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Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018
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Physician seeks Pasco Times building for rehab center

PORT RICHEY — A Hudson physician hopes to acquire the Times Publishing Co. west Pasco office and convert it into an inpatient center for substance abuse rehabilitation and mental health care.

Estaban Alfonzon Ruiz, a doctor of internal medicine, filed a request for a "pre-application meeting’’ to confer with Pasco County planning staff members on the proposed Suncoast Recovery Center. The meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27, and the discussion topic includes a proposed zoning change. The property is zoned for light industrial use.

Efforts to reach Ruiz for comment were unsuccessful.

"Our building is for sale, and they are an interested buyer," said Sherri Day, spokeswoman for the Tampa Bay Times. "But we have no contract or even letter of intent with them. "

The St. Petersburg Times purchased the land at 11321 U.S. 19 in 1973 and eight years later opened its offices for news, advertising and circulation, plus a production plant. The company changed the name of the newspaper to the Tampa Bay Times in 2012.

The main building measures nearly 30,000 square feet. It is occupied by staffers for the Times and the Suncoast News, and television journalists for Bay News 9. The property totals 8.5 acres and the Pasco Property Appraiser’s Office set the current taxable value at $974,965.

Like other newspapers around the country, the Times has downsized in recent years and previously sold some properties in Hernando County and St. Petersburg.

Reach C.T. Bowen at [email protected] or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2

RELATED: Times sells Hernando office.

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