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In search of the right mix for Town Square Plaza

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 15, 2002

Things have looked a little lopsided for a while at Town Square retail plaza at the southeast corner of West Shore and Kennedy boulevards. Plenty of parked cars and customers at the north and middle section, but empty at the south end.

It's just that plaza managers Regency Centers are being picky about what tenants to put in the three adjoining vacant storefronts, which account for roughly a third of Town Square's 45,000 square feet. The plaza is anchored by Pier 1 Imports. Panera Bread and Starbucks Coffee Co. are among stores that bring traffic to the north end, and have made Regency leery of adding more restaurants to the plaza.

Regency's Cary Anderson said they have rebuffed numerous proposals from other restaurants interested in the vacancies. But he added that a gourmet food market and a day spa are among possible future tenants.

INTERCHANGE PAUL IS LONG GONE: And his perch is about to go, too, observant interchange drivers will notice.

He was especially easy to see as you headed north on Interstate 275, right after passing the downtown Ashley Drive exit. Standing sentinel on the steeply pitched second story roof of the Choice Express office building, just a stone's toss from the highway's railing, was a mannequin dressed smartly in a business suit and carrying a red envelope emblazoned with the courier service's logo.

Mireya Locicero, who works for Choice Express' parent company Choice Legal, says she came up with the advertising mascot about two years ago. She said he was dubbed Paul after Choice Legal owner Paul Jessee.

Mannequin Paul's precarious sentry ended about a year ago. Choice Legal vacated the building in January. Demolition of the building began two weeks ago, to help make room for interstate expansion.

220 THE SEQUEL: Hard to believe, but Davis Islands favorite 220 East has purveyed its style of American comfort cuisine and neighborhood warmth for more than four years now. Business has been good and owner David Chapdelaine intends to open a second location.

So far he's looked at several places around the Tampa area, but hasn't found the right location. Will he name the new place after its address, as with 220 E Davis Blvd.? Chapdelaine isn't sure. "If I end up on North Dale Mabry, I can't call it sixteen-thousand and twenty, A."

PANERA BREAD COMING TO SOHO: You're not waiting for traffic to get better at Swann and Howard avenues, are you?

Sometime late this summer, the Soho Pointe retail and office development will open at the intersection's southwest corner. The ground floor of the 21,000 square foot building will be retail space. Developer Frank Cisneros Jr. of the Amelia Group says Panera Bread will be the retail anchor. He added that a hair salon, an ice cream chain and other known retailers are tentatively slated.

The second floor will consist of five office condo spaces.

FIELD OF LILLYS: Contrary to what we recently implied here, there's more than one place around to buy Lilly Pulitzer designer clothes. According to label owner Sugartown Worldwide Inc., in addition to the just-opened Pink Palm at 1532 S Dale Mabry Highway, there are also Kate McKenzie Clothiers at 1550 S Dale Mabry and Saks Fifth Avenue at WestShore Plaza.

- Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call Michael Canning at 226-3408 or e-mail him

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