Sunday, June 22, 2008

Driving Through the Neighborhood

Any chance I get, I try to drive through the neighborhood, if business takes me that way, unfortunately most of the time it does not. Wednesday, I had that opportunity. I drive down Nebraska and for the first time experienced the new resurfacing/ re-striping. What a pleasant drive that was, all the way downtown. I especially liked the pseudo brick crosswalks but what a joy it was to not ride on potholed, cracked-up streets once I go into Ybor Heights. And to have good sidewalks all the way. When I first moved to Seminole Heights there were sections without sidewalks and now they exist the entire route, plus they are all ADA compliant. My only concern was the lack of markings identifying the bicycle portion of the road. This restriping, thought up by members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, pushed by MPO staffer and SH resident Gena Torres and signed on and then pushed by Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association and OSHNA, was a big victory for the residents. The FL DOT initially said no, but after pushing and pushing it and getting the City on board, it is done.

Later coming back I noticed how more and more buildings on Nebraska in Seminole Heights are looking better. Multiple places are repainted. Fly By Night for example. The two buildings next to the door store and Nebraska and Ida are nice. It's good they are now productive businesses, which they had not been most of my time in SH. I see more and more office space on Nebraska, whether older buildings converted or new buildings, such as at the NE corner of New Orleans and Nebraska. The law offices south of Genesee, the mortgage company at Cayuga and Nebraska, all of the modular buildings just south of the River. It's nice to see the old appliance place on Louisiana and Nebraska torn down since it was an eyesore, although too bad no one put any money into it to fix it up.

However a big disappointment, as usual, was Osborne and Nebraska, specifically the ghost town buildings. These buildings have the potential for so much charm and could be a really good strip of stores drawing people into the neighborhood. So much wasted potential.

Skipping over to Florida Avenue, it is good to see the the Oaks at Riverview if getting all built out. This used to be an abscess sucking life out of the neighborhood and those who lived in it. Now it is mixed used, owned and rental housing and apartments. A good mixture of economic classes, rather than the ghettoization of before. It is attractive and a boost the the neighborhood.

The economy may be in the tank, but people are still working hard to improve and I can see the results.


mimoza said...

its hard as an investor and owner of seminole heights property to agree or disagree w/ the grief about how seminole heights commercial real estate may look. How can you spend a fortune renovating buildings when its too hard to find a user to afford mortgages and make any type of return. I am currently renovating the old Morning Glory building at Caracas & Nebraska and we've totally gutted the interior, rebuilt it, put on a new roof and now completely doing the exterior.... all without a user in tow... Any ideas for users... I think a blog as to what SEMINOLE HEIGHTS WANTS/ NEEDS would be a good article...

Are there any dreamers looking to open a business in seminole heights and they just need a place to go for it? How is SH situated for arts, daycares, restaurants, offices, ??? What is truly needed?


anonaMISS said...

I saw that the other blog picked this up and posted to their site.

In addition, they have asked that guest state what they would like to see in the neighborhood.