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Neighborhood Notebook

Road-closing request is again delayed

By RON MATUS, SUSAN THURSTON and AMY SCHERZER
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 28, 2003

PORT TAMPA -- A landowner's request to close a road next to the Westshore Mobile Home Park is on hold again, and the City Council wants the landowner to meet with neighbors.

The council voted last week to postpone discussion of the Everett Avenue closing until April 24 and to direct the Weis Group Inc. to discuss its plans with the Port Tampa Civic Association.

The Weis Group asked the city in September to vacate the road so it could better redevelop the land. More than 100 mobile homes are on the 7.5-acre site, which is zoned for multifamily housing.

City officials have so far opposed the request because of uncertainty over the landowner's intentions. Park residents say the company has promised them the land will stay as it is.

The city also plans to use the road for a trail in its emerging greenways network, and as a detour for upcoming road work on West Shore Boulevard.

New benches to recall park's beginnings

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA -- Four new benches will be installed at Plant Park on March 11 in what supporters are calling the first step toward restoring the park's original beauty.

The benches are styled after the ones that were on site when Henry Plant opened the Tampa Bay Hotel in 1891.

The Friends of Plant Park have commissioned a master plan to detail future improvements.

The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. in front of the Plant Museum, on the south front veranda of Plant Hall.

City's Cuscaden pool named historic landmark

V.M. YBOR -- Cuscaden pool, where Tampa children learned to swim for decades, has been named a local landmark.

The City Council on Feb. 20 gave the 1930s pool the designation based on its architectural and historical significance. Built through the federal Works Progress Administration, it is one of few remaining pools in the country designed by architect Wesley Bintz.

The city closed the above-ground, oval pool in 1997 but plans to restore it to its original glory using grants and community tax money.

The pool, which shares the 6-acre site with the Cuscaden Park and Playground, got its name from Ohio native Arthur Cuscaden, who moved to Tampa in 1878. He planted some of Tampa's first orange trees and later donated the grove for the park.

Old hospital 1 step closer to being elderly housing

V.M. YBOR -- The former Centro Asturiano Hospital is one step closer to becoming apartments for the elderly.

The City Council earlier this month agreed to rezone the site at 21st Avenue and 14th Street to allow the new complex.

The Bank of America Community Development Corp. and the Home Association, a local nursing home, have teamed up to turn the defunct hospital into a rental community of up to 200 units. Construction on Centro Asturiano Place could start late this year or early next.

The building has been vacant since the hospital closed in 1990.

Ex-MacFarlane principals to be honored March 7

NORTHEAST MACFARLANE -- MacFarlane Park Center is planning a March 7 rededication of the circa-1926 school.

Former students and staff are invited, and former principals will be honored, including Jessie Anton Mitchell, who oversaw the school from 1952 to 1968.

There will be refreshments and tours, beginning at 9 a.m. The school is at 1721 N MacDill Ave.

Call Laurel E. Riffey at 873-4849, ext. 224, for more details.

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