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CVS buyout closes newly opened Eckerd

Nine months after it opened, the Eckerd drugstore at the corner of Kings Avenue and State Road 60 has closed.

The future of that new store had been in question since CVS Corp. bought out Eckerd Corp. earlier this year _ especially since a CVS store sits on the opposite corner, and CVS has no plans to close any of its existing locations.

The Eckerd's doors were locked last week. CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said customers' prescriptions would be transferred over to the CVS, along with some Eckerd merchandise.

"CVS will have all the information to continue filling those customers' prescriptions," DeAngelis said.

An Eckerd at the corner of Bell Shoals and Boyette roads in Lithia also closed recently.

The company expects to close about 225 Eckerd stores overall. More than 1,000 others will be converted to CVS stores. DeAngelis said about 300 of those stores, including many in Florida, will take on the CVS name by the end of the year.

Customers at the Brandon Eckerd who have questions about their prescription records may call the Brandon CVS at 653-4009.

Chamber to honor diverse businesses

BRANDON _ Finalists for the Minority and Woman-Owned Business of the Year Award have been announced by the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. The winner will be announced at the second annual Diversity Awareness Luncheon on Oct. 5.

This year's contenders are Marie Gilmore of the Osprey Observer, Jackie Garvin of Lloyd Staffing and Betsy Hicka of Almost Home Pet Resort Inc.

Nominations were received from the 1,800-plus chamber membership.

Motivational speaker Tye Maner, of Tye Maner and Associates, will be the guest speaker. Columnist Ernest Hooper of the St. Petersburg Times will emcee the event.

October is recognized as Diversity Awareness Month and the chamber celebrates its diversity with this luncheon.

The luncheon is at 11 a.m. Oct. 5 at Crosstown Community Church, 1030 Causeway Blvd., Brandon. Tickets cost $20 and must be purchased in advance. Call 689-1221.

Unnamed communities gain identities

VALRICO _ Cypress Reserve and Sandy Creek Manors are the latest additions to Bloomingdale.

Even though the homes already are built, the communities were among a handful that didn't receive names when Bloomingdale developers picked names for 28 other neighborhoods in the subdivision.

This summer, Bloomingdale Homeowners Association invited residents in nine unnamed communities to select their own names, hoping that the identities will foster community pride. Two communities turned out for the effort, each soliciting more than 100 votes.

Residents living in a section west of Springvale Drive and north of Nature's Way Boulevard will refer to their community as Cypress Reserve. Those living in the south portion of Bloomingdale west, off Canoga Park Drive and Garnet Drive, will call Sandy Creek Manors home.

The homeowners association is working with Hillsborough County to receive permission to place four signs outside each community, for a total of eight signs. The project will cost about $3,400. Residents can expect to see the signs up in late October or early November.

Tampa Bay house featured in magazine

APOLLO BEACH _ From across the country, home builders and lovers of waterfront properties are looking to MiraBay for inspiration.

The community is home to this year's Idea House for Coastal Living magazine. Each year, the magazine constructs a showcase home to inspire readers. The nearly 7,200-square-foot home in MiraBay marks the first time a Tampa Bay community was selected for the Idea House.

Designers with Cooper Johnson Smith Architects Inc. of Tampa separated the house into three smaller pavilions, drawing on themes from Caribbean architecture. Tampa's Bayfair Homes was the builder. Lovelace Interiors in Fort Walton Beach coordinated the interior design, along with editors from Coastal Living magazine. The 2004 Idea House will be featured in the publication's November-December issue.

The MiraBay house is open to the public Oct. 2 through March 20. Visitors can tour it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $10 each or two for $15. Proceeds will benefit the Florida Aquarium's teacher education program. For more information, check out www.coastalliving.com or call 1-866-854-4072.

_ JAY CRIDLIN, MICHELLE JONES AND LETITIA STEIN

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