Apartment tower planned for downtown St. Petersburg near Publix

ST. PETERSBURG — The city's busy waterfront prompted a Miami development company to consider buying vacant downtown land. But it was the activity west to Tropicana Field that persuaded executives to build 300 rental units.

American Land Ventures has 2.8 acres south of Publix on Third Street S under contract and hopes to break ground on a 13-story tower before the end of the year.

The company has built residential developments mostly in South Florida and also in Jacksonville since the early 1980s. It specializes in urban infill.

"We look for cities that have developed their downtown and are invested in their downtown and central business district. St. Petersburg really had all those qualities," said Granvil Tracy, American Land president.

"I was really impressed with the depth of the retail, dining and entertainment throughout the waterfront. Usually, everything develops nicely around the water, but that wasn't all here," he said. "Almost all the way to the stadium you still have businesses, dining and entertainment."

He doesn't have a name yet for the project and declined to say what American Land is paying for it. The county values the vacant land at $2.4 million.

Osprey Real Estate Services is the current owner. Osprey broker Wendy Giffin confirmed that the property is under contract with plans for multifamily housing.

Rental rates and size ranges haven't been determined, but Tracy said the tower will appeal to a wide range of residents.

Though there is a shortage of student housing for the nearby University of South Florida St. Petersburg, he said the property will not be marketed as a solution for that problem.

"We aren't targeting that market. But we recently did a project in Plantation near Nova (Southeastern University) and we've got a number of students there,'' he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened in St. Petersburg."

Once construction starts, the tower should take about 17 months to complete.

Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or kssmith@tampabay.com.

Apartment tower planned for downtown St. Petersburg near Publix 06/04/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 4, 2012 11:32am]

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