I’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 NEWSAs 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