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Old June 30th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #1
HARTride 2012
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TAMPA | South Tampa Development News (South of Kennedy/West of Bayshore)

I originally created this thread back in 2007 to discuss developments in South Tampa that 1) did not have its own thread. And 2) was NOT located along the Bayshore Blvd corridor north of Gandy, OR the WestShore Business District. From this point forward, all such development news should be posted here. Anything relating to the WestShore BD, the Kennedy Blvd corridor, and Bayshore Blvd (north of Gandy) should be placed in their respective threads.

Basically, anything south of Kennedy that does not already have its own thread from before, can be discussed here.

NOTE: The South Tampa WalMart thread has been merged into this one, since there isn't really anymore activity on it.

===============================================

Wal-Mart Supercenter may be ahead at Gandy and Lois Avenue
By EMILY NIPPS
Published June 29, 2007
St. Petersburg Times

For the past few months, Wal-Mart has been eyeing the corner of Gandy Boulevard and Lois Avenue, unbeknown to some workers and customers of several smaller businesses there.

After the nation's largest retailer submits its plans this summer, five well-known South Tampa businesses could be replaced by a 150, 000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The area is zoned for commercial use, and Wal-Mart already has the properties under contract and hopes to buy the 13 acres once the city approves the plans, company spokeswoman Quenta Vettel said.

"We've been looking for a site to serve customers in South Tampa, and this one looks to be ideal, " she said. "We're very excited to go forward."

The five parcels that Wal-Mart hopes to buy are currently occupied by Sticks 'N' Stuff discount furniture store, Pleasure Zone Adult Supercenter, Stars Athletics gymnastics center, Tampa G. Manufacturing Co. and Progressive Development Properties.

However, employees contacted at the businesses said they were unaware of any closings or relocation plans. Some were even reassured that the Wal-Mart rumors were false.

"The owners said they don't know anything about the sale of this building, " said Sticks 'N' Stuff manager Dave Pezone. "This whole thing is a Wal-Mart 'wannabe' deal. It's been blown out of proportion."

Vettel said the Supercenter plans are still very preliminary; no timeline has been set for construction. The mega-retailer has had some meetings with city officials and has contracts on the five parcels, but still has to do traffic and other impact studies before moving forward.

"The nice thing is it's a corridor already designated for redevelopment, and you're already starting to see that with the Sweetbay (across the street), " she said. "It's an area in transition."

The store is expected to be a smaller, more urban version of the typical Wal-Mart Supercenter, which is around 200, 000 square feet.

The South Tampa store plans include grocery, pharmacy and garden centers, Vettel said, but not automotive services or a liquor store.

Emily Nipps can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or nipps@sptimes.com.

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Old June 30th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #2
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I strongly oppose this plan. If Wal-Mart has its way, we will see Gandy, Manhattan, Lois, and several other surrounding roads becoming congested beyond belief. I know the plans are still in the early stages but it is still a very bad idea.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #3
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This will be fought.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #4
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A Wal-Mart Supercenter on Gandy, the road that already gets an 'F' from State DOT??? This should die before it even starts, just like the Ybor Wal-Mart.

If sensible urban development can't occur in S Tampa, even when it has strong neighborhood support(The View), then the City Council will truly expose their hypocrisy if this project is allowed to be built...
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Old June 30th, 2007, 11:34 PM   #5
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^ Yea I don't see this going anywhere. Well unless some of the council members have a stake in the land :P
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Old July 1st, 2007, 12:50 AM   #6
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That or Wal Mart proposed to dump millions into road improvements.... or a hundred million+. That's still going to make it an ill-fated proposition.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 02:05 AM   #7
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Okay, it is from my understanding that it is a standard Wal-Mart that is being proposed, but an urban version. It is smaller than a supercenter and I don't think it is open continously. I could be wrong though.

Anyways, I still think the plan is not a good one...unless major improvements are done to Gandy. But I think no matter what the outcome, Gandy will still become congested beyond belief because there is really no long-term solution for the highway. The Crosstown/Gandy connector is dead, and pretty much so is the Gandy double-decker plan. Personally, I think Target should consider relocating its S. Tampa/Gandy store to the location because the current store is too small. But I know that won't happen.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 04:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wslupecki View Post
a standard Wal-Mart that is being proposed, but an urban version.
oxymoron much?
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Old July 1st, 2007, 05:01 AM   #9
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^ ha. Same with "smaller". Smaller than a stadium isn't exactly small.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
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That or Wal Mart proposed to dump millions into road improvements.... or a hundred million+. That's still going to make it an ill-fated proposition.
You know what?

If it takes a Wal Mart to get the people in the neighborhood to figure out that an expressway connection is NEEDED between the Gandy Bridge and the Selmon, then I say so be it. I would be a-ok with that deal... If Wal-Mart ponies up a fair amount of what we'll call 'matching funds' and somehow garners neighborhood support for their store and the desperately needed expressway, then I'll personally speak at a TCC meeting and thank them on the record.

And anyone who knows my sentiments on Wal-Mart understands just how important I think that connector is. I also don't think the folks in the neighborhood understand that it is both inevitable that it will happen in time, and that the longer it takes, the more time the price has to perpetually out pace inflation...Once New Port and Westshore Yacht Club are built out, and Georgetown is redeveloped, the land values in the area will skyrocket, and the cost of doing the project will follow. Once people realize these two unavoidable truths, one realizes that the sooner, the better. The folks in Beach Park and SOG should be rushing to work with the state to get it done, while they are still relevant.

One thing though... I think that this project should be a part of a much larger overall project, which would link the Selmon to I-275 thru Pinellas.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
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You know what?

If it takes a Wal Mart to get the people in the neighborhood to figure out that an expressway connection is NEEDED between the Gandy Bridge and the Selmon, then I say so be it. I would be a-ok with that deal... If Wal-Mart ponies up a fair amount of what we'll call 'matching funds' and somehow garners neighborhood support for their store and the desperately needed expressway, then I'll personally speak at a TCC meeting and thank them on the record.

And anyone who knows my sentiments on Wal-Mart understands just how important I think that connector is. I also don't think the folks in the neighborhood understand that it is both inevitable that it will happen in time, and that the longer it takes, the more time the price has to perpetually out pace inflation...Once New Port and Westshore Yacht Club are built out, and Georgetown is redeveloped, the land values in the area will skyrocket, and the cost of doing the project will follow. Once people realize these two unavoidable truths, one realizes that the sooner, the better. The folks in Beach Park and SOG should be rushing to work with the state to get it done, while they are still relevant.

One thing though... I think that this project should be a part of a much larger overall project, which would link the Selmon to I-275
I don't even know if "officially" the connector project is still in the books. But I can say this, FDOT indicated before that building the road would be too expensive. Secondly, two condo projects have already taken up land that would have been needed for the connector (Legacy Park and New Port), along the CSX rail line. So basically, even if the project is still in the books, it's practically dead.

Next thing I want to mention is the once proposed northern bypass for Gandy. If FDOT was to carry on with that project, many homes (probably between Fair Oaks and Gandy) would have been wiped out. Again, the cost of constructing even this highway may have been way too much.

One of the major factors, besides the ones mentioned above, that basically killed these two projects were NIMBY's, complaining about excessive noise, decreased property values, etc.

The only long-term solution I see left for Gandy is building an upper deck from the Selmon to the Gandy Bridge. However, I'm even skeptical that FDOT can think up a feasible plan to construct that as well. In addition, I've heard many busineses complain about how a double-decker Gandy would look unattractive and would "scare away" customers. I don't think the impact to the businesses would be THAT bad and I believe that if FDOT was to conjure up a feasible plan to build the upper deck, that they could construct it to where it is not too unattractive. But of course all this come down to cost...even if residents and businesses changed their views on the three options, I still believe the options would be shot down again.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:53 PM   #12
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Doubledecking Gandy, and whatever road would be used in Pinellas to connect to I-275 (Gandy or Gandy/Roosevelt), is the only realistic option imo.

And frankly, I think that they should get ahead of things and widen the Gandy bridge asap, and make it strong enough on the next new span that rail could be overlaid at a later time. (or at least design it to be able to be easily reinforced later to overlay rail atop the deck).. As places like DT St Pete, Gateway and SOG densify, the Gandy corridor is going to get increasingly trafficked. And combining this with the existing Selmon would give distance travelers a true 2nd all-expressway corridor into Pinellas County. (and hopefully a 3rd, whenever US 19 is finally upgraded the whole way up to Port Richey, or wherever it is supposed to be converted to.)
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 12:19 AM   #13
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Wal-Mart isn't good anywhere...especially in South Tampa. Yuck.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 01:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse View Post
Doubledecking Gandy, and whatever road would be used in Pinellas to connect to I-275 (Gandy or Gandy/Roosevelt), is the only realistic option imo.

And frankly, I think that they should get ahead of things and widen the Gandy bridge asap, and make it strong enough on the next new span that rail could be overlaid at a later time. (or at least design it to be able to be easily reinforced later to overlay rail atop the deck).. As places like DT St Pete, Gateway and SOG densify, the Gandy corridor is going to get increasingly trafficked. And combining this with the existing Selmon would give distance travelers a true 2nd all-expressway corridor into Pinellas County. (and hopefully a 3rd, whenever US 19 is finally upgraded the whole way up to Port Richey, or wherever it is supposed to be converted to.)
I emailed FDOT not too long ago regarding their plans to build interchanges at Gandy/4th St/Roosevelt and Gandy/MLK St. The project is currently unfunded and there is no definite timetable set, though I've heard speculation that it may begin as early as 2010. There's one problem with the whole thing that makes me angry. The representative who emailed me back said that there would be no improvements for the Gandy/I-275 interchange other than a concrete slab rehab for I-275 itself (which is also unfunded and has no timetable set eithier). Understanding the money is an issue, I think FDOT ought to eventually put a flyover from I-275 north to Gandy west towards US 19 to eliminate the current stoplight at the interchange (on Gandy Blvd). According to the old bayciti blog, the Gandy Interchange is basically incomplete because of the killed plans to convert Gandy into a east-west freeway.

As for the whole Gandy Bridge thing Jason, I think yor suggestion is a bit confusing to me. Yes I agree that the bridge may need additional capacity in another ten years, though traffic really isn't THAT bad on the bridge itself yet. But what you were saying about...rail...overlay...confuses me. Could yu clairify that thought so I can better understand what exactly you are referring to?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 02:31 AM   #15
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^Widen the bridge to 8 lanes with the big emergency lanes and all of that... Make it so that the bridge decks can be easily converted to support a rail line in each direction at a later date if need be. How that would occur is for this discussion inconsequential. I'm just pointing out an idea of what could and perhaps should be occurring right now, instead of the nothing we presently have.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
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^Widen the bridge to 8 lanes with the big emergency lanes and all of that... Make it so that the bridge decks can be easily converted to support a rail line in each direction at a later date if need be. How that would occur is for this discussion inconsequential. I'm just pointing out an idea of what could and perhaps should be occurring right now, instead of the nothing we presently have.
Making the Gandy a second Howard Frankland is'nt needed right now. Six lanes within 15 years...maybe, but eight? I don't see that extent of widening happening anytime soon.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:34 AM   #17
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^??? have you driven on Gandy from the Selmon to I-275 now in rush hour? It's uhh... congested, to say the least... Do you have any idea how many thousands of residents and jobs are going to be added to the corridor in the coming years? There are several massive redevelopment projects proposed or u/c which will rely on Gandy, and there will surely be more in time, as evidenced by this Wal-Mart proposal.

The entire Gandy corridor needs 6 lanes NOW, and will surely need 8 lanes by the time the usual suspects finally get around to doing something about it.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:40 AM   #18
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IF they haven't the nads to connect the selmon to the bridge - do you think they will have the nads to widen the bridges and roads?

C'mon, it is completely obvious that you could limited-access all the way from 275 in Pinellas to the bridge with almost no (I think none, but I will allow for a small amount) land acquisition - it would be pure construction costs - and with access roads you wouldn't even need too many over passes.

Tampa is more complicated because DOT and the local govts refuse to serve the majority (and the majority does not show up to these meetings) - but if they did something like the bridge to BRandon, it might work to connect the selmon - sure, Gandy would be ugly, but it already is and the locals can just balme themselves.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:01 AM   #19
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Equally as important:
If they haven't the nads to do any of the foregoing, who thinks they have the nads to say no to Wal-Mart? Regardless of what Wal-Mart offers (most likely nothing)?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:33 AM   #20
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^That much is obvious... I give Wal-Mart a 25% chance... Put it this way, I was int he Wal-Mart up at Waters and Dale Mabry about 30 minutes ago, and got to talking to the people around me in line (I'm like that), and found out that all three families knew about this proposed Wal-Mart and opposed it... None of them lived down there, so it was pretty amazing to me that they all had heard of it and all opposed it... And they were in a Wal-Mart!!!


For those who may not realize, my previous yapping in this thread is largely hypothesizing what it would be like in a dream world where our govt has real leaders, and corporations actually work to serve society, not pillage it.
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