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HOTEL, SPA TO REPLACE GUARD ARMORY

TAMPA

Planners of a $98-million hotel, spa and marketplace have signed a deal with the National Guard to buy the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory.

Heritage Square at the Armory was ranked the highest among five proposals for the site presented to the city last year. In a final step before purchasing, developers must move National Guard operations into a new site.

The chosen proposal includes a 300-room, Spanish-themed luxury hotel, a cultural arts center and a 10,000-square-foot open air farmer's market. The armory will remain intact.

"The whole West Tampa community is really so excited and looking forward to this," project spokeswoman Chris Duffy-Waldman said Friday. "It's going to help them preserve the history and provide jobs."

WESLEY CHAPEL

Mall opponents claim builders pollute creek

Opponents of Cypress Creek Town Center mall filed complaints Thursday with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Based on photographs taken by the mall's neighbor, Hank King, the opponents say the mall's builders are polluting the creek with runoff from construction work.

Dan Rametta and Clay Colson also say the buffer along the creek appears to be less than the required 25 feet, and they think the wrong type .

Rametta said officials from Hillsborough's Environmental Protection Commission checked the creek Friday morning but found water clarity was okay at the Cypress Creek bridge as it crosses the county line.

The corps will inspect the site Tuesday.

CLEARWATER

2nd beach business sues over construction

Another Clearwater beach business has sued the city, saying that sidewalk construction has damaged its business and forced customers away.

The suit by Christina McNeil Tracey, who owns Anchor Mini-Mart, follows a similar claim by the Hi Seas Motel several months ago related to the BeachWalk project. Both businesses say the city built raised-curb sidewalks on either side of the half-mile-long Coronado Drive in mid February that block access to perpendicular parking.

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