05/01/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Darrell Irions, the often-controversial CEO of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, is leaving after 20 years as head of the agency.
Irions, 61, is retiring so he can have more time to spend with family out of state and "start that next chapter," he said Friday.
The authority helps provide homes to almost 4,000 low-income residents. While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has continually rated it a high-performing agency under Irions, his tenure has been marked by several difficult chapters....
A downtown St. Petersburg institution has been handed its walking papers — under the door.
After 25 years in the office tower One Progress Plaza at 200 Central Ave., Pedro's Tonsorial Parlor is moving out because the building's owners aren't renewing its lease.
The management company slipped a letter under the shop's door on April 10, notifying owner Clyde "Pedro" Holladay that he would have to move out in August when his lease is up....
I'd never even put my big toe into Cache before Saturday. I'd passed the shop a million times at various malls but always thought the dresses were a little to bedazzled or short and tight for me.
When I passed the Cache at a mall in Raleigh, N.C. where I was on Saturday, it wasn't a dress that lured me. It was the neon orange sign screaming "70 percent off." The chain is in bankruptcy and closing its stores....
04/24/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Golfers will enjoy a bigger, nicer course at Twin Brooks come October. And 4,100 youths in the First Tee St. Petersburg program will reap benefits that reach beyond the greens. But until then, the course at 3800 22nd Ave. S is closing May 1 for a major makeover.
The city is spending $1.5 million to renovate the 18-hole, par-3 course that was built in 1957. It will be converted to 12 holes with nine for play and three for practice....
ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays may not be banking on an influx of residents and activity in the westward expansion of downtown, but a developer and grocer see it and are getting ready.
ARC Group is planning a 50,000-square-foot retail center with a 32,000-square-foot grocery store for 700 Central Ave. There will be three levels of parking above, according to plans submitted to the city....
The quest to buy Lilly Pulitzer, the Palm Beach designer brand, at Target prices caused quite the shopping frenzy across the country and online.
Target's website slowed to a crawl while stores' shelves were wiped clean within minutes when it debuted its limited Lilly P. collection Sunday. The mad dash for hibiscus-covered dresses and elephant-laden shorts resembled the race for supplies and weapons at the Hunger Games' cornucopia....
TIERRA VERDE — A palace in Dubai has 100. A grand home going up in Sarasota will have 85. A ranch out West has eight, and a condo in South Pasadena has one.
No matter the number, Alex Matheson's artistic glass knobs offer individuality to any home they complement. His Tierra Verde company, Out of the Blue Design Studio, offers more than 200 designs from 60 glass artists around the country. The orbs encase flowers, butterflies, coral, spirals and beyond, and Matheson mounts them to hardware that can be added to cabinets or shower doors....
Lindsay Phillips applied for a patent on her shoes, which feature interchangeable straps and adornments, before graduating high school in Tampa. She had created a ceramic sandal during a high school art class and the idea took off from there. • At age 25, her creations were in more than a thousand stores. At 28, she sold the company, SwitchFlops, for an unspecified amount and at 30 she still gets to run it. • The Clearwater native is committed to making good-looking shoes that are also comfortable. She creates four new lines a year and just added children's shoes to the mix. Her shoes range from $21 to $65 and are available online and in stores. She answered some questions recently about the business....
ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen new businesses are open, or in the works, along four blocks of Central Avenue on the edge of downtown.
Many of the new retailers are the result of turnover caused by rent increases along the avenue's 600 block, known as the "arts block." Five years ago, when the block was rundown and saw little retail traffic, artists were enticed with rents as low as $5 a square foot. ...
04/14/15 Human Interest
TAMPA — Dick Greco, Tampa's long-serving mayor and the face of his city, would want his fellow citizens to know the sky is not falling. He is not committing an act of treason. He will not abandon his town.
But this much is true: Greco, raised on West Tampa devil crabs and Ybor City Cubans, is leaving Tampa for St. Petersburg.
Except, he insists, not really. "I don't want anyone to think I'm leaving Tampa — I'm not leaving Tampa," he said Tuesday. "I'm just going across the bridge."...
ARTpool Gallery, a force in local fashion, is turning seven. Owner Marina Williams has proven that Tampa Bay has an appetite for vintage, edgey, hip, funky, and once in a while downright ugly clothes. Her huge store at 2030 Central Ave. is a boutique/museum/time warp/restaurant/bar.
Even if you don't wear vintage, it's worth a trip to ARTpool to see the timeline of beautiful, elegant pieces along with those that pushed the envelope over the years. Prices range from $5 to more than $200....
04/09/15 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — Developers soon could have another blank canvas — an entire city block — on which to build apartments, condos, retail space or offices.
The two groups that own the block, which is home to Aveda's retail and corporate operations at 235 Third St. S and the recently closed Onyx night club, are in talks to sell the land or redevelop it themselves.
The block across from Publix is bounded by Fourth and Third streets and Second and Third avenues south. It could be worth about $13 million, said Ken Heretick, who owns the north side of the property with two other partners. Echelon real estate company owns the south side....
Of course it had been 20 years since style icon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis consigned items at Encore on Madison Avenue (as legend states) when I bought my $50 summer Gucci bag there last year. So by no means am I implying it could have been hers. My point is ... wait a minute, you aren't my husband. You aren't rapidly motioning with your hands to rush me to get to the point. I don't have to spit this out in four syllables to hold our attention. However, I know your time is valuable so I will get to the point....
It's tempting to hate Lindsay Phillips. She applied for a patent on her shoes with interchangable straps and adornments before graduating high school in Tampa. By age 25 her creations were in more than a thousand stores. At age 28 she sold the compnay for an untold amount and at age 30 she still gets to run it.
But since she is committed to making good looking shoes that are also COMFORTABLE, we can't hate her. Also she's actually a very likable, normal person. She creates four new lines a year and just added chlidren's shoes to the mix....
04/02/15 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — The Colonnade, a new development by Texas-based home-builder D.R. Horton, is going up near the intersection of Fourth Street and 54th Avenue North. The gated community with 127 townhomes will include a pool and small park.
Homes will be 1,800 to 2,500 square feet and priced in the upper $200,000 range, according to spokeswoman Erica Delgado.
"I think there's a real need for that price point for something that's move-in ready," said Kelli Welch, an agent with Keller Williams' Sandy Hartmann Team. "I'm sure the homes come with warranties. That's appealing to young families or young professionals."...