SOUTH TAMPA — Although the developer is not offering details, whatever business moves into the vacant space at the intersection of Gandy Boulevard and Dale Mabry Highway could have a drive-thru window.
The Tampa City Council on Thursday night rezoned three lots at the southeast corner of the intersection. The space was previously home to Gandy Barber and Beauty, a 7-Eleven convenience store and two motels.
Encore Real Estate Development bought the parcels in June for $2.5 million. Rumors have swirled ever since about what might be built there, with Wawa and Chick-fil-A among those mentioned frequently.
Neither of those chain businesses have confirmed if they are looking at the corner as a potential location.
Gina Grimes, an attorney representing Encore, told council members the developer is speaking with banks, national restaurant chains and national retail chains about occupying the space. Zoning the property for a drive-thru enhances the possibilities, she said.
“It has the potential for a wide variety of uses,” Grimes said.
Al Steenson, president of the Gandy/Sun Bay South Civic Association, said neighbors support new development on the corner. He said the motels attracted panhandlers and losing the 7-Eleven did not harm the neighborhood.
“The one casualty is our Gandy barber shop,” he said, referring to the business that stood at the intersection for 50 years. It moved about one mile away to a new location in Britton Plaza. People know where to find it, Steenson said.