If you’ve been wondering what’s going into the old Bongos by the Bay shop in the downtown district, wonder no more.
The former home of the popular gift shop will soon house a certified financial planner as well as a craft jewelry designer, all under one roof and one owner with two entrances.
Local CFP and tax consultant Franklin Clark is moving his McMullen Booth office to a more central Safety Harbor location, and he’s bringing his mother, Manuella, and her original jewelry designs along with him.
“I’m located on the corner of McMullen Booth and Enterprise Road right now, in the Oakbrook Plaza, but I’m moving to a place that has a lot more visibility,” said Clark, a native Floridian and Gulf War veteran.
“I wanted to get into a place a little closer to downtown, and it’s a great place to showcase my mother’s work.”
Clark has been busy renovating the colorful corner building for weeks now; he had hoped to be moving into the location this weekend.
But unforeseen delays, as well as the extensive amount of construction, have pushed his plans back a bit.
“We’ve put in a new roof, new walls, new electrical system, new plumbing,” Clark said. “The only thing that’s going to be original when we’re done is the exterior walls.”
Speaking of those walls, Clark knows how important the art scene is to Safety Harbor, and he admits painting over the murals on the building might not be a popular decision with some residents.
But his plans call for a design that closely mirrors the downtown surroundings, including a powder-coated aluminum canopy that will resemble the Gazebo roof and brick pavers that will match the streets and sidewalks.
“We chose a lot of architectural and landscape designs specifically to compliment the downtown look,” he said. “I hope people will like it.”
What other kinds of businesses would you like to see move in downtown? Post a comment below.