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Is yet another condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg's future?

Fresh off its success with ONE St. Petersburg, a South Florida developer is planning two more condo towers in the Tampa Bay area — one in St. Petersburg and another on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard.
Published Jan. 23

ST. PETERSBURG — Fresh off its success with ONE St. Petersburg, a South Florida developer is planning two more condo towers in the Tampa Bay area — one in downtown St. Petersburg and another on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard.

The Kolter Group has said nothing publicly yet about a 408-foot tower that would rise on what is now a parking lot between the St. Petersburg Hilton hotel and the Northern Trust office building on First Street S. However, it has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to study the tower's impact on planes using Albert Whitted Airport just a mile away.

In Tampa, Kolter recently purchased a 1.2 acre site on Bayshore between Howard and DeSoto Avenues for what would be a 21-story, 70-unit condominium. The proposal is expected to go before the city's Architectural Review Commission in early February, said attorney Truett Gardner, who represents Kolter.

Kolter, based in West Palm Beach, is making a name for itself in Florida's luxury condo field. It has built or has under construction three towers in South Florida and two in Sarasota, including a Ritz-Carlton Residences.

Within months of taking reservations for ONE St. Petersburg, Kolter had lined up buyers for all 253 units in the 41-story tower at 100 First Ave. N. Units already are changing hands as demand for high-end condos downtown continues unabated.

According to an analysis by agent Peggy Naruns, four units have resold at price increases of up to 42 percent. None were on the market for more than five days. A fifth unit, listed at $1.1 million, is under contract.

"We know of five units coming soon on higher floors ranging from $999,000 with a non-water view to $2.35 million with a water view,'' Naruns said.

The site of Kolter's proposed tower near Albert Whitted Airport is not quite as desirable as that of ONE St. Petersburg, which is just a short block off Beach Drive and its row of restaurants. But the site is one of the few developable tracts near the city's waterfront, and a tower there would have wide-open views of the bay.

Property appraiser records show that the site is currently owned by a limited partnership whose address is that of Remington Hotels, a Dallas-based company that manages the Hilton and dozens of other hotels nationwide.

In a Dec. 22 letter to a Kolter subsidiary, the Federal Aviation Administration said it is conducting a study of the proposed tower to determine its "effect upon the safe and efficient use of navigable air space.'' The letter refers to the structure as Building Kolter Bayfront Tower, Southeast corner.''

RELATED: Is St. Pete ready for a 50-story skyscraper on Central Avenue?

Even if the FAA deems the project a hazard to aviation, it would not necessarily prevent its construction though some changes could be needed.

ERNEST HOOPER: Fifty stories seems a bit too much for downtown St. Pete

Last week, New York's Red Apple Group released a rendering of a proposed 50-story mixed-used tower on the 400 block of Central Avenue. It would be several blocks from the waterfront although an ad in the New York Times promised "breathtaking views of Tampa Bay.''

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

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