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Longboat Key Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 8 years ago

Harbour Square renovations near completion

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Alicia Aeziman, owner of Alicia’s Grooming, likes her dog-grooming shop’s location at Harbour Square. It’s quiet, and the covered parking lot and elevator ensure that her canine clientele won’t get wet when it rains.

But she thinks that many Longboaters might not recognize Harbour Square, located at 4134 Gulf of Mexico Drive, as a commercial space.

“I think it’s a wonderful place,” Aeziman said. “I just don’t think a lot of people know that we’re here.”

Built in 1988, the 16,000-square-foot plaza is home to 17 tenants, most of which are offices. And Oscar Parsons, who has owned Harbour Square since 1995, is finishing a series of updates to the plaza, which have been in the works for the past two years and have cost approximately $5 million.

“It’s a world-class facility,” Parsons said.

In the past two years, he has repainted and re-striped the parking lot. He has made updates to the drainage system and landscaping and replaced the courtyard lights.

Last week, he secured an agreement with the state that allows him to extend a lease agreement for 10 years on the eight boat slips behind the building on Sarasota Bay. The agreement allows the slips to hold boats up to 44 feet long, compared with the prior agreement, which limited the boats to 34 feet.

Currently, contractors are drilling a 350-foot-deep well on the east side of the property, which Parsons says will save himself, tenants and boat-slip owners money for water.

Parsons said that he refurbished the plaza to make it more comfortable for its current tenants.

“It was time to get a cleanup,” he said.

But he hopes that when the economy rebounds, the plaza will attract tenants for its approximate half-dozen vacant spots, one of which is a 4,200-square-foot penthouse that has been vacant since last year, when
Larry Star Group Realty One moved out of the spot. The penthouse’s zoning allows it to be used for residential or commercial space. The penthouse includes a private elevator.

Parsons says that the plaza is more suitable for office space, because it doesn’t have the level of traffic needed for retail.

But that’s something tenants such as Secure-All Insurance owners George and Sandra Ceshker don’t mind. Last month, they opened their new insurance business at Harbour Square.

“They (people) think it’s another great, big home,” Sandra Ceshker said. “It’s our little secret.”

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