Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dirty Businesses

I was driving down South Tampa yesterday on Bay to Bay and wondered what the difference was between their streets and Nebraska Ave. I realized that the businesses kept their area looking better. There was little to no trash and there were no weeds growing out of the cracks of the sidewalks and curbs. Maybe the BGOSH and the Civic Associations could get a campaign going with the businesses to get them to Give a Hoot and clean up. come up with a slogan and log and get them all on board. A clean Nebraska is good for business. Also what if both SESH and OSHNA included at least one businesses on their home tours to show off the ones that look good. WMNF was a good choice for the SESH tour 2 years ago. First Home Realty would make a good one for OSHNA Home Tour. Their restored office rivals some of the best restored homes.


Anonymous said...

Other differences are that the cars in front of the S Tampa businesses are not all for sale! Yes, the types of businesses are different, too. They have more bars and restaurants and cooler shops but the major difference is in the people. Boy do we have them beat there! I moved to Tampa about 8 years ago and lived one block from Hyde park for the first 5 years. I never knew any of my neighbors beyond an occasional hello in passing. They were not rude, but they were also not friendly. When I moved to Sem heights I knew 4 different neighbors within one week. Two neighbors helped move my stuff into my house!! AWESOME!! We'll get there with the businesses if we keep working on it and the economy gets better

YesterDazed said...

Scott, BGoSH is looking to address the issues you bring up in the business corridors.

We rely, as does the neighborhood organizations, on volunteerism. This is especially tricky with us because those of us with businesses....our plates are pretty full, so eking out time for extra projects is difficult.

We need volunteers to help create a cleanup campaign and get the word out to those business owners who aren't 'plugged in' to the blog or other informational resources related to Seminole Heights.

And Anon 11:58, I second your statement about Sem. Hgts. best assets being the people here!

I had my business, and lived in Palma Ceia for 6 years, but my 3 years (so far) here have been far more amazing in terms of the friendliness of customers and neighbors, plus my business volume has surpassed what it was in S.Tampa.

csd said...

Maybe we could ask for citizen volunteers to "adopt" a business....keeping watch over the front of the building & adjacent sidewalks.....if there were a couple people per business, it wouldn't be that much work at all; just a little picking up, weeding and maybe the occasional window washing. I think it would be beneficial as well for people driving by(and potential vandals) to see people around the businesses, taking care of them.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, based on what I've seen on Nebraska, we need more citizen volunteers turning more businesses into code enforcement.

We chased the hookers away with little to no help from the businesses (they really didn't care if the hookers were there or not.) Why should I now be asked to police their trash that gets stuck into their chain link fences? And do I offer a car shuttle service for them so they don't park on the sidewalks, new landscaping, and other right-of-way areas? The chain muffler shop on Nebraska has a rickety, bent, rusted chain-link fence that snubs its nose at the neighborhood. Am I to fix their fence for them? And what the heck am I supposed to do with that horrendous motorhome parked at the used tire store on Lake Roberta?!

The only way to get this stuff cleaned up is to send the message via their wallet.

Anonymous said...


Do you really believe that what you typed is a credible excuse regarding getting businesses to volunteer to clean up their own property and participate in the organization ? "This is especially tricky with us because those of us with businesses....our plates are pretty full, so eking out time for extra projects is difficult."

Excuse me, but don't most people in the neighborhood also work and volunteer. A juggling act which is difficult to manage I admit. I don't think that "those of us with businesses" is an appropriate excuse for not cleaning up or caring for your surroundings. Then all of us might as well give the same excuse.

Nothing personal, it just agrivates me to hear what appears to be a statement that local business owner's time is more valuable than local resident's time.

Anonymous said...

Did someone forget their coffee this morning?

Anonymous said...

I dont think nebraska looks that bad...

YesterDazed said...

Anon. 9:37. You misunderstood me.

What I meant in regards to business owners' lack of spare time for volunteerism...was in response to Scott's suggestion: "Maybe the BGOSH and the Civic Associations could get a campaign going with the businesses to get them to Give a Hoot and clean up. come up with a slogan and log and get them all on board."

It was the time needed to create the campaign and get other businesses on board with it. I did not mean we business owners don't have time for cleaning up our own properties, or that our time is more valuable than anyone elses.

Since this is such a great idea and you seem to have a strong interest in this project, perhaps you'd be willing to spearhead this and set it in motion. Set up a meeting, I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

Nebraska doesn't look "that bad"?!

We have very different views of what "bad" is, then.

Starting at Hanna and moving South to Hillsborough:

The Tshirt building just South of the Firestation always has trash pushed up against the loading ramps that pass for a "sidewalk". The back and side of the building are junky and often full of litter.

The old gas station on the corner of Idlewild installed a 6' tall chain link stockade fence at the sidewalk. They park used cars on the sidewalk. They put snipe-signs in the right-of-way. The used appliance half of the business has areas of piled, rusted, components covered in litter.

The used tire store places their product on the right-of way, park on the right of way, and leave piles of trash on Clifton. That motorhome is junky and the building itself has always looked terrible.

The brick strip mall on Powhatan with its blinding sodium lamps, pot holes and trash.

The muffler/repare shops just South of the hardware store *always* park cars on the sidewalk and have recently taken to parking on the new landscaping.

The Car stereo place next to the gas station with it's faded, torn, plastic signs on the roof, the constant trash and weeds, the cars on sidewalk.

Shall I go up the other side of the street? Do you see the trend? Businesses that don't pick up their trash, park their cars on the public sidewalks and landscaping, build ugly, unwelcoming stockade fences around their property, and generally behave as bad neighbors.

If I let the paint fall of my home and my house look like it's falling down, the city would cite me. But a business can have a rusted chain link fence, filled with trash, bent in several places from auto collisions, and no one says a word.

That's Nebraska avenue and it aint pretty.

Anonymous said...

Nebraska is also commercial and generally; commercial property just ain't pretty. Some are nice to look at and some just ain't that appealing to others.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:07 -- every building on South Howard is "commerical". They aren't pretty?

And this addresses the issue of parking on the new landscaping and blocking pedestrian right-of-way how?

One of my vehicles needs engine work. I could take it to one of many shops in our area. I'll take it to none because I refuse to support a business that cannot do its part as a good neighbor. I'll take it to a place on Dale Mabry instead that, while being commercial, is also clean and nicely painted.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should move to S. Howard.
You sure seem to be overly nit-picky on some of these issues that bother you (although some are valid). Do you have a notebook where you document everything you hate with every business in the area? If all of this is from memory then you really are bothered big time and might want to consider moving somewhere else to relieve your anger. Give yourself a break.

Anonymous said...

No kidding. The synergy from having so many places that work on cars so close to each other means the best work for the best price will be found around here.
Go to the pretty place on Dale Mabry and get reamed.

Freudian Slip said...

Its amazing what a difference a couple of blocks makes!

Anonymous said...

I agree, I take my dollars out of the the hood, or choose to business with companies that take pride in their property and respect thier neighbors. Thus, the support for Cappys and the buycott of Ybor Pizza. Shop at Publix and avoid Sweetbay.

When you have corporate giants such as McDonalds and Discount Auto that snub the neighborhoods by filthy stores, insufficient trash recepticles, ill kept properties, etc. It is not right. Personally, I feel the neighborhood associations should collectively write a letter to their corporate office asking for assistance. Chances are, they corp. office is unaware of the condition of the property.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:21
sux being you a non commercial property owner. We get to make all the money and let our buldings look like crap!!

Anonymous said...

I think anon 921 is susan long-
only person i can think of north of our hood that would know every commercial properties business like that.
Either Randy or Susan.
Fess up.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:15

why that guess - because they would be the only ones to care or try to make a difference??? You are way off base on that stab in the dark. I drive Nebraska every day and I could give you just as through a list of the non-compliance as previously listed. If you were to stop and talk to these existing "neighborhood" businesses you would find that very very few of them actually live in the area or give a rat's ass about how their building looks. It take 10 minutes to pick up trash or mow around the building but they can't be bothered because they leave it all behind when they go home at the end of the day - it's not their neighborhood.

And as for a better price because of the concentration - that's a load of bull - a dishonest business will screw you every time regardless of who their competition is in the neighborhod.

Anonymous said...

So you can recite from memory where every piece of trash along Nebraska Avenue is located?
Are you telling me South Tampa doesnt have any litter?
Grow up.

Anonymous said...

SOK and Nebraska are night and day different in the condition of the businesses and the level of trash and indifference of the business owners.

Why is wanting a cleaner neighborhood that demands a little respect an immature stance?

Anonymous said...

Nope. Not Randy or Susan. I think it's a compliment that you attribute a detailed understanding of the neighborhood to them.

5:57 says:

"No kidding. The synergy from having so many places that work on cars so close to each other means the best work for the best price will be found around here.
Go to the pretty place on Dale Mabry and get reamed."

Uh, no, it doesn't work like that. What it means is you have a bunch of businesses aiming for the poor-man's dollar, able to do the service someone with low disposable income can afford. Once they have the skill to work at a higher-paid job in a clean, safe environment, they end up on Dale Mabry.

Anonymous said...

I don't view this kind of obsession with others as a compliment, I think folks like that are way over the top bothered need to get a life of their own instead of making life more difficult for themselves or others (if unwarranted and there is a lot of that I'm sure).

bloggerwife said...

We've used John's Import Auto on Nebraska Ave. to care for our cars the last seven years and they've been great. It's a family run business and was recommended by a neighbor who has used them for many more years. They keep their property neat and clean, but happen to be next door to another car repair shop that does not. I think we're fortunate to have a good car repair place in our area. Be careful about denigrating businesses and lumping them all together. The good businesses deserve our support.

Anonymous said...

I would ask if they have a 6' chain link fence, if it is in good repair (not rusting, not bent), and if they store many/most of their unworking cars up front.

If they have such a fence, and especially if it is in bad repair, and if they store cars for weeks at at time up front, then they aren't doing our neighborhood any favors. This says to me "the front of my business looks like a junk yard and that reflects my opinion of the area in general."

Now if you were someone looking to open a restaraunt, and the junky auto shop next door to John's Import Auto was available for this. Would you place your restaraunt there? Do you think proximity to Johns (which I admit I have no direct knowledge of so cannot make specific claims) would detract from your customer's experience? Could you place a nice boutique there? What sort of business *can* go next to that?

I ardently believe we need a mix of businesses in the area. I support Kramer's used cars. (Has anyone else noticed the quality of stock on his lots go waaaay up recently?) And yes, good businesses deserve our support. But if they treat our neighborhood like a junkyard with roaming pit bull guard dogs, stockade fencing, etc... then they aren't really "good" for us, regardless of how nice the owners are.

Shopping at these places tells them you don't mind the way they keep their property and the effect it has on your neighborhood. I'm beggining to think the only thing that *will* improve things are constant calls to code enforcement and shaming the owners. And yeah, that's harsh and yeah that sucks.

Meanwhile, over $2k of my new repairs are walking outside the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...


John's Import Auto is between Nebraska Hardware and the Citco gas station on Hillsborough. The chain-link stockade starts at the ex-audio store just North of the gas station (usually very trashy), continues across John's Import Auto (apparently two lots, one for sale), then continues across the auto repair next to John's (and this is the guy that has parked cars on the right-of-way for years and now does so on the new landscaping), continues across and around Nebraska Hardware and finally terminates at the Mac Motel. Or, to give you a better idea of how prison-like this stretch of Nebraska is, the chain link stockade begins roughly at the alley behind Hillsborough, continues across that block, across the Mohawk block and through the Comanchee block as well. 2.5 blocks long.

Directly across the street is the "Chain Link Fence that Refuses to Die" at the transmission shop. No amount of rust, direct impact, or aged plastic piping can knock it down. There's even an auto-part zombie kept caged inside. The Flooring America chain link completes the look and reminds me of the movie "Escape from New York" although here one wonders if the businesses are the prisoners or the neighbors?

I'm sure these are all very nice people who have been in the neighborhood for a long time. They probably enjoy working here and are taken aback by any suggestion that their business is somehow "bad" for the neighborhood. After all, the area was trashy when they bought in. Can they be blamed for fitting in and continuing the trend? (Do any of them actually live in Seminole Heights?)

As residents in this area, all we can do is ensure they meet code and spend our money at businesses that show the same respect for our neighborhood that we do. Eventually, they'll either come around and clean up, or they'll cash in, move away, and make room for someone that appreciates Seminole Heights.

Anonymous said...

Guess again anon 11:20.
The reason they start here, stay here, and don't go to Dale Mabry is the lower over head. Same work, same parts, less expenses. If they weren't able to get the job done the same word of mouth that keeps them busy would shut them down.
Around here you could get a half dozen estimates in a half mile radius.
The ones around here do the out of pocket work and not so much ins. stuff the pretty guys live off of.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:03 says....
"If they have such a fence, and especially if it is in bad repair, and if they store cars for weeks at at time up front, then they aren't doing our neighborhood any favors. This says to me "the front of my business looks like a junk yard and that reflects my opinion of the area in general."

What do you suggest that a car repair business do about cars on their property? If the cars are there for repair, they need to be somewhere while either waiting to be repaired or done being repaired for pick up (regardless of how much time that may take).

If the business has a building towards the back of the property then what choice is there other than to park up front? You may not like the way it looks but it is a business and if that business repairs cars well you probably are going to see them lined up against a fence. My goodness, there is no pleasing you. Maybe the car repair business should expand the building so all cars can park inside so you don't have to look at them, would that make you feel better? It is what it is, a legally zoned business to have cars in view, get over it.

Anonymous said...

Well, for starters, do they really need a 6' tall stockade fence right up against the sidewalk? Do they need to park their cars on the sidewalk? On the state-maintained landscaping? What if they leave an old junker up against the fence and slowly part it out? Let loose pit bulls at night that terrorize passing pedestrians? All of this is "legal" but it isn't necessary and it isn't neighborly.

Industrial businesses don't have to be poor neighbors.

But hey, if you don't mind living in a run-down, rusty, beat-up neighborhood, that's your business. I imagine you'll move North into Sulfur Springs when Seminole Heights starts to clean up? If not, I suppose you'll just get over it.

Anonymous said...

To answer your question; I'd say yes they do need a 6'tall fence regardless of what it is made out of. If it were my business (which none are) I certainly would want the security of a 6' fence rather than a 4' for anyone to hop right over, that just makes good business sense. Not saying it can't look nicer from the outside for the sake of eye-appeal but it is the type of business that may have non-appealing junker cars around at times. Also, the pit bulls would be a security issue as well and dogs being dogs no matter what breed they are will bark at people from behind a fence whether it is at a business or residential home. Necessary? I'd say yes if a business owner. Neighborly? Not so much if a neighboring home but also understanding of reality where homes and business' exist together.

Nothing for me to get over but apparently a whole lot for you to overcome so maybe you should start moving way northbound into New Tampa where all the business' are clean and orderly and do yourself a favor.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:42 give it up, pounding your head against the wall that is anon 1:21 is futile.
You end up with a headache and do nothing to change the wall.
Reading anon 1:21 reminds me of something I heard about how men and women chose mates.
Men chose a mate hoping they will always stay the same, women chose a mate hoping to change them.
The same holds true for residents and businesses around here. Anon 1:21 is either a woman or gay and new to the area. You seem to be a long timer and male.
But don't worry, once the rose colored glasses start to fade anon 1:21 will see where they're at,
which is the heart of Tampa's used auto district

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:38

Your post is so wrong in so many's about you packin up and moving out? You don't have to wear rose colored glasses in order to want a better neighborhood.

It's all about respect. I guess you're noot use to that are you - it shows in your posts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 3:38, that was a great analogy (I am original Anon 2:42).
I believe you are right-on in describing Anon 1:21 as either a woman or gay and new to the area and no amount of reasoning is going to change her/his mind. You are partly correct in describing me though, I am a long timer (and realistic to my surroundings) but I am a woman. So, guess that makes me a rational-resident.
Your post was not wrong and was absolutely right-on in so many ways. Thanks for another voice of logic.

IFly said...

Like it or not, the area is changing and improving. As the Borg from Start Trek would say "Resistance is Futile" Some of the car lots are even making efforts. ABC Remarketing @ Idlewild and Florida is taking down the chain link and putting up a privacy fence and that fence is set further from Idlewild than the chain link was. It's an improvement. So change is coming, and whether it's too quickly or too slowly is merely a matter of perspective.

Anonymous said...

If I remember my Star Trek correctly the Borg were destroyed.

IFly said...

Borg Info

The ultimate fate of the Borg is unknown, though Voyager did triumph in it's final encounter with them.

I have to admit, I pretty much lost interest during DS9.

I also noticed the Start typo in my previous entry.

Anonymous said...

The original subject mentioned the differences in S Tampa and Seminole Heights. The main difference is that S Tampa never had to recover from the crap that was Sem Hts. They've always pretty much had an easy road. We might still be crappy in some ways, but we've come a long way, baby. It's a long hard road, certainly not an overnight change. We DON"T WANT to be another S Tampa; we want more color, diversity, and our own image of intelligent beauty. We need to keep our eyes on the prize and individually take tiny steps as well. I think we all basically want the same thing. The borg also said YOU MUST COMPLY! Let's live long and prosper!