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Volunteers clean former NPR post office building

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Published:   |   Updated: May 2, 2013 at 04:33 PM
NEW PORT RICHEY -

What’s good for the city of New Port Richey could be good for business, local leaders believe. They unveiled an architectural diagram April 27 to show what the vacant space of the former post office building could look like as a launch pad for startup companies.

Elected leaders wanted to motivate 40 volunteers during the Community Cleanup Day to know the goal for 6345 Grand Blvd.

The building got fresh coats of paint outside and some thorough cleaning inside. Interim City Manager Susan Dillinger worked side by side with volunteers.

Building Official Mike German and city worker Ken George hammered away in the lobby to strip away old boards and install new 2-by-4 boards.

The ranks of volunteers spanned several generations. The workers included Seychelle Baker, a Gulf High School National Honor Society member.

The building could be ready by the end of summer as a business incubator for small firms or a “maker space,” officials hope.

“Maker spaces are places where people can gather to create, invent and to learn, and business incubators give people with innovative ideas the tools to develop their business,” Dillinger said in the press release.

The Pasco Economic Development Council has already created a business incubator in Dade City.

“Downtown New Port Richey is a creative environment, and the hope is to inspire more creativity and innovation by creating a space for people to bring their ideas to reality,” Dillinger added.

Councilman Bill Phillips and Mayor Bob Consalvo strained to remember when the post office had occupied the space before moving to its current Main Street site. An office supply firm then became a fixture in the storefront for many years.

The city bought the property, but the building has sat vacant for many years.

The history of the post office predates the city itself. The first post office was established in 1915, and was part of how New Port Richey, which was incorporated in 1924, got its name.

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