Vol 6 No. 37 - June 7, 2006

No wrecking ball for complex

The TideMark Lodge sign stands in front of the shopping center that the project’s developers say they would like to buy and improve.

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH – TideMark developers have assured business owners in the Island Chamber shopping center that no plans exist to demolish the center if TideMark buys it, according to several owners.

TideMark hopes to purchase the property - officially called Sunrise Landings - and improve the building instead, Chamber President Mary Ann Brockman said.

"TideMark is going to do nothing but enhance the area," she said. "I don’t feel like anything’s going to happen other than the building’s going to get better."

The Chamber, which is located in the plaza, has a 20-year lease, Brockman said. She added that it would be prohibitively expensive for a prospective purchaser to demolish the building and buy out the lease.

Rumors of the impending purchase and demolition created a panic among customers, business owners said.

"The business I work directly with got hit horribly," said Lee Levanduski, a physical therapist whose office is inside the Island Fitness Center. "It didn’t hurt me, but it hurt the gym financially. And I’m still having to answer the question, ‘What are you going to do?’ "

"I talked to TideMark and they are going to paint the building and put in new landscaping and fix it up," said Melinda Lampariello, owner of Fit to Eat Deli, who was relieved to hear the news.

"Customers have been asking about it," she said. "They’re upset because they don’t want us to close."

"If anything, they’ll add on to it," said Amy Welch, owner of Aveda A2 Lifestyle Salon and Spa, who added that prospective new customers were reluctant to patronize the salon if it was going to be demolished.

"We’ve really been having some adverse effects from that," she said.

If TideMark purchases the Wachovia Bank building next to the center, Welch said she may consider opening a retail business there, but the salon would remain where it is.

With TideMark drawing affluent boaters to its planned condominium marina complex, "Their opening is going to be huge for us," Welch said.

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