St. Pete Beach plans to redevelop some areas of historic Corey Avenue

Historic Corey Avenue redevelopment plans


Plans are in the works to revitalize one of St. Pete Beach's oldest streets, Corey Avenue, which runs through the heart of the downtown district. 


"I would love to see this whole street to be just open at night, lights on, people moving around," said Jacquelin Smit. She owns Jackie's Bistro and Catering which sits along Corey Avenue.  "I had a plan and I had a vision, I knew what I wanted to do."


That is also what city officials say they have. A plan and a vision for redeveloping this historic area.


"Much of what we are trying to do is strengthen and re-establish as kind of our downtown area with entertainment, shopping, dining, those kinds of things," St. Pete Beach City Manager Mike Bonfield said.


The plan is still in its early stages but calls for more residential apartments and hotel rooms on the east and west ends of Corey Avenue. Plans to upgrade sidewalks and add more walkways to keep pedestrians safe. There is also hopes to build a small pier just past Blind Pass that will give locals and visitors a place to enjoy the sunsets.


"We need to make it as walkable, attractive, kind of user friendly as possible," Mike said.


Another goal city officials have is to hopefully bring life back into the area's old movie theater and once again make it the focal point of Corey Avenue.  "It's the most important part of this street. That theater needs to come back," Jacquelin said. 


Legal issues have kept the theater closed, but the city hopes to have that all resolved very soon. "It is a long history in the city and it's important for us to try and keep that an active part of Corey Avenue," Mike said.


Jacquelin just hopes that the success of her new business will help start an upward trend in the area. "The shops are starting to get a little bit more enthused, the shops are starting to go wow, Corey Avenue's going to come back, I can see it," she said.

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