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Everybody's Business

Builder using house style for office

Published February 9, 2007


After building homes in the Seminole Heights area for a few years, Jerry Martinez figured it was time to set up shop there too.

So the new office for his company JBC Builders is nearing completion at 5001 N Nebraska Ave., at the corner of New Orleans Avenue.

"I think the growth is back in the inner city," said Martinez, who has been building homes throughout Hillsborough County for 35 years.

Resembling a two-story house, the 2,650-square-foot office will be split between JBC and another office tenant that Martinez has yet to find.

Nonetheless, the new space will be bigger than JBC's current home at 5008 W Linebaugh Ave. With the extra room, Martinez plans to add a home design studio, plus a designer and another superintendent to his staff.

JBC is expecting to move in mid March. That will make Martinez's commute to one of his latest projects a lot shorter.

Land has been cleared at a long-vacant lot nearby at Cherokee and Comanche avenues.

Martinez has received preliminary approval from the city's Architectural Review Commission to build a 2,300-square-foot two-story house there in the craftsman bungalow style.

A wraparound porch, wood floors, granite counter tops, four bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms are among the planned details. Martinez said he'll offer it for about $480,000, and that construction should start in about three months.

Next door, Martinez's nephew Jason Martinez, co-owner of Llama Construction, is planning to build a similarly sized house. Llama is also building JBC's new office on Nebraska.

Food and furniture

The cleared parcel at the northwest corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Platt Street, former site of Fred Fleming's Famous Bar-B-Que, will soon give rise to a new commercial strip developed by Taub Partners, L.L.C., of Tampa.

Pei Wei Asian Diner and Drexel Heritage furniture store are among the planned tenants.

Though Drexel Heritage furniture is carried by retailers in the area, this will be Tampa's first Drexel Heritage store, according to spokeswoman Vicki Connelly. She said the store will encompass 12,750 square feet and will open in late November.

Pei Wei Asian Diner should open in October, according to spokesman Jason Miller.

The fast casual chain is part of the P.F. Chang China Bistro stable, and features a pan-Asian food selection that's cooked to order in an open kitchen filled with sizzling woks.

In addition to that 3,000-square-foot business, an Alltel Wireless store is also slated for the development. Across the street on the southwest corner of Platt and Dale Mabry, another retail development is planned.

Frank Boullosa, a broker representing a prospective buyer of the property, said the deal is under contract. He declined to give further details, except that his client proposes a retail development for the 2-acre site, and that more details should be available in a month or so. The cleared site is the former home of Malio's Steak House, a Tampa institution that closed in January 2005 after 38 years in business.

Pizzeria still coming

It's about a year late, but Giordano's Pizzeria and Restaurant is still on its way.

The former Hops restaurant at 327 N Dale Mabry Highway was claimed by the Chicago-based chain in late 2005. But the building stayed dormant until interior demolition commenced two weeks ago.

Giordano's spokesman Dan Hull blamed the delay on contractor problems but says the restaurant is now on track for a June opening.

The menu's signature dish is a variation of the traditional Italian Easter pizza pie - a layer of crust, then cheese, toppings, another crust, sauce and some sprinkled Parmesan.

Other menu items will include pasta dishes with meat and seafood sauces, lasagna, chicken and eggplant parmesan, tiramisu, cannoli and cheesecake. Dough and sauces will be made in-house.

The 6,700-square-foot restaurant will have a full liquor bar, beer and wine. Decor will include checkered table cloths, wood trim and a blend of Chicago and Florida Gulf Coast memorabilia.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394, or e-mail


[Last modified February 8, 2007, 10:29:44]

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