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Neighborhood Report

Car dealership will replace old strip mall if approved

The dealership would sell upscale cars like BMWs across from another Kuhn site.

By JONNELLE MARTE
Published June 30, 2006


A real estate investment company wants to tear down a strip mall at 4001 W Kennedy Blvd. and replace it with a Kuhn car dealership.

If approved, KLM Realty would demolish most of the 12,000-square-foot retail center, leaving only a one-story, 3,000-square-foot building, which would be renovated as a sales center.

Plans to rezone the site for a car dealership, filed June 1 with Tampa's zoning department, are scheduled to go to the City Council Oct. 12.

The 1.25-acre property, between Grady and Hale avenues on Kennedy Boulevard, is across from a Kuhn Honda dealership. The new dealership would sell new cars or upscale used cars, such as BMW and Mercedes, said Mark Bentley, the attorney representing KLM Realty.

The existing strip mall is home to a Radio Shack, Scott Paint and Bangz Salon & Spa. Other stores have already relocated.

The dealership would display about 60 cars along Kennedy. Employee and customer parking would go in the back.

A 6-foot wall would border the north side of the property, which is closest to homes. About a third of the site would become a retention area for drainage.

KLM Realty has the option to buy the property from Pupello Investments if the plans are approved, Bentley said.

Bentley met with members of Swann Estates and North Bon Air Neighborhood Associations a few months ago and agreed to some of the members' requests regarding exits and lighting.

"We're configuring the access so that people can't go into the neighborhoods," said Bentley, who added that there would be no speakers outdoors.

Bentley gave the neighbors revised plans when he filed them with the city and said he hopes to meet with them again soon.

Edna Patrick, president of the North Bon Air Neighborhood Association, said she would meet with Bentley after she reviews the plans with her board members.

So far, Bentley said, opposition has been minimal.

"That old strip center is kind of an eyesore," he said. "A lot of the neighbors are glad we're redeveloping the property," he said.

Jonnelle Marte can be reached at jmarte@sptimes.com or 813 226-3404.

[Last modified June 29, 2006, 10:55:47]


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