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The TOP Food Truck Rally and “Talent On the Point” Amateur Talent Show is the second event organized by a coalition of local neighborhood associations to promote the revitalization of the Skyway Plaza and build community awareness of this important south Pinellas resource.
The Skyway Plaza was built in 1977 on 10 acres at the corner of 62nd Avenue S. and Martin Luther King Street S. For years it was a vibrant community retail center, but today the stores are dated and many are vacant. In February 2013 the anchor tenant, Sweetbay Supermarket, closed its 46,000-sq.-ft. store. Since then the site has remained empty due in part to the new owners of the old Sweetbay lease continuing to pay the rent through 2020.
This long period of decline at the Skyway Plaza has left neighborhood residents without essential services like a grocery and a pharmacy. Other smaller tenants have left and the existing tenants struggle with the aging building. All of this has a negative impact on area property values and the quality of life at Pinellas Point. Something needs to change.
In early 2017 the property owner, Brixmor, and the City of St. Petersburg paid the Urban Land Institute to conduct a technical assessment of the property and its potential future use. The resulting report, "Revitalizing Strategies for Skyway Plaza," was published in May 2017. One of the short-term recommendations was to demonstrate community support for retail businesses at that location. Pop-up events like farmers’ markets and food truck rallies could act as catalysts to begin focusing the neighborhood on this revitalization effort.
Based on the recommendations, several local associations including Bahama Shores Neighborhood Association, Bayou Highlands Neighborhood Association, Greater Pinellas Point Civic Association and Lakewood Terrace Neighborhood Association got together to sponsor community events at the Skyway Plaza. Our first was a food truck rally held on June 9, 2018. The event featured 10 food trucks, local entertainment and vendors, and generated lots of positive feedback. It was a great success, with more than 1,200 neighbors attending.
Coming Up
Revitalization of the Skyway Plaza is a process that requires ongoing input from the city, the property owner, and the neighborhoods that will be served. To continue our part in this effort, the Combined Association Event Committee is hosting the TOP Food Truck Rally and “Talent on the Point” Amateur Talent Show on Saturday Nov. 3, 2018, from noon to 5 p.m. It will include 10 food trucks, vendors and exhibitors, City Bike Rodeo, and of course, our talent show, which will feature amazing performances and many surprises. This event will be a lot of fun, so mark your calendar and be sure to join us.
If you are interested in volunteering for this event you can reach us through the Contact Us section of this site. We need all the help we can get!
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