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Longboat Key Wednesday, May 13, 2015 3 years ago

Key shopping centers welcome new businesses

With St. Armands Circle directly to the south of Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria businesses to the north, some might think Longboat isn’t a good spot to shop.
by: Kristen Herhold Community Editor


With St. Armands Circle directly to the south of Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria businesses to the north, some might think Longboat isn’t a good spot to shop. 

But new businesses popping up in three popular Key plazas —  Whitney Beach Plaza, the Centre Shoppes and the Shoppes of Bay Isles  — prove the Key has some great options for shoppers.

Below is an update on what’s new at the Key’s main shopping attractions.


Whitney Beach Plaza

What was once a near-empty commercial center, Whitney Beach Plaza has recently been through a revival.

The plaza is home to Bayou Tavern restaurant, Design 2000 salon, LBK Liquors and Professional Touch Dry Cleaners, among others. Dogs for the Earth, an organic dog food store, recently opened its doors, and Giacomo’s Bar and Lounge plans to be open within the next three weeks.

“We’re just trying to bring some life to Whitney Beach Plaza,” said Malik Winn, Giacomo’s co-owner and co-manager. “We want to have this be a focal point of Longboat Key and bring some more traffic to that area.”

The bar will have approximately 10 to 12 drink specials each day, and there will be 75 seats. It will be strictly a bar with no food served, but plans are in the works to open a Giacomo’s Pizza next door. 

In addition to the bar, a lease was recently signed for a 1,851-square-foot gym that will include all-hours access and yoga and Pilates, and there will also be a souvenir shop coming soon.

“The activity at Whitney Beach has definitely increased,” said leasing agent Nick DeVito, of Ian Black Real Estate. “There are also proposals out for three other units. We’re hoping to continue the momentum and add more traffic there.”


Centre Shops

The Centre Shops is known for restaurants such as Blue Dolphin Café, Ciao! Italia and the Lazy Lobster; for unique stores, Steff’s Stuff Antiques and KK’s Artique; and as the home of the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce and the Longboat Key Education Center.

Unlike Whitney Beach, there isn’t much space at the Centre Shops for new stores to open — with the exception of a new Keller Williams office.

“We’ve just put our foot in the door and have been doing renovations, but we’re excited about all the things that are happening around here,” Keller Williams Realtor Joanne Owens said. “We’re very, very brand new, but we’re excited about being here. We’re liking the way things are looking and progressing.”

In addition to the new real estate office, the shopping center is in the progress of updating its exterior.

“Upgrades and improvements are on the same track,” property services coordinator Courtney Seatts said. “We paved the parking lot and did some landscaping. We have plans to do more landscaping, and new roofs are being put on all the buildings as we speak. Fresh paint begins this month, and each building will be a different Key West-style color. It will look great. We’re very excited.”


Shoppes of Bay Isles

Home of Longboat’s Publix and CVS, Shoppes of Bay Isles is the Key’s newest shopping center.

In 2013, Publix was remodeled and revamped, and it remains the Key’s only grocery store.

In addition to Publix and CVS, patrons can find Your Fitness Gym, J. McLaughlin Clothing, Premier Sotheby’s, White Sands Cleaner’s and Nails of Longboat Key.

Crossman & Co. real estate firm announced April 8 that a Chase Bank will be built on the southeast end of the parking lot. A Chase spokeswoman did not return a phone call from the Longboat Observer seeking comment by press time. 

“Things are going great,” leasing agent Tracy Worrell said. “We’re still looking for a restaurant, which has the option for a large patio with outdoor seating, so we’re still working on that. We also have one small 1,300-square-foot space available, but other than that, we’re pretty much full.”

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