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Owner of Ybor.com puts Web site on sale

JOHN BALZ
Published June 6, 2003

To see what Robert Groover hoped to do with the Web site Ybor.com, you need only log onto his other cyberspace property, www.channelside.com

The site is a portal for nightlife, shopping, restaurants, real estate and tourist attractions; Groover had plans to create a similar online world with www.ybor.com

Now he will leave the creating to someone else. Ybor.com is for sale. All offers will be considered.

Groover, a self-employed businessman, bought the site in January of 2002 from a private owner who had used it for adult content. Groover declined to give the purchase price.

Occupied by his sportswear company, Bob the Fish, he never found the time to develop it.

"We weren't going to continue into Ybor because we had too much on our plates," Groover said.

He spent 2 1/2 years building the light and airy Channelside Web site. On average, he said, it draws 500,000 to 700,000 hits a month.

The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce owns www.ybor.org which posts information about the neighborhood's history and links to restaurants, hotels and bars.

Groover, a Harbour Island resident, recently posted a mock shell on Ybor.com showing how the site might someday look. Designed with a red-brick Spanish flair, it would provide sections with headings like "events and entertainment," "travel and tourism" and "neighborhood attractions."

Groover said he's turned down "quite a handful of offers" and he receives interest weekly.

He has no firm timetable to sell the site and wants to have some creative control over the finished product.

"To me it's a very valuable piece of online real estate," he said. "I want it to be used properly and I want to retain some ownership."

For more information, e-mail Groover at info@ybor.com

- John Balz can be reached at 269-5313 or at balz@sptimes.com

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