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Dunedin store to be jeweler's own creation

Gaston Marticorena says he wants the new store he's planning to build downtown to be a work of art, much like the pieces of jewelry he creates.

The St. Petersburg custom jeweler has bought the vacant property just north of the Sun Trust Bank building on Alt. U.S. 19 and plans a building that would house his shop as well as space for two or three other stores and two apartments.

Plans call for the building to have a tile roof, cathedral ceilings, large windows, mirrors and chandeliers. He said he hasn't lined up tenants for the other two store spaces or for the apartments.

He hopes to get permits this spring and start construction at the end of the summer. Work should take about eight months.

The entire project, including land and building, would cost about $500,000, he said.

The first phase would include his 2,000-square-foot store, with a 2,000-square-foot apartment on the second floor. It also would have 3,500 square feet of retail space that could be used as either one or two stores.

The second phase would have a 1,000-square-foot store with a 1,500-square-foot apartment on the second floor. Marticorena said he might build both phases at once, or might delay the second phase.

For 18 years, his shop, Marticorena Creations Inc., has been at 6700 46th Ave. N in St. Petersburg. He makes custom jewelry, anything from the $100-range and higher.

"You might have in mind a special ring that you can look forever and not find," he said. "I can make that for you."

Marticorena, who is from Lima, Peru, made jewelry for Tiffany & Co. and other companies in New York and New Jersey before moving to St. Petersburg. He works in gold, silver and platinum.