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Ybor building saved from demo to reopen Tuesday | News

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Ybor building saved from demo to reopen Tuesday
News, Real Estate
Ybor building saved from demo to reopen Tuesday

Tampa, Fla. -- A 90-year-old Ybor City building that was saved from demolition will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 28 after being renovated and restored.

A $100,000 grant from the City of Tampa's Community Redevelopment Agency was used to help save the historic Ferlita Macaroni Factory.

Photo Gallery: Restoration process 2009-11

The building, which will be used as the TMD Windows and Doors showroom and office, is located at the corner of corner of North 22nd Street and 6th Ave.

Below is a release sent out describing the efforts to save the building:

Ybor City will celebrate the restoration of a historic building on Tuesday, Feb. 28, the culmination of a grass roots campaign to save the building from destruction.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn will join other city officials, historic preservationists and the Ybor City community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the historic Ferlita Macaroni Factory at 1607 North 22nd Street at 2:30 p.m. with a reception  to follow.

The building, located at the corner of 6th Avenue and 22nd Street in Historic Ybor City, will be a new showroom and office for TMD Windows and Doors. The structure is the last remaining Sicilian-built factory in Ybor City, which was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1992.

Giuseppe R. Ferlita bought the property in 1924 as the new site of his macaroni factory and as his family's home. The factory remained in operation until 1936 when a larger facility was needed. The Ferlita family continued to live in the building for another decade.

In 1946, the structure was sold to Pedro and Digna Diaz Perez, who used it as a cigar factory and their home. The Perez family sold the cigar business in 1960, but continued to live in the building until 1974. 

Over the next 35 years, the factory fell into serious disrepair to the point that its roof collapsed and had to be removed, leaving only the exterior brick facade. 

The ribbon-cutting comes nearly three years after the building's previous owner sought permission to demolish the structure, a request that was ultimately denied by the Barrio Latino Commission. This denial energized local historic preservationists and activists who wanted the building saved and restored.

The Ybor City community and City of Tampa worked cooperatively to find a solution to preserve the building.  The efforts paid off when the previous owner donated the building to the Italian Club. 

Facilitated through a $100,000 grant, provided by the City of Tampa's Community Redevelopment Agency, the factory building was successfully stabilized.  The Italian Club then sold it to the brothers John and Chris Rosende, owners of TMD Windows and Doors and managing members of Salt Construction, who completed the restoration with the assistance of other City historic preservation funding programs.

The project's design was donated by Kenneth Ferlita, Vice President of Hafner-Ferlita Architects and grandson of the factory's original owner. 

"I think it's great," Ferlita recently told the Tampa Tribune. "I think if my grandfather, if he were alive, he would be just as happy." 

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