American Rock School is rolling out of Tampa Palms and heading into Lutz.
During the past five years, the business in The Shoppes of Amberly — Amberly Drive and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in New Tampa — has taught youngsters and others how to play music, including guitar, bass, violin, drums, piano and voice.
“It’s basically because I have to downsize,” owner Dave Arazmo said of the move. “I opened up (in New Tampa) in ’07. … Then the economy situation happened and retail began taking a big dip.”
Arazmo said the Lutz shop, 15915 "B" N. Florida Ave., near the corner of Lake Magdalene, will open in February. It will be different in that it will not include a retail component like the Tampa Palms shop.
“We’re converting to kind of the same thing I have in the Town ‘N Country location, which is only lessons,” Arazmo said of his business at 8332 W. Hillsborough Ave. “That (approach) has been good for us in Town ‘N Country.”
Arazmo said the Shoppes of Amberly, whose anchors are a gym and the bar and billiards hall Peabody’s, perhaps was not the best choice for American Rock School.
“The customers in those places are not really part of my demographic,” Arazmo said.
Arazmo was attracted to the Lutz space because the price was less expensive and because it already came with separate rooms — something necessary for instructing music students.
The Tampa Palms location had served nearly 100 students. A portion of those charges have said they will follow Arazmo and his approximately half-dozen instructors to Lutz, Arazmo said.
Leaving Tampa Palms is bittersweet.
“We offer a lot of things other studios don’t offer,” he said. "That includes two yearly recitals. … It is kind of sad but at the same time we no longer have as high a rent and I think there were a couple of factors in New Tampa” that made business difficult.