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NAPA Opening Soon on Florida Ave.

A city official says parking won't be an issue at the auto parts store and warehouse, despite some Seminole Heights residents' concerns.

Despite the objections of some in the neighborhood, the is nearing completion.

ABC Capital Corp. of South Tampa owns the property and is leasing it to NAPA. Gary Cohen, co-president of ABC, said the store should open “within the next few weeks.”

The former U.S. Postal Service Seminole Heights Branch will serve as both a retail store and distribution warehouse. The old loading dock out back has been enclosed, Cohen said, plus an additional 1,600 square feet have been added to create warehouse space from which the store will supply area car repair businesses.

Local residents voiced concerns about whether the property will have adequate parking for this business. While there's only eight parking spaces in front of the store, there's about another 32 spaces behind the building along an alley-like extension of the property that stretches behind neighboring and opens on West Crest Avenue.

“It's part of their site plan,” said Tom Snelling, director of growth management for the City of Tampa. “There is no parking issue.”

But a larger theme in the discord is what some in the community see as NAPA's incongruity with this particular part of Florida Avenue. It's located in the heart of Seminole Heights' resurgent retail and restaurant scene. New businesses record store, , restaurant, , , , and are all within a four-block stretch of NAPA. next door to the auto parts store.

Many Patch readers posted their discontent in , and on Patch's Facebook post dated Dec. 23.

But ABC's Cohen disagrees with the opposition and said that NAPA is appropriate for this location. “Most of NAPA's business,” he said, “is supplying auto parts and repair shops. And there are quite a few repair shops in that part of the city.”  

Do you think this NAPA is compatible or incompatible with this part of the neighborhood? Tell us in the comments. 

Karen Comer March 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Gag. There's already an auto parts shop at the corner of Nebraska and Hillsborough. This is exactly the kind of business I didn't want to see here. Oh well, as long as nobody's leaving old tires and draining their oil into the street what can we do? A health food store with organic veggies would have been nice...
Wendy March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Of course he's going to say it's appropriate, he's getting paid rent by a national credit tenant. The property is an investment and if he can attract tenants like that why should he care about the neighborhood or its vision. My question is if formed based zoning was in place, would that have helped protect us from this type of use?
G March 13, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Well it's official Seminole Heights with it's 40 plus car lots is now the used car lot capital of the world. Maybe we should change the name...I say boycott NAPA and I hope whoever goes in next door isn't food related.
G March 13, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I agree Wendy! it's time to take action in 2015 when City Council comes up for election again.
Michael Canning March 13, 2012 at 04:47 PM
G, Red Star Rock Bar will open soon next to NAPA. No kitchen planned for it, but the owner mentioned having food trucks pull up regularly. Here's our story on it: http://seminoleheights.patch.com/articles/artsy-sports-bar-to-open-next-to-napa
Wendy March 13, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Are they really opening, someone told me that the for rent sign was back in the window?
Michael Canning March 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Haven't heard anything new, but we'll check in to that. Thanks for mentioning it.
Michael Canning March 13, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Wendy, we checked and it's just that nobody has bothered to take down the "for rent" sign yet.
A Modern Line March 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM
This space would have been so much better utilized for some kind of independent retailer that fits the neighborhood. Another disappointment along with the "ice" mobile home up the street. Two steps forward and another step back for the area...
Adjoa March 14, 2012 at 10:48 AM
I'm going to force myself to look on the bright side and say: at least it's not a strip club.
Susan Long March 18, 2012 at 06:35 PM
City council had no say on this. Neither did we. Someone working in the city (staff) said it fits the zoning and the parking won't be an issue. Don't blame the neighborhood or city council.
jack schimt March 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM
well maybe we can get them to add a art section or better yet a little starbucks in the back of the store for all us yuppies and dems.

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