Thursday, January 18, 2018
Business

Hotel, condos coming to prime block in downtown St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In April, Bill Edwards bought the Tropicana block for $12 million, sparking speculation about what the mogul planned for the rare block of nearly vacant land in the heart of downtown with almost unlimited potential.

On Wednesday, he answered that question with an announcement that he was selling it to the Kolter Group, a Palm Beach County investment firm that plans to build a hotel and condos in two towers. The mixed-use project would include ground-floor retail.

The block is bordered by Central and First Avenue N and First and Second streets.

Though many details remain sketchy, a downtown hotel is a definite boon for the city, said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

"We've been in need of more hotel rooms for a long time. Having a new hotel is a good thing for the city. And the number of people who want to live downtown is also increasing, so more options for them is good news," Kriseman said. "It fills in a big hole that we've had."

In April, city economic planners said the development potential was staggering.

"The zoning allows for high density, be it office, entertainment, residential, lodging, retail or a combination of any or all of these uses," said Dave Goodwin, director of planning and economic development.

Kolter will close on the deal next month. A sale price and other details about the project likely won't be released before then, said Anne Sullivan, a Kolter spokeswoman.

"We searched for someone to develop the property in a way befitting the city that St. Petersburg has become," Edwards said in a statement. "There is a clear demand for more condominiums and a new quality hotel downtown. I am confident the Kolter Group will build something very special for the city."

The project is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2015 and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

"We love St. Petersburg," Bobby Julien, CEO of the Kolter Group, said in a statement. "The city's downtown is emerging as one of the nation's special urban centers, and we are excited to be a part of its future."

Kolter has been active in Florida residential development for nearly two decades, with $10 billion in real estate transactions since 1993. The company is finishing work at Water Club Snell Isle, a nine-story, 84-unit condo tower, along with 11 two-story townhomes.

The firm also owns and operates more than 600 hotel rooms in the state, including Hyatt Place hotels in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach, and a Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Beach Gardens. The group is building a Westin hotel in Sarasota.

Times researcher Caryn Baird and staff writers Stephen Nohlgren and Katherine Snow Smith contributed to this report. Charlie Frago can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @CharlieFrago.

Comments

Deal clears way for Oldsmar townhomes

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 4-1 last month in favor of approving a development agreement for a 50-unit townhome community on a nearly 4-acre parcel on St. Petersburg Drive. According to the terms of the agreement, Oldsmar Towns LLC will build a ...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Tampa Bay doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Tampa Bay doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Amazon on Thursday released its list of location finalists for its second headquarters — and neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg is on it.Miami, however, made the short list of cities left vying for the new build. Pinellas and Hillsborough counties had ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Here are Tampa Bay's priciest home sales in 2017

Here are Tampa Bay's priciest home sales in 2017

If there’s one word to describe the buyers of Tampa Bay’s 25 priciest homes in 2017 it’s this: eclectic. As in previous years, the group included doctors, lawyers and professional sports figures — three of the homes were purc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ace Hardware in Oldsmar has those hard to find home items

Ace Hardware in Oldsmar has those hard to find home items

When Vision ACE Hardware opened in Oldsmar last November, the very first customer came in looking for a light bulb that he couldn’t find anywhere else."We had that lightbulb," said Stone Ackroyd, marketing manager. "That’s what ACE does. We have thos...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Mellow Mushroom opens third locationin Wesley Chapel

Mellow Mushroom opens third locationin Wesley Chapel

LUTZ — Mellow Mushroom opened the doors to its new location this week in Wesley Chapel.This is the third location for owner Rob Johnson, who opened the Mellow Mushroom in Brandon 12 years ago, and then expanded to Clearwater.Johnson began looking at ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sweets, savories and surprises at Jules’ Place in southeast Seminole Heights

Sweets, savories and surprises at Jules’ Place in southeast Seminole Heights

Tampa native Julie Harris worked for the City of Tampa for 22 years, under four mayoral administrations, until retiring as director of communications and neighborhood liaison in 2003.Her familiarity with Southeast Seminole Heights and countless conta...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Popular Spanish cuisine restaurant joins Hyde Park food scene

Popular Spanish cuisine restaurant joins Hyde Park food scene

HYDE PARK—Featuring popular Spanish cuisine, Bulla Gastrobar compliments Soho and Hyde Park’s vibrant restaurant scene offering an authentic Madrid-inspired tapas dining experience to be shared among friends for brunch, lunch and dinner. "Tampa is gr...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and officers with Metro Development Group and Crystal Lag...
Published: 01/18/18
Culver’s Restaurant opening two new Tampa Bay locations this spring

Culver’s Restaurant opening two new Tampa Bay locations this spring

Culver’s restaurant, a Wisconsin-based eatery, is expanding in Florida. The chain, known for its hamburgers and frozen custard, is opening new locations in St. Petersburg and Zephyrhills. A franchise agreement has also been signed for Brooksville. Cu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the United States that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall f...
Published: 01/17/18