Good news for those looking to buy controversial Ybor City street signs: You can step forward next week and bid.
Twelve signs declaring Ybor City's main thoroughfare "La Setima" will be auctioned off at 6 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Manheim's auction site at 401 S. 50th St.
Vince Pardo, president of the Ybor City Development Corp., said he has "absolutely, honestly, no idea" how much people will pay for the signs.
In June, after much discussion, Tampa City Council members Thursday voted to remove the signs and replace them with ones including three names for the road: Seventh Avenue, La Setima and La Séptima.
Tampa City Councilman Charlie Miranda first pitched the idea of auctioning the old signs. He plans to buy one; he wouldn't say how much he is willing to pay.
"When you're playing poker," he said, "you never show your cards."
The auction's proceeds will be provided to Ybor's special tax district. The district initially funded the signs and paid for the replacement signs.
Of the 12 signs taken down from Seventh Avenue, some are in great condition while others have dings. Four have a different style and color and had been directly in front of the Columbia restaurant.
The debate about what to do with street signs began when a contingent of Ybor residents argued that a nod to the historic neighborhood's Spanish roots, "La Setima," on Seventh Avenue signs is a misspelling and would invite ridicule from thousands of Spanish speakers coming in August for the Republican National Convention.
Those residents lobbied city leaders to change the signs to what they say is the correct translation of Seventh: "Séptima."
Other residents argued the existing signs reflect neighborhood history and should remain. They said Setima and Séptima are both correct spellings.
Miranda, an Ybor native, didn't want the signs removed. He said they stood for the historical characters of the neighborhood's past.
But now that they're gone from Seventh Avenue, he said if he's lucky enough to get one he might put it up in his office at city hall.
"It's a remembrance of where I came from and to keep doing what I believe in," he said.