Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Midtown Sweetbay is scheduled to close by mid-February, but much of the store is empty since no re-stocking has occurred since the closing announcement.
A last-ditch effort by the City of St. Petersburg to stop or delay the closing of the Midtown Sweetbay has failed. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Mayor Bill Foster and Sweetbay landlord Larry Newsome were told the planned mid-February closure would happen as scheduled. The company said it would help find a new grocer in the Tangerine Plaza in Midtown. "We look forward to working together with Mayor Foster to quickly find a grocer that can help meet the needs of this community," Sweetbay spokeswoman Nicole LeBeau said Wednesday morning." In previous public meetings Foster said he expected Sweetbay to close, and in the event it did, the city is in conversations with other grocery vendors to quickly fill the space. Foster and city …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Rays ownership met with Pinellas County Commissioners Tuesday to talk about the Rays future in the area. County commissioners agreed that the Rays should be able to look at locations outside St. Petersburg.
Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg stood in front of the Pinellas County Commission Tuesday pleading his team's case to be able to look outside of the city limits of St. Petersburg for a new stadium for the Rays. The Rays, he said, want to be able to follow up on the 2009 ABC Coalition report that explored options in Tampa and Pinellas for a new stadium. "In the simplest of terms, we would like to follow up on the report," Sternberg told commissioners Tuesday. "We might find the best place is where we are right now. (However), I don’t imagine that’s the case." A majority of commissioners expressed agreement with Sternberg's wish. "This really saddens me that we have to have this conversation," said county commissioner Susan Latvala. "…
Monday, January 28, 2013
Mayor Foster and council members Wengay Newton and Leslie Curran got into a very heated discussion Jan. 24 over the pending closure of the Midtown Sweetbay.
As a late edition to the Jan. 24 St. Petersburg City Council meeting, Mayor Bill Foster provided an update on plans to ensure Midtown does not lose its grocery store. Foster talked about his ongoing efforts to get in touch with the right people with Sweetbay and if that did not work, he hoped to have another grocery vendor fill the store. From there, the tensions rose as accusations were made, gavels slammed and insults thrown as council members Wengay Newton and Leslie Curran questioned Foster's plans and his handling of the Midtown Sweetbay. At issue is that despite claiming silence from Sweetbay, is the report that Foster met with Sweetbay officials in April 2011 about the struggling store. Foster said his calendar shows he met with …
Friday, January 25, 2013
The Rays organization met with the Hillsborough County Commission Tuesday and said Major League Baseball does not believe in the Tampa Bay area.
Since he was sworn into office, Mayor Bill Foster has maintained that the Tampa Bay Rays can only explore building a new stadium inside the city limits of St. Petersburg because the Rays' lease does not end at Tropicana Field until 2027. For three-plus years, Foster has tried to convince Rays owner Stuart Sternberg that St. Petersburg is the best option for the future of the Rays. However, after the Rays meeting Thursday with the Hillsborough County Commission, it is clear Foster has another entity to convince — Major League Baseball. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Sternberg said the MLB no longer views the Tampa Bay area as a viable place for a professional baseball team. Sternberg said, according to the Times, that he wants the …
Monday, January 21, 2013
City leaders and the landlord of the Midtown Sweetbay property have not heard directly from Sweetbay regarding the closure of the store.
Walk through the Sweetbay grocery store in the Tangerine Shopping Plaza, at 22nd Street and 18th Avenue South. There is row after row of empty shelves, where once there were fresh foods. Fresh vegetables are nearly gone, as are the meats. The deli is empty. There is no milk. And, there appears to be no plans by Sweetbay to restock its shelves. The store is quickly going out of business. On Jan. 16, Sweetbay announced it would close three 'underperforming' St. Petersburg stores by mid-February, part of a consolidation of stores across Florida. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and city leaders gathered outside the Sweetbay today to urge the The Delhaize Group, the parent company of Sweetbay, to reconsider ... or at least come to the table…
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Tampa Bay Rays say they need a new stadium. St. Petersburg officials say the team is contractually obligated to remain at Tropicana Field for another 14 years. What do you think should happen, Tampa Bay?
It’s a brouhaha that’s been brewing in the Tampa Bay area for years: The Tampa Bay Rays say they need a new stadium. The City of St. Petersburg holds a contract that says the Major League Baseball team is obligated to play at Tropicana Field through the year 2027. Even so, the Rays haven’t been quiet about their perceived need for a newer, better stadium. A few years back, they floated the idea of building a new stadium on St. Petersburg’s waterfront. That idea was nixed in the court of public opinion. Now, team officials are planning to meet with both the Hillsborough and Pinellas County Commissions. The Hillsborough meeting, which will be open to the public, is set up for Jan. 24. The meeting with Pinellas officials takes place Jan. 29. …
Friday, December 21, 2012
Despite an increase in overall traffic accidents at intersections with red light cameras, the program will expand.
St. Petersburg City Council allowed the continuation of the red light camera program, following a more than three hour-long discussion, by not voting on whether to continue the project. The number of cameras will grow from 22 to 31. The intersections include: Councilmember Wengay Newton did motion to end the red light camera contract, but it died for lack of a second. Ending the contract was the only authoritative decision the Council had the power to make to influence this project directly, though several councilmembers did want to recommend that the program not expand at this time. As such, Councilmember Charlie Gerdes made a motion to “pass a resolution to request that Mayor Bill Foster maintain the status quo [of the red light camera …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
StPetePolls has released its latest results. Less than a third of St. Pete wants the 'Lens,' slightly more than half want to get rid of red light cameras and Mayor Bill Foster leads mayoral race.
If a lawsuit and a second petition drive against Michael Maltzan's "Lens" were not enough proof that St. Pete does not like the design slated to replace the St. Petersburg Pier, a new poll also shows minimal public support. According to the latest results from StPetePolls, only 30 percent of the 1,916 survey respondents think the "Lens" pier should be built. More than 55 percent do not think it should be built while 14 percent are unsure. On Dec. 6, city council voted 7-1 to approve the next phase of funding for the design. While it approved the design, council did put in road blocks for future funding sources so each step will have to be passed by council in increments. Council did this in case 'Stop the Lens' is successful in its …
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
City Council approved a resolution to negotiate an architectural/engineering agreement with Harvard Jolly for the new police department headquarters
St. Petersburg took another step Monday night to building a new St. Petersburg Police Headquarters and renovating/replacing the existing blighted police station located at 1300 1st Ave. N. City Council voted 6-1 Monday, approving a resolution to negotiate an architectural/engineering agreement with Harvard Jolly for the new police department headquarters. Council member Wengay Newton voted no and council member Bill Dudley was not present. Funding for the police station is coming from the Penny for Pinellas tax. That tax is why the city has moved the $60 million project from one to two phases due to lower than expected revenues. The first phase is for $40 million and would construct a new building on First Avenue North, between the …
Monday, October 29, 2012
On Friday, Mayor Bill Foster sent a letter to the Tampa Bay Rays saying the team could not seek a stadium site in Tampa.
Last week, St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster sent a letter to the Rays ownership stating it would be a breach of contract if he allowed the Rays to talk with Hillsborough officials about moving the team to Tampa. He encouraged ownership to continue seek a St. Pete stadium or in the gateway area. Foster said the city will only negotiate with the team for a St. Pete location or in the Gateway area, which is the site of a proposed stadium by CityScape.