Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Business

Plans for more downtown apartments on the rise

ST. PETERSBURG — The apartments just keep on coming.

Two more developers are planning multiunit buildings for downtown St. Petersburg.

Site plans for an eight-story building with 324 apartments on half of a city block across from Hotel Indigo were recently approved by the city.

The building, named Bayway Apartments, will go up at 235 Third Ave. N and is being developed by California-based Mill Creek. The land is owned by Wells Fargo and listed for sale.

The contemporary-style building will have a courtyard and parking garage, according to site plans filed with the city.

"Their next step is to submit for building permits," said Philip Lazzara, zoning official.

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. The bank took control of the land in 2010.

Pridgen could not be reached for comment, nor could Alan Kolar, a Mill Creek representative in Orlando.

Another long-vacant site at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue S is under contract to a Tampa developer who plans to build Campbell Landings, a four-story complex with 96 apartments. The one- and two-bedroom units will be affordable housing designated for residents 55 and older.

"We like the site and we love St. Petersburg," said the developer, Bowen Arnold. "I think there's pent-up demand for this." His market research found 31 percent of the 210,000 people living within 5 miles of the site are 55 or older. Almost 4 percent of them earn less than $35,000. The property is also within blocks of Bayfront Medical Center.

Arnold's company, DDA Development, is spending $18 million on the project. Much of that comes in the form of tax credits as incentive for building affordable housing. Construction will start in early November and be completed by the end of next year, Arnold said.

He plans to close on the property within a few months. It's now owned by dentist Joseph Craig and is listed on Gulf Coast Commercial's website for sale for $2.2 million.

Campbell Landings will meet the requirement to be certified as environmentally friendly by the Florida Green Building Coalition, according to Tim Clemmons, the architect designing the project. Its concrete construction and energy-efficient windows are two key factors.

"It's going to be U-shaped with a nice big courtyard in the middle. We're going to have a vegetable garden for the residents to tend," said Clemmons, principal of Mesh Architecture. Other amenities include a fitness center, library and computer lab.

The one- and two-bedroom apartments will rent for $280 to $678 a month and range in size between 708 square feet and 918 square feet.

Clemmons is also designing $5 million worth of renovations at MLF Towers, a senior housing center at 540 Second Ave. S. The 14-story building has 145 apartments and was built in 1981.

Each unit will get a renovated kitchen and bathroom and new lighting, carpet and paint job. Work will begin in November.

"We're also updating the lobby, offices, dining room and kitchen. We're going to open it up. It's going to be more handicap accessible," Clemmons said. "We're going to add a fitness center by reorganizing the space a little."

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