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Trail users, get set to slow down and smell the coffee

Cyclists and skaters on the Pinellas Trail soon may find it hard to push past Main Street. A glass-fronted coffeehouse, complete with outdoor tables and the enticing aroma of cappuccino and pastries, could be beckoning.

A group of local investors has purchased a building at Main Street and the Trail to bring a half-dozen businesses downtown, including that coffeehouse.

"It will be the kind of place where you can sit for an hour or two, watch the people go by and linger with a cappuccino and espresso," said Peter Kreuziger, a shareholder in Global Investors of Florida, which bought the building last month from Sun Bank of Tampa Bay.

An in-line skate shop, a bicycle shop and an art dealer are some of the other businesses that have shown interest in the project, said Kreuziger, president of European Management Services, which owns and operates Bon Appetit restaurant and Jamaica Inn. Five of the new businesses will front the Pinellas Trail.

The investors hope the project will be a catalyst to further retail development in Dunedin.

"What we're hoping to do is to create a parking problem," Kreuziger said.

The 12,000-square-foot structure is being refurbished. Two businesses that already occupy the building will remain.

Global Investors also bought the land next to the building. About 3,000 square feet of retail space is planned for that lot, Kreuziger said.

Completion dates for the renovation of the building and construction of the new one have not been set.

The total project will cost more than $500,000, Kreuziger said.

Dan Mann, Sun Bank of Tampa Bay's regional president, said the bank had considered demolishing the structure and replacing it with a larger building.

When that proved too expensive, Sun Bank decided to sell, he said.

Mann said that the Global Investors project, coupled with Sun Bank's plan to replace its facility with a new building and park, will give Dunedin a boost.

"It's going to help downtown immensely," Mann said.