Beach Drive's success has bred traffic jams, parking shortages and the demand for more valet services. • Though these aren't the worst problems to have, Mayor Rick Kriseman and other city officials are talking with business owners to figure out how to address them.
The Birchwood and Tryst Gastro Lounge welcome the people who flock to the busy half-mile commercial stretch, and want to offer valet parking to make it easier for customers. But the city can't issue the required permits because its valet ordinance allows only one valet service per block....
10/15/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — A deed recently entered into public record shows Times Publishing Co. sold its historic Tramor Cafeteria building for $2.7 million. Chicago-based Second City Properties closed on the building at 123 Fourth St. S in September. The sale includes a small parking lot with 18 spaces.
Second City plans to convert the 15,000-square-foot building into Hofbrauhaus, a German-style restaurant and beer garden with locations in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas....
ST. PETERSBURG — The foreclosure auction of Vegas Showgirls strip club at 10568 Gandy Blvd. has been canceled, according to its owner and the Pinellas County Clerk of Court's foreclosure calendar.
Owner James Lowy, a lawyer in Tampa, said he is selling the debt to another entity as well as refinancing other assets to pay down the debt.
"There is a solution," Lowy said.
ST. PETERSBURG — The Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit is set to debut Nov. 2 in its new U.S. host city: downtown St. Petersburg.
Think of it as Comic-Con for underwater educators, filmmakers and scientists.
There will be Hollywood stars, such as Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, who will screen his ocean pollution documentary Trashed, and star scientists, including legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle, whose work to save the oceans is the subject of the film Mission Blue....
ST. PETERSBURG — Now that the new Publix at 3700 Fourth St. N is open, it's doubtful shoppers will still refer to the chain's other store two blocks away as "the good Publix." Many have used that term for the store at 200 37th Ave. N since the Albertsons across the street was converted to a Publix in 2008.
Making its debut this week, the new store that stands where the Albertsons-turned-Publix once did features plenty of bells and whistles, including a salad bar, hot food bar, a lot of craft beer, a wine expert and a health and beauty adviser. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — The Tramor Cafeteria, built in 1929 and owned by the Tampa Bay Times since 1981, is under contract to be sold to a Chicago company that plans to open a German restaurant and beer garden.
Hofbrauhaus also has locations in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Munich.
The 15,000-square-foot space at 123 Fourth St. S has been on the market to sell or lease since 2012. The price was not released. The deal is expected to close Friday. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Vegas Showgirls, a strip club dogged by legal problems, is set to go on the auction block next month because of the recent foreclosure by its lender.
The club, at 10568 Gandy Blvd., allegedly was the site of forced prostitution in two recent trials involving human trafficking. One ringleader pleaded no contest; another man was found not guilty. Neither worked for Vegas Showgirls, and managers there stated at the time that the club was not involved in the activities....
ST. PETERSBURG — Celebrated chef Michael Mina's farm-to-table restaurant in Sundial is going to be considerably smaller than first envisioned but will have room to grow.
The Farmtable will have just 12 seats in an intimate dining room in the northwest corner of the shopping plaza's second floor. It was first announced as Farmtable Kitchen, and renderings show that 48 seats were planned....
09/04/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — A circuit judge has cleared the way for a new buyer to purchase the historic downtown YMCA.
Nick Ekonomou, a developer and former Florida State University football player, said he plans to convert the 1926 Mediterranean jewel into luxury vacation rentals with a spa, event venue and brewery.
"I have no idea for a name yet. I know I want to put it back to its grand splendor," Ekonomou said....
09/03/14 Human Interest
SalonCentric will move HQ to Gateway
An 87,000-square-foot office building in Gateway that has sat empty for more than three years will soon have a major tenant. SalonCentric, a distributor of hair and nail salon products to professionals, is readying the former Paychex building for its new headquarters.
The company, which currently has headquarters in Largo, is a subsidiary of cosmetic giant L'Oreal. It will lease 52,500 square feet for its 180 employees. SalonCentric plans to expand over the next several months, but the number of hires isn't set, according to spokeswoman Rebecca Bray. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Now that the shiny new Walmart has opened on Bay Pines Boulevard across from the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, things are pretty quiet down the road at Lighthouse Crossings.
The Walmart that anchored that shopping center at Tyrone Boulevard and Park Street for 24 years closed July 15. The new Walmart opened 2 miles away on July 16.
"It's slow. Normally we'd be busy this time of day for sure," said Lydvina Eckert, who was working at an empty Subway at 11:55 a.m. one recent day. It's at the opposite end of the shopping center from the vacant Walmart but still hosted plenty of its customers. To make matters worse, none of the Walmart employees are eating there anymore....
ST. PETERSBURG — It's not Cannes or Sundance, or even the Bollywood awards.
But city and business leaders are gearing up for a little-known film festival that is expected to draw 20,000 people to St. Petersburg in November, highlighting the city's tourism and marine science industries.
That's almost as many as the 24,000 visitors drawn to Tampa in April for the much-ballyhooed International Indian Film Academy Awards show....
ST. PETERSBURG — John Gainor, CEO of Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen, visited All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine on Thursday to publicize the company's Miracle Treat Day, when it gives $1 of every Blizzard sold to a hospital in the Children's Miracle Network. Last year the company, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, raised $37,500 for All Children's. It has donated a total of $455,000 in 30 years....
ST. PETERSBURG — Despite an initial $2 million investment and a location offering views of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Vue 19 nightclub on the 19th floor of One Progress Plaza has closed. Vue Sushi & Martini Bar, which was started by the same owners on the first floor, has also closed.
Though the restaurant opened in early 2011, the nightclub has been mired in uncertainty since work began in the former Bank of America building in late 2010. It opened in February 2012, about a year past its estimated debut because of construction delays and code requirements such as a reinforced dance floor....
ST. PETERSBURG — The veil of secrecy that has long shrouded Sundial is lifting now that the Edwards Group is announcing its lineup of 18 tenants. Most are planning on opening their doors by the end of September.
The mix includes 11 national retailers with locations around the country and seven with one or two stores on Florida's west coast. The newest names to surface are the Shave Cave, Tommy Bahama, Jackie Z Style Co., Juxtapose, Florida Jean Co., Swim 'n Sport and a return of Happy Feet. ...