Seminole Heights businesses hope to bounce back following arrest

Local residents and businesses say things are brighter after an arrest in several murders.

TAMPA, Fla. - Seminole Heights businesses hope an arrest in the area's four recent killings will bring customers back to the neighborhood.

So far, things are looking up.

 "A lot safer and a lot better now that business is starting to pick up," said Alandria Williamson, a server at Front Porch. "We're just hoping that it continues to flourish like it was before the killer was even mentioned."

The area was dubbed the "it spot for hot restaurants, bars" in 2015 and dozens of new businesses have opened within the past two years.

Local businesses have seen a decrease in customers since the killings began in early October.

At IchiCoro, where patrons usually wait an hour to get in, customers were starting to return to the popular ramen restaurant.

Scott Lee, who was there on a date with his daughter, has also noticed a change in the area's vibe.

"It's very different, everyone is a lot safer I think when they go out," he said. "They are not as hesitant to go out and take the family for a dinner. They want to be able to go to their car feel comfortable and not have to worry about washing up in the back. Everyone is very happy they found the suspect." 

The returned sense of security has made the organizers of the "Light the Heights" effort want to make the neighborhood a holiday destination even more.

"Saturday and Sunday we're going to be out full force in the neighborhood trying to get their parts of the neighbors lit up," organizer Kasondra Miller said.

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