Categories: Know

St. Pete asks court to evict Commerce Park tenant

City officials were all smiles last October, when they turned the ceremonial first shovels of dirt at a groundbreaking ceremony in Commerce Park for Euro Cycles of St. Petersburg.

But those smiles have faded, and now the city is asking a Pinellas County circuit court judge to evict the company, saying it has failed to build the promised motorcycle sales and repair facility slated for the site.

The eviction lawsuit, filed July 8, follows at least two written warnings the city sent to MCSP Holdings LLC, which does business as Euro Cycles of St. Petersburg.

Aaron Sprague, manager of Euro Cycles, did not return messages from the St. Pete Catalyst requesting comment.

The city owns the property at 600 22nd St. S, and signed a lease with Euro Cycles in June 2016. The lease obligated Euro Cycles to develop the site with a 20,000-square-foot building suitable for office, retail, warehouse and manufacturing by April 30, 2019. The company also was required to create 15 full-time jobs in the same time frame.

But the site remains unimproved, vacant land, according to the lawsuit.

A May 1 letter to Sprague from Alan DeLisle, city development administrator, informed the company it was in violation of its lease agreement. That was followed by a June 19 letter to Sprague terminating the lease and telling the company to surrender the property within 15 days.

The 15 days elapsed without Euro Cycles surrendering the property, the lawsuit said.

“The City has been damaged and continues to be damaged by the occupancy of MCSP and the failure to surrender the Premises,” according to the lawsuit, which asks for judgment against the company and damages.

The Euro Cycle project was one of two developments that city officials hoped would bring jobs to Commerce Park, an economically challenged area west of 22nd Street South to 26th Street South, from about 6thAvenue South to the boundary of Interstate 275.

The second project, a plan by EMP Industries to create a facility to house a cluster of marine industry companies, is also stalled.

The city is looking to renegotiate an agreement with EMP Industries, DeLisle told the City Council last month.

Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at margie@stpetecatalyst.com

View Comments

  • I think it was a bad decision for the City of St. Petersburg to lease Land to any business that would not bring more than 50-200 jobs to this part of the city. The jobs need to be something that will hire Felons, skilled workers that can help with poverty in this area of the city. The city needs to terminate lease with both business and wait until we get a new Mayor who will help the people of Midtown and not just move business that are not viable for long standing residents. Midtown homeless population is rising mainly because there are not places they can find viable employment. People are buying up properties and raising the rent well beyond what residents can pay and this is increasing eviction rates in the community. Where is the city Council members for this area.

  • The fitst placethe place that live in that section of town are not interested in no
    motorcycles not a good place for that type of business.This ia an area with histort where does that fit in.The city just trying to make money any way it can just like the so call skate park that no one is using a waste of money.we need a grocery store on the southside of town more convenient for the ederly to get to put some thought into that MR MAYOR

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