A developer that recently bought the Tropicana block in downtown St. Petersburg paid $17.2 million, about $5 million more than local businessman Bill Edwards paid for it just two months earlier.
The escalation in price illustrates growing demand for large tracts of undeveloped land downtown. The transaction recently showed up in public records.
Kolter Group, a Palm Beach County investment firm, plans to build a hotel and condos in two towers on the property. The project would include ground-floor retail. It's expected to break ground in the early 2015 and be done by the end of 2017.
The Tropicana block is bordered by Central and First Avenue N and First and Second streets.
Edwards said Thursday evening that when he bought the property, he had hoped to find a hotel developer himself and did not have plans to sell it.
"I found out the Kolter group was looking for land. I'm glad we found a buyer who saw the same need at that corner," he said.