Time literally stands still for the 50-foot Venetian-style clock tower at Lakewood Ranch’s San Marco Plaza.
None of its four clocks work.
When San Marco Plaza opened at 8225 Natures Way in 2007, the developer envisioned that it might become “The Shop Under the Tower” or the box office for a proposed dinner theater. Neither of those happened.
Evan Guido, president and CEO of Aksala Wealth Advisors, became intrigued with the clock tower when he bought Suite 119 in San Marco Plaza for his business office.
Recently, the 37-year-old Parrish resident bought the clock tower out of foreclosure, creating a buzz among other businesses in San Marco Plaza.
“We are going to dry wall it, finish the floor and revive the doors,” he said.
And, yes, he will listen to ideas and proposals for the 220-square-foot ground floor retail space.
So far, he has been approached with ideas about a coffee shop, a wine bar, a pop-up art gallery space, live music venue and even a medical marijuana store.
But the pot shop is probably out of consideration.
“I’m not doing that. My grandmother would not be happy with me,” Guido said.
Doriane Drouin of Divine Interiors, a neighbor in Suite 101, said Guido’s purchase has sparked excitement among other businesses in the shopping center.
“It’s just wonderful. Evan is very open minded about suggestions. There is a buzz and curiosity about what the clock tower will become,” Drouin said.
Diane Creasy, owner of Epic Home Decor, said whatever Guido does with the clock tower is sure to help San Marco Plaza.
“He has great ideas and this should give people another reason to look forward to coming to San Marco Plaza. It’s a darling shopping center,” Creasy said.
Guido, a community activist in Parrish and a native of St. Petersburg who worked 11 years in Alaska, is a real estate investor in addition to being a wealth advisor.
He admits that the tower is one of his quirkier investments.
“Who has a 50-foot clock tower that doesn’t work?” he said.
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