Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Developers give St. Petersburg options for 22nd Street S

ST. PETERSBURG — An affordable housing community, motorcycle sales and service complex or small business enclave could be going up early next year on 14 city-owned acres on 22nd Street S. Four developers have submitted proposals to the city to either buy or lease the land and build something that will create jobs.

"I'd like to get this thing moving. I would love to get a contract in place by the end of the year," Mayor Rick Kriseman said. "I think we've got some really good options on the table to choose from. We're going to see if (the city picks) something exactly like what's proposed or a hybrid of things. I think we have very legitimate options.''

The city is motivated by the most sustainable plan and job creation, not whether a developer wants to buy or lease the land, he added.

Here's a look at the proposals.

• Blue Sky Communities hopes to build 90 units of affordable senior housing called the Ambassador's Club named for a group of African-American men who fought for civil rights under that moniker that started in 1953. Blue Sky plans a second phase of 90 units of affordable workforce housing called Joyland as a nod to a club by the same name that was once near the Commerce Park site.

The two buildings would total 10,000 square feet with one- and two-bedroom apartments and retail space on the first floors. The projects would sit on 6 acres, create 26 jobs and be funded largely with federal housing credits. Joyland and the Ambassadors Club are estimated to cost $15 million.

Tampa-based Blue Sky proposes buying the property for $1.6 million. The developer would start in 2016 and complete the second phase by the end of 2019.

Blue Sky is a 3-year-old company, though its founders have been developing affordable housing for many years. Since forming in 2012 the group has had six projects approved for federal tax credit funding. They are either completed or under construction across the state. It recently finished 88-unit Duval Park in Lealman. Almost half the units have special features for veterans who use wheelchairs.

Local architect Tim Clemmons, who is designing the Salvador luxury condos downtown, has signed on to design the two apartment projects.

• The Deuces Live, an existing nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing the 22nd Street S corridor, plans to build five phases of commercial and residential space between late 2015 and 2019 on all 14 acres. The phases in order are: office and retail space, 200 housing units with more retail space, 130 industrial spaces that businesses would lease, 80 units of affordable senior housing and 30 townhomes.

The project would be more than 180,000 square feet. It would create a mixed-use, mixed-income "main street" to offer not just jobs, but services and shopping to the community.

It proposes to lease the land from the city for 10 years and then have an option to buy it. The construction phase would create 28 jobs. Applicants with no experience could train on the job and, if they have the aptitude, be hired. Once the construction is done, the Deuces Live expects commercial tenants to create 111 jobs, 75 of which would be new with 36 relocated from businesses that move. It also plans to employ six people as managers of the residential units. Salaries would average $31,000.

The residential component would create 200 one- two- and three-bedroom apartments in a five-story building. Most would rent at the going market rate, with 20 percent based on income.

There are several partners with experience in finance, engineering, construction and development who would take part in the project. One is Scott Ferris, founder of Axis One Construction Company, which built the mixed use Ibis Walk development at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N and Roosevelt Boulevard.

• Euro Cycles of Tampa Bay would like to create a sales and service complex similar to the one it has operated on Gunn Highway in Odessa since 2001. It plans to build a 15,000-square-foot showroom, a 3,000-square-foot service department, 2,000 square feet of offices in the first phase followed by a 5,000-square-foot rental operation.

It proposes leasing 4 acres for 10 years at a cost of $12,000 annually. At the end of the decade, Euro Cycles wants to be handed the deed to the property.

The first phase is projected to be open by 2017. Construction should cost around $2.2 million. Euro Cycles of Tampa Bay will create around 30 jobs ranging from sales associates who make $8.50 an hour plus commission to managers who make more than $40,000 annually.

Euro Cycles, which sells brands such as BMW and Ducati, has been considering for a second location for some time. The company states it does more than $10 million a year in revenue. Along with Euro Cycles, one of the partners on the St. Petersburg project is Jonathan Daou. The New York investor has spent close to $5 million on several St. Petersburg businesses and properties he has acquired in the last three years.

• EMP Industries envisions building 131,000 square feet of leasable industrial space, 25 units of workforce housing and 24,000 square feet of retail space. A second phase calls for 29,000 more square feet of industrial space. It would encompass all 14 acres.

The industrial portion would target the marine industry. The development anticipates having sustainable, energy-saving components, according to the proposal. Retail would be supported in part by bikers on the adjacent Pinellas Trail.

EMP Industries is an existing company in St. Petersburg that manufactures and sells marine pumps and wash water recycling systems. The company, headed by Tom Callahan, included a letter from a bank saying it is interested in a $12 million loan, That would finance 70 percent of the Commerce Park project.

The project will create 178 jobs over five years with 122 starting in the project's first year. The largely industrial site will create 61 skilled labor jobs, 44 managerial positions, 23 executives, 20 administrative staff and 28 support staff.

EMP proposes to lease the land for $1 a year for 25 years. An ultimate purchase price would be based on how many jobs are created. If 160 jobs are in place, it would pay $100,000. If just 65 people are employed, the land would cost $1 million. There are other benchmarks and prices in between.

The bulk of the jobs are predicted to pay $24,000 to $33,000, though almost 50 would pay more than $47,000.

Contact Katherine Snow Smith at [email protected] Follow @snowsmith.

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