BELLEAIR BLUFFS — Belleair Bazaar, the city’s gateway shopping center on the north side of West Bay Drive, is getting new owners and a major renovation.
The complex, a 38,000-square-foot property, is home to Bonefish Grill and Maggie Mae’s restaurants, Richard’s Whole Foods, Cold Stone Creamery, LabCorp, and a number of other businesses.
City Administrator Debra Sullivan announced the coming changes at the April 8 City Commission workshop.
“You’ll be noticing some big things over there,” Sullivan told the commission. “It’s been purchased, and they’re doing almost a million-dollar renovation to the whole plaza,” she said.
Sullivan said the entire façade will be refaced, including a new roof, signage and décor.
“This is a really good project,” she said.
“It’s described as ‘a total renovation of the storefronts.’ It’s going to be beautiful,” Sullivan said.
The plaza was constructed in 1969 and featured upscale clothing shops. The Apple Cobbler was a popular restaurant for many years. On the second floor at the west end was the Belleair Bee, founded in 1975.
The renovation will be done in stages, starting on the Westshore Pizza end, Sullivan said. She said the new owner likes to move quickly, “get in and get out” with projects, and the entire job is expected to be completed in four to six months.
The Belleair Bazaar center was marketed by Marcus and Millichap, a leading commercial real estate investment services firm, and was sold last August for $7.75 million, according to Tampa Bay NewsWire.
James Garner, a Marcus and Millichap official, said the buyer “intends to make significant renovations in the future to turn this iconic shopping center into a trophy asset.” The buyer was not named.
City improvement projects continue
Public Works Supervisor Russ Schmader gave an update on capital improvement projects going on throughout the city.
The pipe replacement project on 20th Street has been completed, he said. Replacement of the old deteriorated pipe will provide better drainage in the area, and help control flooding. Schmader also mentioned the cost savings, about $40,000, by having the job done by city workers rather than an outside contractor.
Work has begun on the second phase of the citywide roadway tree clearance and maintenance project, which trims overhanging tree branches that can obstruct large vehicles. The second phase, on the city’s east side, includes Marlin and Southwind Drive, Jewel Court, Pine Tree Lane and Indian Avenue north and south.
A sidewalk inspection plan to ensure the safety of the city’s 2.6 miles of sidewalks is also about to start, Schmader said.
No bounce houses in playground
Bounce houses, a popular piece of equipment often brought to playgrounds by parents for their kids, are not permitted in the city playground. Sullivan said she wanted to remind playground users “that kind of playground equipment is not allowed.” She also said the park is small and is not rented out for private parties.
More help needed on Planning Board
One more member and an alternate are needed to serve on the city Planning Board. Interested residents should contact City Hall at 727-584-2151.