Giant globe sign at World Liquors coming down to make way for new development

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If the massive blowback from St. Pete voters over the fate of St. Pete’s iconic inverted pyramid is any indication, ‘burgers don’t like their landmarks being messed with. But they’re probably going to be OK with this one.

The massive globe sign marking the corner of Central Avenue and 16 Street in front of World Liquors is coming down. It’s a cool sign, but what’s going to replace it is even cooler.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the plot of land that is home to World Liquors and its sign is going to be redeveloped into 13,000 square feet of retail space on the ground with 14 loft apartments above.

World Liquors will remain in business at the site as the development’s anchor tenant. The store’s size will double, making way for a giant craft brew selection and, wait for it, growlers.

According to the Times, World Liquors owner Paul Misiewicz and Pennsylvania-based DEPG Development Associates are partnering on the $5 million project. They are looking at the Fusion 1520 apartments across the street as a model of residential space working along the Central Avenue corridor where restaurants thrive but living space hasn’t popped up too much. Fusion is reportedly 95 percent occupied with rent ranging from just under $1,000 to about $1,800. Misiewicz told the Times the rent at his development will be about the same, if not less.

The spot is walking distance from Tropicana Field, the popular sports bar Ferg’s, a host of vintage and thrift shops as well as arts galleries and a host of dining spots. It will serve not just outsiders coming into downtown for a night out, but also residents in Grand Central, Historic Kenwood and downtown.

Development is set to start in 2015 and be done in about a year.

As for that sign, well, it’s not going back up. It is against the city’s sign ordinance. As of right now it’s grandfathered in, but once it comes down, that loophole goes away. The sign could be sold to a museum somewhere, but Misiewicz expects the cost of moving it to be more than he would get by selling it. Plus, it may not even survive being removed.

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.