The city is approving site plans, builders are pulling permits and bulldozers are moving dirt as several residential buildings are in various stages of development downtown. Not only will they change the skyline that loomed uninterrupted during the recession, these projects will add more than 1,000 apartments or condos to the urban mix. Two hotels on the distant horizon would create 400 rooms.
So if you were wondering what's going on with that bulldozer on Third Avenue N or why the big, empty lot on First Avenue N is still empty, here's an update on downtown development.
430 Third Ave. S
Developer: Cleveland-based NRP Group
Plans call for 300 apartments in four stories with rents between $800 and $1,800. Land has been purchased but site plans are yet to be filed. NRP plans to start construction soon and finish in about two years.
234 Third Ave. N
Developer: California-based Mill Creek
Site plans have been approved for an eight-story building with 324 apartments on half of a city block across from Hotel Indigo. In November, the developer bought the land for $4 million from Wells Fargo. This is the same site where developer Grady Pridgen planned Bayway Lofts about a decade ago. He envisioned a $50 million to $100 million mixed-use development that would rise 42 stories and include a hotel and rooftop restaurant.
Hotel and residential or commercial project
25 Second St. N
Developer: Miami-based Tropicana Redevelopment
The owner and developer, Tropicana Redevelopment, plans to raze the existing 41,000-square-foot building this year to make way for new construction. The hotel will have 100 to 150 rooms, said Jerome Hollo, president of the company. A national hotel company is planning to fly its flag but he declined to say which one. The building will also include either residential or commercial space but Tropicana is in talks with potential clients to decide which, he said. Hollo also isn't sure when construction will start but expects the 99-year-old building, once the Floronton Hotel, later the Toffenetti, will come down sooner rather than later.
Sixth Street At Fourth Avenue S
Developer: Tampa-based DDA Development
This four-story complex will have 96 apartments, one- and two-bedroom units. Rents at the affordable-housing complex for residents 55 and older will range from $280 to $678. Construction completed by November.
Grand Bohemian Hotel
Second Street At First Avenue N
Developer: Orlando-based Kessler Enterprise
Kessler has been planning a hotel and condo project on the empty lot next to Progress Energy on First Avenue N since 2004. The current site plan calling for 254 hotel rooms and 52 condos is approved through 2014. A Kessler representative said the company, which owns 10 luxury hotels around the country, has no progress on the project to discuss at this time. It is current on payments on for the $1.5 million it owes the city of St. Petersburg, the previous owner of the land.
145 Fourth Ave. NE
Developer: Eckall Development
A site plan for a 14-story, 16-unit condo project was approved by the city on Dec. 5. The site is owned by developer Lee Allen who will raze the former Mansion by the Bay to make way for the sleek tower. The two- and three-bedroom homes will start in the $700,000 price range. Silhouette will include a community outdoor kitchen, dog park and a suite for residents' guests. Construction should start soon.
13-story tower next to Publix
Third Street At Fourth Avenue S
Developer: Miami-based American Land Ventures
American Land Ventures has had 2.8 acres owned by Osprey Real Estate under contract for months. Talks are ongoing and the deal should close soon. An earlier site plan calling for 296 apartments on this property is already approved and won't expire until 2015.
Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or email@example.com.