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Tampa Bay Business Journal by Ken Salgat, Staff writer Date: Monday, December 15, 2003, 12:00am EST

CLEARWATER — The city has been seeking bids from developers to rebuild along the waterfront and downtown.

It even put together a foldout brochure geared toward developers to promote Clearwater and illustrate opportunities for “building our future together.”

Redevelopment efforts focus on the area near Cleveland, Court and Chestnut streets in downtown.

The goal is to create a large commercial and office sector downtown.

Now a 5-story, 46,500-square-foot office building just put up for sale may be just what the city needs to further redevelopment efforts. The building may be large enough to house a new City Hall.

“Our interest in real estate really has to do with City Hall,” said Bill Horne, city manager. “If we get an opportunity to move City Hall, we then would be looking at other properties that could serve our purposes. Maybe that property is one of them.”

The building, located at 1255 Cleveland St. just north of Court Street, has an asking price of $3 million. It houses one tenant, Agent Media Corp. Inc., which occu-pies the first and second floors.

Agent Media, a marketing and advertising company serving the insurance industry, has occupied the building since 1999. The other three floors are vacant and available for rent.

Jeff Schaffner, president of Agent Media and a co-owner of the building, said a sale of the property could affect the future of his business.

Agent Media is co-owned by Schaffner and Bennetta and David Slaughter. The Slaughters recently relocated to St. Louis, leaving Schaffner the sole person in charge of selling the building and running the company’s day-to-day operations, Schaffner said.

Agent Media reported $6.8 million in revenue in 2002 and employs about 20.

“It’s good investment for an owner-occupant,” said Schaffner, referring to the sale of the building. “Depending on who buys the building, it could probably be redeveloped and rezoned for almost any use.”

Schaffner would not comment on a possible sale of his company. He said if the building sold, at a bare minimum a new lease agreement would need to be negotiated.


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