New vision could bring Baywalk back to life as "The Shops of St. Petersburg"

11:41 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Baywalk in downtown St. Petersburg started out as a grand idea. Now? Not so much.

It started with big name stores like Chico's , Muvico, and White House/Black Market, but many of the store fronts are now dark, and the streets around them empty.

But this is a new St. Pete, and a new vision could change all that, reincarnating Baywalk as "The Shops at St. Petersburg."

Artist renderings depict a complete overhaul and re-design. Faith Consolo of the New York real estate group Douglas Elliman is leading the charge to put a fresh face on this dubious venue.

"It's a new day in your market. It's a completely different market with different demographics and different socio-economics than it was back when Baywalk was in operation," said Consolo.  

New stores under negotiation include Epicure, J. Crew, J Con, LOL Kids, Parfumerie, a luxury day spa like Elizabeth Arden, and Shoe Woo.

Possible additions include Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, LuLu Lemon, Athleta, and Microsoft.

But will it help? We asked people what they thought.

"I wish they would develop this into something people could enjoy and shop and socialize," said resident Jennifer Reifert.

"I go for the movies right now, but that's the only thing there right now," said resident Dave Hill.

"It needs a facelift, and it needs people who will go and give it a try," said resident Amber Hill.

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