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Barbershop fears new gas station will drive away business along busy Tyrone Blvd.

Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 22, 2017

A small barbershop that sits along Tyrone Boulevard in St. Petersburg fears their business will be driven away as a new gas station is built across the street. 

The Tyrone Barber Shop sits in the Tyrone Gardens Shopping Complex that was once the 'mall' before the mall in St. Pete. 

The small business sits in between two other businesses -- a travel agency and Tuesday Morning -- all the other stores on this side of the shop are now closed. 

Brian Cooke, longtime barber, now fears construction across the street will make the shop lose because because they will be losing their main left-turn into the complex.

"If it's inconvenient, they (drivers) will keep going," he said. 

The Wawa going up across the street has been in the works since 2015 when a Wawa engineer submitted the draft notification letter. 

Construction started earlier this year -- and the building is still in the process of being completed. 

Cooke worries that without the left-hand turn, it will deter new customers from trying to find access into his business. 

A spokeswoman with Florida's Department of Transportation said in an email that the work was permitted and approved earlier this year -- and they say they are cutting off the left-turn into the business because of safety concerns. 

The construction being done along Tyrone Boulevard is being done by a Wawa contractor, not FDOT; however, they both agreed on safety concerns. 

DOT tells us their was an official notification letter that was sent in 2015 to all affected owners, tenants and the city of St. Petersburg, with a 30-day protest period. 

They went on to say that during a site visit, most of the tenants were okay with the changes, but they did know the barbershop was opposed to them. 

Tyrone Barber Shop is one of only a couple businesses that are left along the Tyrone Boulevard entrance that would be impacted by this change. 

The other side of the complex consists of a Winn-Dixie, Big Lots, a pizza place, and other small businesses. 

As of now, Cooke is trying to figure out what last minute changes can be made to help his shop.