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New Tyrone theater will double number of movie screens to 12

The old theater will become an Old Navy store. The new multiplex will be a free-standing building along TyroneBoulevard.

By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA, Times Correspondent
Published November 11, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - Nearly a year after the six-screen movie theater at Tyrone Mall closed its doors, the city's Development Review Commission approved plans Wednesday for an even larger theater to be built at the mall complex.

AMC closed the theater last January. It was among the first businesses to open at the then-new mall in 1972. The space formerly occupied by the theater is now being renovated as an Old Navy store.

The mall developers now plan to build a 12-screen, free-standing theater along Tyrone Boulevard at the northwest corner of the mall site. A new restaurant will also be built just west of the existing Tires Plus store.

"This makes a lot of sense," said DRC Commissioner Sharon Heal-Eichler. "This area of the site has been underutilized for a long time. It is nice to see it developed."

City planners noted that the mall developer, the Simon Property Group, has made a number of improvements to the Tyrone Mall property over the past few years.

In 2005, the city approved reorienting existing retail space outward toward Tyrone Boulevard as part of a general modernization of the complex.

The new theater will face southeast toward the JCPenney department store and will include a bicycle/pedestrian connection from the Pinellas Trail. Designated bicycle parking will be provided both at the theater and the restaurant. The restaurant, which will include an outdoor eating area, will face Tyrone Boulevard.

* * *

In other action, the DRC approved plans for a five-story, self-storage building at the southeast corner of First Avenue and 11th Street N.

The approval came despite protests from several business owners in the area who argued it was not compatible with surrounding uses and does not provide enough parking spaces.

Commissioners countered, however, that self-storage is an "accessory" use to the many condominiums and apartments in the downtown area. They also praised the architecture of the building which includes a glass and stucco facade that makes it appear to be an office complex.

The 76,636-square-foot facility will include 579 storage units and will be accessible from both First Avenue N and Baum Avenue N. The building will be oriented toward the intersection of First Avenue and 11th Street N.

The DRC also approved a special exception and site plan to add a one-bay automatic car wash to a previously approved convenience store and gas station at 2198 29th St. N, and the addition of eight boat lifts to a previously approved eight-slip dock at 6025 Sun Blvd.

[Last modified November 10, 2007, 22:03:55]

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