BY IMAM ASKIA MUHAMMAD AQUIL, Contributor
ST. PETERSBURG — Following an unsuccessful Court hearing held last Thursday, June 23, the City of St. Petersburg moved forward with a Writ of Possession and had the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department serve notice and change the locks Monday, June 27 at Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Food Restaurant and the historic Manhattan Casino.
Operations are now effectively shut down while litigation continues and the ownership group negotiates with the City of St. Petersburg to resolve the issues in contention.
The ownership group is preparing a written proposal and an updated business plan as the basis of these ongoing negotiations. Concerned community leaders (and some angry citizens) are closely monitoring this situation. Others are actively discussing the need for a viable and comprehensive business plan with detailed action steps addressing the complex legal, sophisticated financial, powerful historical and deep-seated emotional concerns swirling around this landmark business venture and African-American community development initiative.
I am actively involved in these discussions with ownership group representatives, private investors and community members. I will keep everyone informed as this process unfolds.