Thursday, June 21, 2018
Business

Biggest new apartment building yet set for construction in downtown St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Builders will break ground soon on a downtown apartment building the size of a city block, adding to a flood of new rental construction in an area developers are betting is a gold mine of young urbanites.

Allen Morris Residential said Wednesday it would start construction in July on eight stories of apartments planned for 700 First Ave. S, where the Coral Gables development firm just bought 2 acres for $5.25 million in cash.

Called the Hermitage, the $65 million project, expected to open by the end of 2015, would feature 348 one- and two-bedroom apartments, developers said. Rental prices were not disclosed.

Named after an art museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, developers said the apartments would feature an "art gallery" in the lobby; a rooftop pool and spa; a fitness center; an outdoor grill; and a bicycle storage and service center. A coffeehouse would be built on the ground floor, with potentially other storefronts to come.

Even in a downtown swimming in new construction, the Hermitage sticks out as the largest new apartment project started here since the housing bust. The Beacon 430, a four-story, 326-apartment complex at 430 Third Ave. S, is expected to begin leasing before summer. Modera Prime 235, an eight-story, 309-apartment complex at 235 Third Ave. N, scheduled its first move-ins for this month.

Developer CEO W. Allen Morris said St. Petersburg's job growth and young energy made it "an undiscovered jewel," adding that he envisioned plenty of rental demand from empty-nesters, young professionals or "commuters who work across the bay in Tampa, but want the lifestyle of downtown St. Pete."

"With all the apartments that have been built, all the apartments that have been proposed, there's still an undersupply," Morris said. "There were so many years of no development … that we are still way behind."

The land, which once housed an old gas station, was bought in 2001 for $4.1 million by a small group of real estate professionals, seller Pete Apostolou said. It has since been used as an overflow parking lot.

The development of the lot could continue downtown's westward expansion as retailers, barkeeps and restaurateurs outgrow the built-out and bustling Beach Drive area. The lot sits within a block or two of Tropicana Field and an old YWCA converted last year into Rococo Steak, an upscale restaurant.

It is Allen Morris' first major residential project and first development in Tampa Bay, though it has developed dozens of offices, warehouses and retail centers across the state.

Drew Harwell can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8252.

Comments
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Published: 06/21/18
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Published: 06/21/18
2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

Summer has officially started and so have summer travel plans. About 2.4 million Floridians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, up 6.3 percent from last year, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group."We are already seeing a b...
Published: 06/21/18
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Published: 06/21/18
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Published: 06/21/18
Supreme Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

Supreme Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impact...
Published: 06/21/18