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Welcoming new neighbors on the 600 Block

We had a quick meeting this afternoon to welcome some of our new neighbors to the  block! I haven’t posted anything about the Crislip in a while, but the progress has been fantastic. What started as a simple exterior clean up project to make the block lookbetter has developed into an amazing redevelopment initiative. The owner has invested in new facades for several of the shops, improvements to the arcade, and many much needed repairs to the building. The result?  New neighbors!

The 600 Block has a few art studios and galleries that have already moved in, and several more due to open by the end of March. It is impossible for me to express my excitement about this progress.

During the meeting, we discussed the re-branding effort for the area. Ideas included The Central Arcade District, Central Artery, Vibe, Arts District and others.  We’re looking forward to the grand opening!

 

Pinstripe helps fuel revival of one block of St. Petersburg’s Central Avenue

This St. Petersburg Times story highlights the latest progress with our little block of Central and the Crislip Arcade. Hard to believe this all started because we were tired of walking past (and smelling) the mess on our way to lunch everyday. Just a small example of what can be done when you take action. We are so excited about our new neighbors!

“Pinstripe Marketing at 695 Central Ave. initially approached Gaffney about cleaning up the area. “We found out through the Preservation Society that the Crislip was one of the last arcades in the city, so we really wanted to do something about that.”

 

More Crislip Arcade news

july09-129Our Clean Up Crislip project was a huge success with nearly 70 volunteers who gave their time and talents to clean up the 600 block of Central Avenue. Now that the arcade and adjacent storefronts are empty, there are artists and businesses ready to rent!

Progress!

See the Times article with the latest news.

 

 

 

Crislip…. progress?

crislip4I’m very happy to report some progress with our little block in downtown St. Pete.(A big thank you to those that signed our petition last year.)

Since the article in in November’s Business Journal, it was slow until last month when we met with members of the St. Pete Preservation Society and The Studio @620 to kick our plans into gear.  We’ve since met with city council, the codes department and the owner to see what we can do to get some things moving.

I’m excited that it looks like it will be a lot more than a simple ‘art project’ on the exterior, but has grown into a plan to bring artists and businesses back into the building. We did a walk-through of the property to see the condition of the arcade and the storefronts. Afterwards, we asked the city to remove the benches along the sidewalk, to trim the trees to let in more light, and they volunteered to re-paint the parking lines. All of that was completed within two weeks (amazing how quickly the system can move!)

So now, we’re looking for businesses to move into the storefronts. In exchange for some sweat equity and very, very inexpensive rent – we can revitalize Central Avenue!

CRISLIP NEWS

As Central Avenue block languishes, owner and St. Petersburg leaders seek pick-me-up – St. Petersburg Times, May 27, 2009
Businesses seeking action at Crislip Arcade on Central – Tampa Bay Business Journal, November 28, 2008
St. Petersburg’s ‘Central’ opportunity – August 29, 2008
Central businesses sound off – August 29, 2008
Retro arcade in downtown changes hands again – St. Petersburg Times, July 28, 2008
Hope for St. Pete’s historic Crislip Arcade – Creative Loafing, July 15, 2008
Out with the old – St. Petersburg Times, June 18, 2006
 
 

Another nudge for the Crislip

Our friends at the Tampa Bay Business Journal picked up on our petition to clean up the Crislip Arcade. This could be the nudge we need to make some progress!

Businesses seeking action at Crislip Arcade on Central

The fate of the historic Crislip Arcade, a 1920s-style mall on Central Avenue, has been undetermined for years, and the property has fallen into disarray.

Now some nearby businesses are banding together to take action.

“We wanted to be part of the downtown revitalization, but nothing’s really been done “with Crislip,” said Ginger Reichl, president of Pinstripe Marketing. “We kept hoping something would come through.”

Reichl moved her company to Central Avenue in December 2007 but soon found that Crislip, located at 641 Central Ave., had been abandoned and boarded up and had become an eyesore. She met with representatives from the St. Petersburg Preservation Society about Crislip, and they decided to create an online petition calling for exterior beautification of the property.

Reichl says she is willing to organize a volunteer effort to get the job done. All she needs is the permission of Tom Gaffney, Crislip’s owner.”

Read the rest of the article.