Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Business

Another new condo tower planned for downtown St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In a case of back to the future, a 16-story condo tower is once again planned for a site in downtown St. Petersburg.

Hotel owner Steve Gianfilippo has filed preliminary plans with the city for Bezu, a 29-unit tower on 4th Avenue NE two blocks west of Beach Drive. Gianfilippo did not return calls and emails for comment, but the project reflects the continued demand for high-end condos near the city's premier waterfront dining and entertainment strip.

Gianfilippo's First & Fourth Development Co. bought the site for $1.4 million last year from Frank Menna, who had planned a 16-story tower of luxury condos before the market crashed in 2007. Menna later tried to resurrect the project as a 13-story tower with 16 condos but scrapped that idea, too.

"I had the high-rise thing going there and we had so many problems with this and that," he said in announcing two years ago that he and Gianfilippo instead would develop five New York-style brownstones at prices ranging from $1.75 million to $2.1 million.

RELATED COVERAGE: Downtown St. Petersburg's condo boom shows no signs of slowing

Because of potential parking issues, The Brownstones were scaled back to four units. Sales were slow but listing agent Bonnie Strickland said that was due to uncertainly over whether the three-bedroom, four--bath homes with rooftop gardens would ever be built.

"We had one of the four under contract and interest in the others," she said. "Everyone loved them — people want that square footage in that location — but they lost faith in the project."

Bezu will rise on a stretch of 4th Avenue NE that already has the Bliss and Rowland Place condos. Former Florida House Speaker Peter Rudy Wallace and his wife Helen also plan a small condo project next to the home they built on Beach Drive.

Gianfilippo owns several properties in downtown St. Petersburg including the 1920s-era Cordova Inn, the Coronet apartments and the 103-year-old Station House, future home of an Ichicoro Ramen restaurant.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

Comments
HSN to cut hundreds of workers as it merges with QVC under new ‘QXH’ business unit

HSN to cut hundreds of workers as it merges with QVC under new ‘QXH’ business unit

ST. PETERSBURG — Hundreds of HSN employees are losing their jobs as their parent company combines the local shopping network with long-time rival QVC under one operation with shared resources.HSN and QVC will maintain their brand identities, but are ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Man files suit against Diocese of St. Petersburg saying a Tampa priest sexually abused him in the 1980s

Man files suit against Diocese of St. Petersburg saying a Tampa priest sexually abused him in the 1980s

ST. PETERSBURG — A former parishioner of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa, now a lawyer and magistrate in the Virginia Supreme Court, has filed suit against the Diocese of St. Petersburg alleging that he was sexually abused as a child by a no...
Updated: 6 hours ago
After hauling away nearly 1,000 tons of dead fish, Pinellas County sees Red Tide scourge easing

After hauling away nearly 1,000 tons of dead fish, Pinellas County sees Red Tide scourge easing

Pinellas County is nearing 1,000 tons of total collected dead fish since Red Tide exploded into the Gulf coast last month. But based on an update to local tourism officials Wednesday, the smelly situation has improved."We are in a good place with win...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

MONTREAL (AP) — Ian Power was among the first to buy legal recreational marijuana in Canada but he has no plans to smoke it. He plans to frame it.Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began earl...
Updated: 10 hours ago
They’ve met 475 Tuesdays in a row to help real estate pros rebound from the housing crash

They’ve met 475 Tuesdays in a row to help real estate pros rebound from the housing crash

TAMPA — A decade ago this fall, the U.S. economy was in crisis. The investment firm Lehman Brothers collapsed in the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Major banks were about to fail. The stock market plunged. And in Florida, "real estate stopped co...
Published: 10/17/18
Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Here’s a look.

Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Here’s a look.

ST. PETERSBURGDr. BBQ needed a beer. Mission accomplished: A sip of Green Bench’s Dr. BBQ Pale Lager dispatched, he was ready to start the tour. See that teal tufted couch against that wall? It’s like something from Girl & the Goat in Chicago. The wo...
Published: 10/17/18
Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

It can be tough to figure out why insurance companies charge some more than others for auto coverage. But a recent analysis by the Consumer Federation of America suggests that a driver’s neighborhood could be a factor. The analysis, released Monday, ...
Published: 10/17/18
As drug prices soar, drugmakers keep setting records for campaign donations

As drug prices soar, drugmakers keep setting records for campaign donations

Before the midterm elections heated up, dozens of drugmakers had already poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress.Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmac...
Published: 10/17/18
Mum’s the word but Murman’s a player in departure of Glazer Children’s Museum leader

Mum’s the word but Murman’s a player in departure of Glazer Children’s Museum leader

TAMPA — Jennifer Stancil was looking forward to Halloween and the role she would play in a new downtown event celebrating the spooky holiday."WE ARE SO EXCITED to be a partner with the Riverwalk for Halloween," Stancil, president and chief executive ...
Published: 10/17/18
Giant law firm Baker McKenzie picks Tampa for business services center with 300 new jobs

Giant law firm Baker McKenzie picks Tampa for business services center with 300 new jobs

TAMPA — Baker McKenzie, a global law firm with 13,000 employees in more than 40 countries, said Wednesday it would open a new business services center in Tampa with more than 300 new jobs by early 2020.The hub will provide support to the firm and its...
Updated: 9 hours ago