tarbucks Coffee, the internationally known coffee retail company, opened shop downtown in October at the corner of Ft. Harrison and Cleveland Street in the Wiseman Building. With outdoor patio-style seating and large windows facing both cross streets, the shop brightens up one of the most historic corners in the city.
“Clearwater has needed this for years,” said Anne Green of the City of Clearwater’s Economic Development Team. “All of us have wanted downtown to become alive again, and this is the start of a whole new life for it.”
Starbucks is also pleased with their new location. “Between the city and county employees and the Church of Scientology, there are a lot of people who are excited about the opening of this store. From a management standpoint, this is just fantastic,” said Starbucks’ Florida Real Estate Representative, Keith Schantz.
The store opened its doors on October 16, but due to the significance it holds for the downtown, the City of Clearwater held an official ribbon cutting on October 25 — led by Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst and attended by the Deputy City Manager for Economic Development, city commissioners and other local dignitaries and guests.
The Wiseman building which houses the shop is one of four historic buildings that mark the intersection of Cleveland and Fort Harrison, the others being the Coachman Building, Clearwater Bank Building and former First National Bank Building, now Mooko International Furniture. The intersection also has the distinction of being the first paved intersection in Clearwater.
The Starbucks caps the renovation and reconstruction of the Wiseman building. The owner, Matrix Lodging, was recently presented an award for best design by the Main Street Design Committee of the Downtown Development Board.
Starbucks first became interested in Clearwater’s downtown after independent economic surveys showed that it could be a viable location. Since opening, the store has quickly become the second most profitable Starbucks in the state of Florida, out-distanced only by one in Sarasota.