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Revitalizing the Skyway Marina District of St. Petersburg

6:49 PM, Jan 8, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- A plan years in the making is ready to be unveiled to St. Petersburg city leaders.

Over the past couple of years, members of the Skyway Marina District have worked on ways to revitalize a mile-and-a-half-long stretch along 34th Street in St. Petersburg. They say their plan will bring more businesses and shopping to the area.

From wine to champagne, Ellen Capitosti, the owner of Tostis Spirits and Fine Wine, says she has plenty to offer. But many people don't even know about it.

"It's amazing how many people say, 'Wow! We didn't know you were here,' " says Capitosti.

Capitosti says it's all about the location. Her business sits along 34th Street South.

"Looking at this here, this is ugly, it's terrible," says Capitosti.

City Councilman Steve Kornell says it's time to clean the area from 30th Avenue to 54th Avenue up.

"You drive here and this is ugly," says Kornell.

Working with business owners and residents in the Skyway District Marina they have come up with a plan to change the areas.

"It's an example of what could go here. Residential condos, green space, and parking garage out in street," says Kornell.

Kornell believes it's time for the city to step in and help.

"We will ask council to set aside $60,000 to allow us to get a staff person," says Kornell.

That person would be focused on promoting the area, getting investors interested in this part of town, so that business owners like Capitosti won't just have the drinks, but the customers as well.

"It's something the communities needed for a very long time," says Capitosti.

Now, this is something that Kornell knows is years in the making but it's a start. And if the city approves the position tomorrow at their meeting, he says within the year he'd like to see things like potholes and sidewalks along 34th Street cleaned up, and within five years buildings replaced with condos, shops, and diners.

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