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Urban chic may come to Centro Ybor


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 31, 2000

Urban Outfitters, the chain that helped define urban chic for the under-30 set with stores in Harvard Square, the East Village and Georgetown, appears headed toward a prominent spot in Tampa's new Centro Ybor.

Founded in Philadelphia in 1970, the 38-store lifestyle retailer is known for its vintage-style clothing, hip knickknacks and funky furnishings.

"We're negotiating a lease," confirmed Wade McDevitt, whose real estate company represents Urban Outfitters Inc. So far, the chain's only Florida store is in Miami Beach.

Nothing is final, but Centro Ybor's developers felt strongly enough about landing the chain to redo their leasing plan. They shifted the Improv Comedy Club to another part of the complex to make room for a 12,000-square-foot Urban Outfitters. The Ybor project has signed leases with American Eagle Outfitters, GBX Shoes, Pacific Sunwear and a miniskirt shop called Bods.

Rounding up a few national apparel chains has become the next part of leasing for Centro Ybor and its sibling BayWalk in St. Petersburg, which shares some of the same development team.

Ann Taylor, the upscale women's apparel chain, has signed a lease to put its first store in Pinellas County in BayWalk. Developers at the Sembler Co. hope that will lead to other apparel chains.

Victoria's Secret is negotiating for space in both projects, which are scheduled to open this fall.

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