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Central Avenue building owner looks for new tenant for retail, restaurant space on 600 block

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The 600 block of Central Avenue could be getting yet another facelift in the coming months. One of the block’s major owners and developers, Gary Burnside, is looking for some new tenants to boost retail traffic and provide more dining opportunities on the indy-friendly span of Central.

Burwell is looking to replace space inside the Crislip arcade that is currently used for the Daggio Art School with retail. He’d also consider renting the space to a jewelry repairperson.

The space is small, about 210 square feet, but cheap. Burwell is asking $325 a month plus water and electric amounting to about $45 a month.

The space inside the Crislip Arcade could be doubled up for some type of brick and mortar presence for local online retailers. Burwell’s example is providing a storefront for someone with a strong etsy presence.

Burwell is also looking for another tenant on the block to open a restaurant. He wants something that would include breakfast and sidewalk dining.

“We were wanting to be known as the 600 art district, but it wasn’t working out that way,” Burwell said.

It was too much to compete with all of the other burgeoning arts hot spots in the city like the Warehouse Arts District and the Edge District.

Instead Burwell hopes to transform the block into something more like the parts of Central Avenue closer to the Bay where patrons can stop at any number of cafes, bakeries or restaurants during their afternoon strolls.

Both the retail space and restaurant would have to be open Tuesday-Saturday from 11-6. A restaurant would likely have expanded hours.

One possible business Burwell has been in touch with is Cidar Press Café. The Naples-based café offers  gluten-free vegan meals with a Florida-inspired menu.

The 600 block of Central Avenue is home to a handful of boutiques and consignment shops as well as a store selling popular longboards, Daddy Kool records and the new-ish Cycle Brewing.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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