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Plan offers ‘downtown atmosphere’

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A developer proposes turning Crossroads Mall into a mixed-used complex with a theater, apartments, offices and retail stores. By SHANNON TAN Published July 12, 2005 LARGO – People stroll along the palm-lined streets of the new Largo Towne Center, glancing into shop windows or enjoying a latte. Patrons leaving the movie theater dawdle by the water fountain before heading home to their apartments across the street. That scenario is being proposed by Boulder Venture South LLC, which is planning a $145-million mixed-use town center on the site of the failed Crossroads Mall. The development would include 455,000 square feet of retail space, a 14-screen movie theater, 32,000 square feet of offices and 264 apartments. Boulder expects to demolish Crossroads Mall late this year and start construction on the town center during the first three months of 2006. The project, at Roosevelt Boulevard and U.S. 19, is scheduled to be completed in late 2007. The apartments, averaging 1,200 square feet, will rent from $900 to $1,300 a month. Shops, restaurants and offices will occupy the space next to the 2-story movie theater with stadium seating. The 5-level parking garage will have 1,900 spaces. People can enter the development through the main entrance off Roosevelt Boulevard or head to the 2-story big-box retailer off U.S. 19. “We’re trying to create more of a downtown atmosphere in and around the movie theater,” said John Sabow, Boulder’s director of development. Boulder said it has not signed any leases yet and that it is too early to discuss potential retail tenants. “We’re looking to provide the best tenant mix for the development,” Sabow said. According to a market feasibility study filed in May with the city for Boulder, the proposed development called for a home improvement center, a discount merchandiser, a home furnishings store, a sporting goods store, a bookstore, and a fabric and craft store. There would also be a mix of sit-down and fast food restaurants. The study found that there was a demand for 28.2 movie screens in the area, but currently, Regal Largo Mall 8 and AMC Tri-City 8 have eight screens each. Boulder has not submitted a formal site plan with the city. The company said it planned to do so after its application for a future land use map designation of community redevelopment district is approved. While Boulder develops its Largo Towne Center, the city hopes to come up with an urban design plan for what it’s calling the Superblock – the 140 acres bounded by U.S. 19, Roosevelt Boulevard, 150th Avenue and 62nd Street N. Largo’s strategic plan calls for new commercial development to be concentrated at the site to limit sprawl elsewhere. The plan would provide guidelines on how the area is designed, how the streets are laid out and how the buildings are placed on the lots, said Carol Stricklin, assistant community development director. Another consultant would conduct a transportation study for the area. –Shannon Tan can be reached at 727 445-4174 or shtan@sptimes.com Source: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/12/Northpinellas/Plan_offers__downtown.shtml
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