11/20/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Nick Ekonomou says he can't catch a break. The Miami developer who is eager to invest millions of dollars in St. Petersburg and make it his new home faces roadblocks at every turn.
His purchase of the historic, downtown YMCA for $1.4 million one year ago has been tied up in court ever since by an earlier suitor of the building.
A plan to buy an Allendale home at 901 40th Ave. N and change the orientation of the large parcel in case he wanted to build additional homes met great opposition from neighbors. He delayed the purchase but is still eyeing it....
Every January radio stations give away thousands of dollars for lucky winners to use to make a dent in the credit card debt they they racked up during the holidays. It's probably a given that most of use will use plastic to pay for some of our shopping and celebrating. But there is such a thing as cash and if we make a concentrated effort to use it, our January credit card bills won't weigh more than that bird seed-filled neck warmer you gave your Grammie. ...
Finally! Another clothing store on Fourth Street. Canvas, at 1535 4th Street N, now brings the total of women's clothing stores on the East Side's main drag to four.
That's only 77 behind the number of restaurants and 29 fewer than the number of grocery stores. ...
Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota rocked the runway at a recent fashion show at the Vinoy that was hosted by the Margaret Scheson Stuart Society as a fundraiser for the Museum of Fine Arts.
Okay. That was a mouthful, so I'll give you the highlights in twitter mode.
Fur capes. Single-stone statement ring. Long, gold link necklace. Thank the Lord. Maxi dresses are still very much in....
11/05/15 Human Interest
In 1930, a group of women formed the Junior League of St. Petersburg to mobilize female volunteers to help improve children's health, nutrition and literacy. (The chapter started 29 years after the first Junior League was born in New York City with Eleanor Roosevelt among its earliest members.)
Active and sustaining members of the St. Petersburg Junior League gathered at the Dalí Museum to celebrate the organization's 85th anniversary....
11/05/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Twin Brooks Golf Course, 3800 22nd Ave. S, is reopening after a $1.5 million, six-month renovation. Beginning Friday, golfers will hit the links on a nine-hole, par 3 course of 1,068 yards, with putting surfaces averaging more than 3,500 square feet, much larger than the former 18-hole, par 3 course.
The renovated course also offers a 7,000-square-foot platinum Paspalum putting green, undulating mounds to simulate play on a regulation course, a manmade lake, and scenic views of Clam Bayou and the Pinellas Trail, all accessible by 12 new electric golf carts or on foot....
ST. PETE BEACH — Hotel Zamora came in second in Conde Nast Travelers Readers' Choice Awards ranking of the top hotels in Florida. It's right behind the Alfond Inn in Winter Park. The only other Tampa Bay stay making an appearance on the list is the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa in eighth place.
Other top-ranked hotels include the Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, Thompson Miami Beach, Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, Marquesa Hotel in Key West and the Chesterfield Palm Beach....
10/28/15 Human Interest
As the new social reporter and editor of Bay magazine, I am stepping into the shoes of Mary Jane Park, a longtime friend and colleague. I look forward to covering the community's great tradition of philanthropy, arts and culture, and the hard work and fun that are a part of all of it.
A "real housewife" of New York City joined politicians, actors and community supporters at the annual CASA Gala: A Night of Love and Hope, hosted by former Gov. Charlie Crist and his wife, Carole, at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort....
10/27/15 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — A key block on Central Avenue with two vacant, deteriorating buildings that have long been a blockade to progress may finally have a future as a prime development site.
A lucrative 99-year lease that doesn't expire until 2058 between the property owners and a real estate investment trust has given the owners little incentive to sell. They stand to collect about $700,000 a year for 43 more years or $30 million. And the REIT locked into the lease has little incentive to renovate a building on land it doesn't own....
For My Outfit Monday, I stand in the newspaper office's industrial chic fire escape in a wrap dress by Diane von Furstenberg. This is the designer's trademark piece that she introdeuced in 1974. It's just as popular 40 years later and is so iconic it's in the permanent collection of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I asked fellow Deal Diva and my photographer Katie Sanders if it was too low cut for the office. She hesitated and said "you can discuss that in the post."...
Michael J. Fox came back to the future yesterday when that far-off date of Oct. 21, 2015 that he set on his time-machine-DeLorean 30 years ago became a reality. We still love him and the movie Back to the Future. And believe it or not a few of those long ago fashions are back in style 30 years later.
Ralph Lauren has an orange, down vest for $245 much like the one Michael wore....
ST. PETERSBURG — An affordable housing community, motorcycle sales and service complex or small business enclave could be going up early next year on 14 city-owned acres on 22nd Street S. Four developers have submitted proposals to the city to either buy or lease the land and build something that will create jobs.
"I'd like to get this thing moving. I would love to get a contract in place by the end of the year," Mayor Rick Kriseman said. "I think we've got some really good options on the table to choose from. We're going to see if (the city picks) something exactly like what's proposed or a hybrid of things. I think we have very legitimate options.''...
ST. PETERSBURG — What do you get if you cross St. Petersburg's Saturday Morning Market with a food court and a 1952 motel? Crescent Lake Market, a new venture in the old Monticello Motel at 1700 Fourth St. N that puts Tampa Bay on the cusp of a new dining trend.
Independent food vendors and chefs will create and sell dine-in and takeout meals from the 18 motel rooms. Customers will sit at a communal dining area between the two rows of rooms in a covered courtyard lit with Thomas Edison-inspired antique light bulbs, the latest in hip decor that combines nostalgia with industrial chic....
ST. PETERSBURG — A jury ruled in favor of Bill Edwards, owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Sundial retail complex, in a sexual harassment suit brought against him by two former employees at his mortgage company.
"The system works," Edwards said after the jury reached a verdict late Thursday night. "This has been a case of extortion from the beginning."
Stephanie St. James and Jennifer Hinyub sued Edwards and two of his companies, Mortgage Investors Corp. and Marketing Solution Publications, in 2005, claiming sexual harassment, gender discrimination, retaliation and battery. They were seeking up to $1.5 million in lost wages combined and unspecified other damages....
ST. PETERSBURG — Blings & Things consignment store is selling shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves, hats and more at 5225 Fourth St. N. Its owner said her Classy Closet clothing consignment store at 540 Central Ave. is doing so well she decided to expand.
"We are killing it," said Jeanette Ohanian. "It's the tourists, it's the locals, it's the snowbirds."
Ohanian was disappointed two years ago when she had to move her store from Fourth Street to make room for Trader Joe's. Now she says the 500 block of Central Avenue is a great spot for her 7-year-old business. "But you'd have to sell a whole lot of accessories to cover the rent bill here," she said. ...