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Dick Greco contemplating a return to Tampa

Dick Greco, the four-time mayor and Tampa native who shocked the area two years ago when he moved across the bridge to St. Petersburg, may be returning to his home city.

Well, possibly, in two years.

Greco and his wife, Linda McClintock, have purchased a seventh-floor, 2,800-square-foot condo at the 24-story, 71-unit Virage on Bayshore Boulevard due to start construction this fall.

"When we look out our window we'll be able to see downtown Tampa clearly," said Greco, 83. "It's going to be gorgeous."

Still, he and his wife have yet to decide if they will move there or if it will be an investment property.

"We're having a good time over in St. Pete," he said. "But at the same time, we're always going back and forth."

His wife's medical practice has headquarters in South Tampa, and Greco hosts a weekly radio show that broadcasts out of Tampa.

And a year removed from a brush with death following complications from a hernia, Greco is looking to return to his active ways in the workforce. Many of his connections remain in Tampa.

"I've never been the type of person to sit around," he said. "I do what I can to help friends now, but want to do more."

The Virage will be located on what was the longtime home to the Colonnade, one of Greco's favorite restaurants before it closed in April 2016 after eight decades.

And the tower will neighbor the Bayshore Regency, where Greco lived before moving to Rowland Place, where he currently resides in St. Petersburg. It's a short walk from Beach Drive and its shopping and dining.

"We love walking up and down that strip," Greco said. "It never gets old."

The move to St. Petersburg in April 2015 spurred disbelief on both sides of the bay.

Greco was synonymous with Tampa. His parents were beloved hardware store owners in Ybor City.

He first entered politics in 1963 as a Tampa city council member, and then served as mayor from 1967 to 1974, and 1995 to 2003.

Greco laughed at the stir his last move made and about any potential hoopla over a possible return to Tampa.

"It's years away from being complete, so we have time to make a decision," said Greco, who then added with a chuckle, "Let's just hope I'm still around."

Information from Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin was used in this report. Contact Paul Guzzo at pguzzo@tampabay.com. Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

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