Will Hillsborough County residents agree to pay an additional one cent sales tax to pay for a host of road, transit and trail projects over the next 30 years? County leaders will host a listening campaign with a series of publc meetings starting after Labor Day.
St. Petersburg's residential building boom is garnering a lot of attention as developers re-invent downtown's skyline. Nonprofit Saint Petersburg Preservation plans to single out projects in 2014 that restored historical buildings and houses or created innovative new uses for older structures. Nominations for 2014 preservation awards are being accepted through Sept. 15 with awards handed out Oct. 24.
Having made a success of two South MacDill Avenue restaurants - Datz and Dough - owners Suzanne and Roger Perry soon will open Roux, a homage to Creole, New Orleans style cooking. Fresh new spins will be given to old favorites from gumbo to etouffee. The restaurant's decor will be like stepping into the French quarter with ornate chandeliers, wrought iron highlights and marble table tops. In a couple weeks lunch and dinner will be served.
St. Petersburg-based Tracy Negoshian and Sarasota-based Jackie Zumba will open clothing boutiques in Sundial, the upscale, trendy mall that replaces the defunct Baywalk mall in downtown St. Petersburg. While Sundial owner, The Edwards Group, is bringing a mix of national, regional and local retailers to its new mall, there is a notable Florida flavor to the selection of boutiques and restaurants.
Tech Data Corp. renewed its commitment to Clearwater when company officials decided to expand its headquarters with a new 45,000-square-foot building. The facility will provide additional office and meeting space for the approximately 1,700 Clearwater employees of Tech Data, one of the world's largest technology distributors.
Ulele Restaurant in Tampa Heights will open for dinner service only starting Aug. 26. Lunch and brunch will be added in fall. The restaurant is part of the larger vision to re-invent Tampa's downtown core. Situated next to a redesigned Water Works Park, Ulele will help anchor the city's nearly completed Riverwalk which re-imagines Hillsborough River as the driving force for Tampa's redevelopment.
The city's $7.4M investment into redesigning Water Works Park is visible evidence that Tampa Heights master plan for redevelopment is taking root. Located next to the upscale Ulele Restaurant, the park will anchor the northern end of the city's Riverwalk, bringing to life a large swath of riverfront land that has been dormant for years. It also is a connector for Tampa Heights and the city's re-energized downtown.
Sarasota-based Insula Company is the new owner of Park East Apartments after identifying the 192-apartment complex on Bearss Avenue as a solid investment. The company likes that the complex is in an established neighborhood that is benefiting from its proximity to the medical and university campuses of University of South Florida and Florida Hospital Tampa.
A master plan to convert six warehouses and offices into artists' studios will transform the arts community in St. Petersburg and boost tourism. The Warehouse Arts District Association needs to raise $350,000 by Nov. 1 to buy the former Ace Recylcing Compound.
Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik will move foreward on plans to create 'Channelside Live', a mix of entertainment, shopping, restaurants and a hotel. A settlement agreement approved by a Delaware bankruptcy judge is decided in favor of Vinik and has approval of Port Tampa Bay, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and competing developers with Liberty Channelside.
Owner Matt Bonano moved from Brooklyn to Gulf Port and is now owner of Brooklyn South Deli, at 1437 Central Ave., in downtown St. Petersburg. Bonano likes St. Petersburg's energized downtown scene and the younger urban dwellers who are changing the image of St. Petersburg.
Venice is chosen for the American headquarters for United Kingdom-based manufacturer, Origin Bi-fold Doors. Its aluminium bi-folding doors appeal to luxury home builders and developers of hotels, retail and restaurants that want to create integrated indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Amelia Pestrak learned sewing and tailoring skills as a teenager in her native Phillippines. Now she is owner of her first clothing shop, Amelia's Abubut. She designs and sews her own casual children and women's clothing. In the Philippines, the term "abubut" refers to trinkets or keepsakes that are special to their owner.
A new education and research center will be built on 1.4 acres of vacant land donated by the University of South Florida to All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine. All Children's officials are in planning stages for the facility which will focus on innovations in pediatric care and research into childhood diseases.
The musically themed ENCORE! Tampa development is hitting a milestone with the opening of its first multifamily apartment building. The 141-unit The Trio joins The Ella, a 161-unit senior apartment building that opened in 2012 and is fully occupied. Artwork by Natalie Blake and Taryn Sabia honor the musical heritage of the black entertainment and business community that once thrived along Central Avenue.