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The Mary Helen Makes her way to Venice


The Mary Helen, Sims Crane & Equipment’s 70 Ton Linkbelt, the face of the 2012 Campaign for the Cure, was onsite in Venice last week to assist in placing a new utility pole in front of a soon to be Bone Fish Grille on US 41 Bypass in Venice. 
The first stop was at the pole yard in Palmetto, where CCO operator Dylan Sherman helped place the necessary equipment and bring it to the Jacaranda Plaza. The plaza is undergoing a facelift – adding the new restaurant and a new anchor tenant.  A new $1.2 million Bonefish Grill building is under construction in the Jacaranda Plaza parking lot, with a Dec. 1 target completion date and a Dec. 12 opening date. The 5,300-square-foot restaurant will be nearly double the size of the Bee Ridge Bonefish Grill and will feature an open kitchen, large bar and seating for 190. Norma Jean’s Sports Bar & Grill has tripled in size, adding more than 100 seats after a recent expansion. A new national department store chain — likely Kohl’s — is expected to fill Kmart’s void. Leasing negotiations are ongoing.
Once preparations were complete for the light pole, including using safety tape to secure the area and make sure all safety precautions were in place, the light pole was set to go in. The electrical workers had many obstacles to overcome. The area they were working in was a very ‘high traffic’ corridor, and they had to maneuver around fios lines, water pipes, and other obstacles. Once that was clear, the new pole was placed and this step in the project was complete.
This stage of construction is the first big step in what will be a complete re-birth of the plaza. Two developers are involved in the plaza at 1667 U.S. Highway 41 Bypass South: Beachwood, Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty, which owns the former Kmart site, and University Park-based Benderson Properties Inc., which owns the rest of the plaza and is coordinating the renovation as well as recruiting tenants. Benderson is remodeling the facade of the strip mall to prepare for more new tenants. More newcomers will be announced within the next 45 days.
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