A number of businesses have opened in Safety Harbor's downtown district over the past few months.
That’s all about to change, though, with two new shops opening soon at 101 Main St., plus the upcoming expansion of the Bar Fly.
“Lola’s Laces, a ladies fitness apparel store, will be moving into the Harbor House building very soon,” community development director Matt McLachlan told Patch.
“And I’m excited to see the expansion of the Bar Fly, to see what kind of business that brings to the area.”
Anita Martin, owner of Lola’s Laces, said she is about to sign the lease to move into Suite B of the building; she hopes to be open by the first of the year.
“It’s going to be an active fitness boutique for women,” Martin said. “We’ll have high-end running shoes, sports bras and clothing that is specifically designed for motion activities.”
The former field hockey player and distance runner from Pennsylvania chose this location for her first business because of the large number of active women in the greater Safety Harbor area.
“I love the fact that you can just get out and walk everywhere, and people seem to be really conscious of their health here,” she said.
In addition to Martin’s shop, Agartha Books, a spiritual bookstore, is moving into Suite C of the building, according to Tom Krause, who handles leasing for the property owner, Real Estate Advisory Group of Tampa.
Krause, whose company owns the historic property as well as the lots adjacent to the building and across Second Avenue North, said that things are picking up following a down period in recent years.
“Recently we had a couple of tenants leave, but now we’ve filled those spots, first with Rose Garden Boutique on the end and now these two incoming businesses.”
“Plus we have our own Safety Harbor Senior Living facility and a number of loyal longtime tenants, like BJ’s (Flower Basket), the salon (Lisa Vallone) and the Consumer Center. So things are looking good.”
All these additions should help pull more people to the east end of Main Street, a prospect that suits B.J. McMullen just fine.
“I’ve been in this location for 57 years, so I’ve been here through all of it,” the shop owner said of the numerous iterations of the property and its surroundings.
“I’m glad to see things happening on this end of the street. For years, things kind of stopped at the Chamber. But now things are really on the move here.”
McLachlan, who also said a new pizza place might be opening nearby in the near future, is thrilled with the growth downtown.
“We’re encouraged by new businesses opening up and investments pouring in to the downtown area,” he said. “It’s been a remarkable transformation these last few years.”
So, Harborites, what do you think of the changes going on in this part of downtown? Let us know in the comments below.