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Neighborhood notebook

Roser Park tour gets neighborly

Published April 2, 2006

Neighborhood tours of homes sometimes seem to be just showing off, but Roser Park residents see theirs as an opportunity to spread redevelopment to the south side of the city.

"It's marketing for Midtown," said Kai Warren, the president of the Historic Roser Park Neighborhood Association, which is holding its tour Saturday. "People are afraid to come to the south side. Roser Park is one of the neighborhoods being revived, but there are a lot of beautiful homes in Campbell Park and Bartlett Park, too."

This year, Roser Park's tour will reach out to its extremities. Though the lush, oddly hilly neighborhood is compacted around Booker Creek, it includes an enclave surrounded by streets that includes two of the homes on the tour.

The first two homes on the tour fit into a small triangle separated from the rest of Roser Park when the city built a connection from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to Eighth Street after making King Street a one-way street going south. Warren said 37 homes were removed to build the Eighth Street connector, but the land between the connector, the creek and King Street is still part of Roser Park. Warren said he'd like to see it become more physically attached again so Roser Park's redevelopment could spill into Campbell Park and beyond.

"We're on the periphery of a revitalizing downtown," he said. "It should continue to spread this way."

One of the homes on the tour, owned by Nick and Carolyn Pavonetti at 876 Roser Park Drive, is actually a new home, not refurbished. The Charleston-style home was just finished last month, aiming to fit in with older homes in the area. The other on Roser's west side is at 720 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., next door, and is Robert and Cynthia Tarsitano's ongoing revitalization of a 1923 double-gabled bungalow. This is one of only two homes that survived the traffic reroute; the other has been torn down.

Warren said his association is urging the city to complete the process of returning King Street to being a two-way street throughout, thereby reuniting the two tour homes but also creating better attachment of neighborhoods. Removing the physical barrier of the connector would open space for either new homes or a park, but would also remove the psychological separation between Roser and Midtown. With affordable housing a persistent issue, Warren said this would help home buyers look to neighborhoods in Midtown.

"The best prices are still in the area and the best homes too," he said.

The tour will feature four other homes in Roser Park proper, as well as a garden. The tour includes a perennial for Roser Park, the restored 1914 Mayor Bradshaw Mansion at 609 Ingleside (11th) Ave. S. The mansion will also be featured on Home & Garden Television's Generation Restoration at 6:30 p.m. April 9, the day after the tour, Warren said.

The tour will also include an outdoor museum highlighting the history of Roser Park. The 1998 project uses 28 wrought-iron stands with photographs, postcards, and text describing the history of Roser Park.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased at 835 Eighth Ave. S for $10 per person. More details about the tour and neighborhood are at


The Mangrove Bayou Neighborhood Association will hold its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Shore Acres Recreation Center, 4230 Shore Acres Blvd. NE. The group will hold elections for its board of directors. MBNA will also hold its spring garage sale on Friday and Saturday starting at 8 a.m. The sale will be along Venetian and Bayou Grande boulevards.

The Fossil Park Neighborhood Association will hold its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Palm Terrace of St. Petersburg, 521 69th Ave. N (Atwood). Guest speakers will be Jackie Alton, who will talk about the Bayfront Clinic on Fourth Street, and Judy Ellis, from Gulf Coast Legal Services, who will discuss living wills.

The Snell Isle Property Owners Association will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. The St. Petersburg Police Department will present a program on crime prevention.

The Jungle Terrace Civic Association will hold an Easter Egg hunt April 15 at 10 a.m. at Walter Fuller Park, 7891 26th Ave. N. Children 9 years old and younger are admitted free. There will be a chance to meet the Easter Bunny and receive prizes. For information, call 343-2041.

Readers wishing to submit information for the Neighborhood Notebook can contact Times staff writer Paul Swider at 892-2271 or Neighborhood association presidents who would like to publish their organization's information directly to the Web on their own blog

[Last modified April 2, 2006, 01:24:20]

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