11/20/14 Real Estate
Downtown's residential development boom is in full swing. Three apartment buildings are completed, four more are in various stages of construction and six condo projects are under way. • By the time they are all finished, 2,031 new homes will be added within less than a mile of downtown's waterfront.
The developers hail from Largo to Miami, Dallas to Cleveland. But with so many of them in the mix, how do they know they haven't overestimated the demand?...
11/13/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG—The 88-year-old St. Petersburg YMCA has a new owner and a new name. Miami developer Nick Ekonomou plans to convert the decaying, but beautiful building into the Edward, an upscale vacation rental with fine dining, a spa and its own brewery.
"It's named after my grandfather. The era of the building, that's when he was around and grew up. It reminds me of him," he said....
11/13/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — The iconic World Liquors sign that has marked the corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street for 53 years is coming down to make way for a new retail and residential development. World Plaza Shoppes will have 13,000 square feet of retail at street level and 14 loft apartments above.
World Liquors owner Paul Misiewicz and Pennsylvania-based DEPG Development Associates are partnering on the $5 million project. A newly constructed World Liquors will be the anchor tenant, taking up 3,000 square feet, about three times the size of the current store....
ST. PETERSBURG — Billy Causey bought cheese and Tylenol at Publix on Third Street S, enjoyed the eggplant tapas at Ceviche on Beach Drive, ordered pumpkin lattes at Starbucks on First Street S and spent three nights at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront — all while visiting the Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit.
The Key West resident, a regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program, estimates he spent $500 during his three days in St. Petersburg. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — You won't see any of the speakers or visitors at the Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conversation Summit taking a swig from a complimentary plastic bottle of water.
Event organizers are giving out only glass bottles of Mountain Valley Spring Water.
Even though plastic bottles can be recycled, too often they end up missing the trash or falling off the recycling truck and make their way to the water....
ST. PETERSBURG — A new addition to the city's social scene will launch this month in the city's Edge District, which stretches along Central Avenue from 16th to Martin Luther King Jr. streets.
Already, St. Petersburg is home to the popular First Fridays in downtown and the Second Saturday Art Walk. Starting Nov. 20, it will have Third Thursdays in the Edge.
The area made up of more than 100 businesses — including Paper Street Market, Designers Consigner, Milagros soap, Plain Jane, Bodega and Ricky P's Orleans Bistro — recently was awarded the Florida Main Street designation. Competing against other Florida communities, it qualified for funds to be used for promotions and improvements. ...
10/30/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG —For two years Tom Nestor has been considered the savior of the historic YMCA in downtown. Now he may be its albatross.
It was late October 2012 when he stood in the sun-splashed courtyard of the landmark, built in 1926, and shared his dream with a small gathering of reporters and friends.
"This could be a music factory for the Tampa Bay area. We estimate 200,000 people a year could come through," said Nestor, a music promoter who had just signed an unconventional purchase agreement to buy the Mediterranean revival building at 116 Fifth St. S for $1.4 million....
ST. PETERSBURG — Although most retailers at the new Sundial shopping complex are open, its three anchor restaurants are behind schedule because of construction delays.
Ruth's Chris Steak House and Sea Salt won't open until early 2015, and Locale epicurean market will debut in December.
When the developer, the Edwards Group, announced its tenant list in August, Locale was scheduled to open before Thanksgiving and the other two would follow in December....
A postcard picturing Sunken Gardens flamingos sent "Greetings from St. Petersburg Florida." A snow globe encasing two flamingos in a swirl of white particles served as one visitor's permanent reminder of the botanical garden and its exotic pink residents. Vintage plates, mugs, statues and pennants featuring flamingos have been Sunken Gardens' calling card for decades....
Beach Drive's success has bred traffic jams, parking shortages and the demand for more valet services. • Though these aren't the worst problems to have, Mayor Rick Kriseman and other city officials are talking with business owners to figure out how to address them.
The Birchwood and Tryst Gastro Lounge welcome the people who flock to the busy half-mile commercial stretch, and want to offer valet parking to make it easier for customers. But the city can't issue the required permits because its valet ordinance allows only one valet service per block....
10/15/14 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — A deed recently entered into public record shows Times Publishing Co. sold its historic Tramor Cafeteria building for $2.7 million. Chicago-based Second City Properties closed on the building at 123 Fourth St. S in September. The sale includes a small parking lot with 18 spaces.
Second City plans to convert the 15,000-square-foot building into Hofbrauhaus, a German-style restaurant and beer garden with locations in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas....
ST. PETERSBURG — The foreclosure auction of Vegas Showgirls strip club at 10568 Gandy Blvd. has been canceled, according to its owner and the Pinellas County Clerk of Court's foreclosure calendar.
Owner James Lowy, a lawyer in Tampa, said he is selling the debt to another entity as well as refinancing other assets to pay down the debt.
"There is a solution," Lowy said.
ST. PETERSBURG — The Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit is set to debut Nov. 2 in its new U.S. host city: downtown St. Petersburg.
Think of it as Comic-Con for underwater educators, filmmakers and scientists.
There will be Hollywood stars, such as Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, who will screen his ocean pollution documentary Trashed, and star scientists, including legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle, whose work to save the oceans is the subject of the film Mission Blue....
ST. PETERSBURG — Now that the new Publix at 3700 Fourth St. N is open, it's doubtful shoppers will still refer to the chain's other store two blocks away as "the good Publix." Many have used that term for the store at 200 37th Ave. N since the Albertsons across the street was converted to a Publix in 2008.
Making its debut this week, the new store that stands where the Albertsons-turned-Publix once did features plenty of bells and whistles, including a salad bar, hot food bar, a lot of craft beer, a wine expert and a health and beauty adviser. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — The Tramor Cafeteria, built in 1929 and owned by the Tampa Bay Times since 1981, is under contract to be sold to a Chicago company that plans to open a German restaurant and beer garden.
Hofbrauhaus also has locations in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Munich.
The 15,000-square-foot space at 123 Fourth St. S has been on the market to sell or lease since 2012. The price was not released. The deal is expected to close Friday. ...