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Neighborhood Notebook

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 8, 2002

Hotel planners want to meet with neighbors

HYDE PARK -- Supporters of a proposal to convert the 1301 SoHo apartments into an extended-stay hotel plan to ask the City Council to postpone Thursday's hearing on the land-use change.

Michael English, an urban planner representing the prospective buyers, said he hopes to reschedule the meeting for Jan. 9 so they can meet with neighbors to present the proposal and discuss any concerns.

Some homeowners near the Howard Avenue apartment complex have opposed putting a hotel in a residential area. Last month, the Planning Commission denied a request to change the site's use.

Russ Versaggi, who owns the complex, said a group from Atlanta is interested in buying the property and turning it into a Hilton with fully equipped suites for long-term stays. Several business owners and some homeowners support the project as a way to draw more people to the dining and entertainment district, he said.

The neighborhood meetings have not been set.

Teen choir to be honored

As part of the ceremony, the Wise Up To Your Self Musical Arts Choir will perform. The public is invited.

The children and teens, ages 10 to 18, are from the North Boulevard and Robles Park public housing complexes and the Hillsborough County Haven Poe Shelter.

The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. at the John F. Germany library downtown.

For more information about the program, call founder Israel Peniel at 956-6149 or James Harrell at the Tampa Housing Authority, 253-0551.

Restaurant seeks wet zoning

BALLAST POINT -- After a short hiatus, food and booze may be coming back to a restaurant on MacDill Avenue.

Randy Levin has applied for wet zoning to serve beer, wine and hard liquor at what used to be Nap's South End Sports Bar & Grill.

Nap's closed earlier this year, and its wet zoning expired.

Levin will start a new restaurant provided the city okays the zoning request, said his attorney, Joe Diaz.

City Council takes up the request Nov. 21.

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