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Home-buying becomes simpler

There's nothing like being there. Then again, convenience is a virtue these days.

The new Samter Homes Sales and Design Studio is attempting to reconcile those two notions.

The 850-square-foot studio at 3112 W Kennedy Blvd., which opened Nov 18, is a townhouse mart of sorts for Tampa developer Samter Homes and its bay area townhouse projects.

"We've combined the information from 10 different model homes into one location," said Samter Homes president Peter Bennett. "Normally with other builders you have to go to different locations to do that."

Prospective home buyers can do the entire home shopping and buying process under one roof - preview home renderings and floor plans, pick fixtures, lighting, flooring, cabinets, colors.

They can even apply for a mortgage next door with Samter's preferred lender, Global One Mortgage. Courter Realty is also there to handle sales.

Two of the 10 Samter Homes projects featured in the studio are in South Tampa - La Gaspara and MacDill Landings. Both townhome projects are under construction on S MacDill Avenue. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday noon to 5 p.m., or by appointment. Call 253-0005.

Birds move next door

It's amazing what 15 years of working the trade show circuit will get you.

That's where TLC Birds of Tampa existed until getting its first retail space a year ago at 4522 S Dale Mabry Highway.

But manager Bob Fields said it quickly became clear the 850- square-foot space wasn't enough. "Our customer base just exploded," he said.

So TLC Birds moved one building north to 4512 S Dale Mabry at the end of October.

This nest has 2,600 square feet, and plenty of room to display TLC's selection of bird cages, toys, food, treats, and care products. A groomer is available the third Saturday of every month. But above all, TLC is about birds.

Fields, who runs the business with his fiancee Sandra Mathews, says they can get their hands on more than 100 species. Many are on display in the store, from such popular picks as cockatiels and love birds, to more exotic creatures, including eclectus, cockatoos, greys and senegals.

Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Wednesday.

New look for warehouse

Renovations on the old retail and warehouse building at 4711 W Gandy Blvd. are scheduled to begin within a week .

Jason Miller of Century 21 Commercial said the property is being redeveloped into a 2,400- square-foot office/retail center. It will have Key West style architecture, a two-story foyer, and two units inside. Construction should take about three months. Miller said several national franchise businesses have expressed an interest, but no deals have been set. Call him at 842-1542.

Stationery shop expands

The Write Stuff now has more of the right stuff - square footage. The stationery/gift store at Palma Ceia Village shopping center at 3225 S MacDill Ave. went from 1,200 to 2,275 square feet by moving one door over on Nov. 25, according to manager Selena Guerra.

Hours are still the same: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and evenings by appointment.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394 or e-mail