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Project is glimpse of town center

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A shopping center will go up near Crossroads Mall, offering a preview of plans to create a town center at Roosevelt Boulevard and U.S. 19.By CATHERINE E. SHOICHET Published February 11, 2005LARGO – It may be years before pedestrian-friendly streets take the place of the sprawling Crossroads Mall, but officials say a new shopping center going up nearby will give residents a glimpse of the area’s future.Last month, developers paid $1.2-million for 2.6 acres in front of the mall at the southeast corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and Dodge Street. By May, they hope to start building a 12,500-square-foot shopping center there.The property is a “critical piece” of area redevelopment plans, said Assistant Director of Community Development Carol Stricklin.City planners eventually hope to create a new town center at the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and U.S. 19, using the 34-acre mall property and several large, undeveloped parcels nearby.“The city has a vision of that area as a very active mixed-use development that would have a very urban feel,” Stricklin said. “It would be a destination.”Stricklin said the city has worked closely with shopping center developer Kennedy Frost Investments Inc. to create a design that will fit in well with the town center plans.The western portion of the building will have a “very active and finished appearance,” she said, including outdoor seating for Moe’s Southwest Grill.Other retailers will include Quiznos, Washington Mutual Bank, EB Games and a Supercuts hair salon.Steve Stone, director of retail services for DUTTERealty.com, said he worked with the developer to identify what type of retail would succeed.“Restaurants tend to be very popular there at that intersection … and if you look up and down the street, financial services do very well there,” he said.And once the mall area is redeveloped, he said the shopping center will attract customers visiting the mixed-use properties there.The city is reviewing the project’s final site plan, Stricklin said.Stone said he hopes construction will begin in May, with the stores opening in November or December, he said.The city’s strategic plan, which features the area surrounding the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and U.S. 19 on its cover, calls for new commercial development to be concentrated at that site to limit sprawl. It identifies the site as one of three major activity centers in the city.In addition to the mall property, the plan calls for the redevelopment of a 29-acre site behind the mall that the county owns.Officials say the area could mushroom into a center where people live, work and play, akin to the recently developed Carillon Office Park in St. Petersburg.Catherine E. Shoichet can be reached at cshoichet@sptimes.com or at 445-4170.Source: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/02/11/Northpinellas/Project_is_glimpse_of.shtml
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