setting. It's Negoshian's first and only store. But her increasingly popular line, known for shifts with geometric designs and tops speckled with coral and sea horses, is sold in 500 boutiques around the United States from major cities to posh resorts....
12/30/13 Real Estate
PINELLAS PARK — After 18 years at the corner of U.S. 19 and Gandy Boulevard, the Friends of Strays Thrift Shop has closed. The future of the very visible, high-traffic location is uncertain.
"We're exploring all our options. It wasn't an easy decision to close," said Beverly Passe, executive director of the nonprofit. "The thrift store is really a great source of money to help our shelter."...
8,000-square-foot Knowlton house on Snell Isle sells for $2.6 million
A standout home on Snell Isle that hit the market about four years ago with a price tag of $4.5 million has sold. The Knowlton house, designed by William Harvard in 1956, went for $2.6 million this month.
The 8,000-square-foot home at 411 Cordova Blvd. NE was considered quite modern when it was built. It still has striking architectural features such as a dramatic angled roof over an entry courtyard and large, vertical expanses of glass that reflect the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright. As one of the first homes in the city to be built with steel framing, some thought it was a shopping center when it was under construction....
ST. PETERSBURG — What started 21 years ago as a 2,000-square-foot health food store is about to become a 15,000-square-foot "wellness campus."
Rollin' Oats, at 2842 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, is doubling its size from a current 7,500 square feet to encompass a much larger grocery market, a 100-seat outdoor cafe, five yoga studios and a rooftop plaza for live music and lectures....