New condo tower to close Patriot's Park

A sign at Patriot’s Park on Bayshore Boulevard warns visitors they have five more days to enjoy the area.
 
The landowner plans to build a new 15-story condo tower called Aquatica in its place.
 
Lisa Casteline, a runner, noticed the sign Monday morning.
 
"It's great they're trying to build the economy, but I think it's sad for all the people that use Bayshore and use this venue to exercise and get outdoors," Casteline said.
 
On Sunday, the parking lot leased by the City of Tampa for the past 16 years will be shut down to dog walkers, bikers and runners.
 
"I hope that there's another place that people will be able to find to park," Casteline said.
 
The prime real estate is home to not only exercisers but the Bayshore Patriots. The group has gathered on Bayshore Boulevard weekly since 9/11 to wave American flags.
 
"We've had the mayor out here. We've had the governor out here. We've even had the president, George Bush, out here. Yeah, there's a lot of memories," said Bill Hamblin, president and co-founder of the Bayshore Patriots.
 
Hamblin said the park's closure will impact several elderly people who have difficulty walking.
 
The Bayshore Patriots will use the median across from the park where a steel beam recovered from 9/11 sits to wave flags from 4:30 to 6 p.m. every Friday.
 
Hamblin doesn't think the park’s closure will change turnout.
 
"You may have to walk a few hundred yards more,” he said. “Unless you have a physical handicap, that's not going to bother people.”
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