Advertisement
  1. Business

$117 million apartment tower and hotel planned for downtown St. Petersburg

A rendering of Ascent St. Petersburg, a 36-story apartment tower with adjacent hotel in downtown St. Petersburg. (Courtesy of Greystar)
Published Jul. 18

ST. PETERSBURG — A hotel and 36-story apartment tower could one day rise on a long-vacant lot in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg.

Greystar Real Estate Partners has submitted plans for a $117-million project called Ascent St. Petersburg at First Avenue N and Second Street next to Duke Energy's Florida headquarters and across from Jannus Live. The tower would have 354 rental units and sit next to a 172-room hotel. Space for offices, stores and possibly a restaurant would be included.

Based in Charleston, S.C., Greystar is the nation's largest apartment manager and developer. Its scores of projects include the 33-story Ascent Uptown in Charlotte, N.C. and the 22-story Ascent Midtown in Atlanta.

Except for the hotel, Greystar's plans are similar to those for an apartment tower proposed by developer David Mack several years ago. His company still owns the land, records show, and its name appears on the application. Neither he nor Greystar returnede calls for comment.

Elizabeth Abernethy, St. Petersburg's director of planning and development services, said Thursday that the project is being processed as a "streamline'' case, meaning city staffers will approve the site plan if no appeals are filed before the July 29th deadline

READ MORE: 17 projects, $500 million set to transform St. Pete's skyline

Greystar's involvement indicates that change might finally be coming to what has been one of the most valuable but star-crossed pieces of land in downtown St. Petersburg.

In 2004, the city sold the land for $3.3 million to Richard Kessler, who had helped found the Days Inn chain before moving into the boutique hotel business. He revealed plans for a 28-story hotel, the Grand Bohemian, that would be "the first true luxury hotel in Tampa-St. Petersburg'' with amenities like an art gallery and full-service spa. But as the economy slumped Kessler repeatedly put off construction. In 2013, the city agreed he could sell the land to an Atlanta developer.

That deal also fell through and in 2015, Mack and his equity partners bought the land for $8.75 million. He announced plans that year for a 35-story, 306-unit tower but the site remained a weedy, empty eyesore in the midst of a booming downtown. In recent days, though, it has been tidied up, suggesting that something might finally be happening there.

READ MORE: REAL ESTATE Two vacant lots in the 'heart' of St. Petersburg. Why does one look so much nicer?

Greystar's plans calls for four levels of parking above the ground floor, lined by hotel guest rooms along Second Street N. The sixth-level podium would have a deck with amenities including a pool and fitness center. At 357 feet, the apartment tower would be among the taller buildings in St. Petersburg.

The plans do not say whether the hotel would be a branded property. A Hyatt Place hotel opened in late 2017 a block to the east, and a New York developer plans a Marriott-managed hotel next to a proposed condo tower a few blocks to the west.

READ MORE: New York developer scaling back height of downtown St. Pete condo tower

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A citrus grove in eastern Hillsborough County. [Times (2017)]
    The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is predicting a 3.3 percent increase for the struggling industry.
  2. Gas prices may go up as much as 5 cents this week, AAA, The Auto Club Group, said. Pictured is a man filling up at a gas station in St. Petersburg in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gas dropped 10 cents on average in Tampa Bay last week and 6 cents on average in Florida.
  3. Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
    Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.
  4. The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened in April on the 600 block of Central Avenue. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The popular Jacksonville biscuit shop has recently opened a handful of Tampa Bay locations.
  5. [Getty Images] PHOTOGRAPHER: RASMUS JURKATAM; RASMUS JURKATAM  |  Getty Images
    A frustrated business card user learns that his on-time payments don’t boost his personal credit score.
  6. Regina Temple is the new president and CEO at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. HCA West Florida
    Read this and more Pasco County business news.
  7. The City Council has called for consultants to design an outdoor concert pavilion with a fixed covering over 4,000 seats in the middle of its proposed overhaul of the downtown waterfront. That decision is causing some friction in the city as officials prepare to present preliminary design drawings to the public. City of Clearwater
    Some in the city are divided over Clearwater’s $64.5 million plan.
  8. Tampa Bay workers are more likely than employees in other metros to quit because of a boss they don’t like, according to a recent survey. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay and Miami tied for the percentage of employees who quit because of a boss.
  9. Recent sunny day flooding in Shore Acres, a St. Petersburg neighborhood vulnerable to rising sea levels. [Times] Susan Taylor Martin
    The organizations will explore the impact of climate change on Florida.
  10. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Pasco Extension opened an incubator kitchen on Sept. 23. It's  at 15029 14th Street in Dade City. The goal of the kitchen is to create educational opportunities for food entrepreneurs and help them to start new businesses. Whitney Eleamor (center left) developed the idea for the kitchen. PAIGE FRY  |  Paige Fry
    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week for the Pasco County Extension Service community kitchen.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement