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You can see the Sunshine Skyway from St. Pete’s newest apartment tower. Some rents are sky-high, too.

ICON Central is one of Related Group’s three new Tampa Bay luxury apartment projects
The pool area at the new  ICON Central apartment complex in downtown St. Petersburg. [ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times]
The pool area at the new ICON Central apartment complex in downtown St. Petersburg. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]
Published Aug. 23, 2019
Updated Aug. 23, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG - Since mid-July, 22 apartments at ICON Central have been occupied and another 24 are slated for move-ins by the end of August. Many of the tenants are coming from other high-end rental communities just a short walk away.

"It happens when you’re the newest thing on the block,'' said Amanda Smith, regional director for the developer, Miami’s Related Group.

The 15-story, 368-unit ICON Central takes up the entire 800 block of Central Avenue on the edge of St. Petersburg’s bustling Edge District. For a project its size, it went up in a remarkably quick time — 18 months —and Related is marketing it as a "new level of luxury'’ in a downtown area already full of high-end apartments.

Rents start at $1,730 for a studio and go up to $5,800 for the three-bedroom, two-bath penthouses with 13-foot ceilings, custom closets and balconies with views of Tampa Bay. All three penthouses have been leased even though the annual rent is $69,600 —$17,400 more than Tampa Bay’s median household income.

View from a penthouse in the new ICON Central apartments in St. Petersburg's Edge District. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times] [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Susan Taylor Martin]

The first wave of tenants is getting one month’s free rent because some amenities have yet to be finished, including a "treatment'' room that residents can reserve and bring in their own massage therapists and aestheticians.

ICON Central’s most striking feature is the large courtyard with an infinity pool surrounded by palms, cabanas and sleek lounge chairs. There’s also a rooftop terrace, a cozy movie theater, a residents’ lounge with pool table, a steam-and-sauna room and a fitness center with expensive Peloton exercise bikes.

In keeping with its proximity to the Edge District, the building has a "very artsy, very edgy'' look, Smith said as she led a tour. Artwork tends toward the abstract; the dominant color scheme is black and white with bursts of fire-engine red.

The rooftop area at the ICON Central luxury apartment complex is seen on on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]

Related preserved a section of the century-old Union Trust building, which will be part of the retail space that the company is leasing. No businesses have been announced but they are expected to include at least one restaurant.

Among the tenants who have moved in so far are "a lot of professionals'' in the medical and legal fields, Smith said, including some who came from the year-old 930 Central Flats and the three-year-old Hermitage just a block away. "We’ve also had a couple (of tenants) from Houston'' who moved to the bay area because of corporate relocations, she said.

The living room of a model room at the ICON Central luxury apartment complex is seen on on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]

ICON Central also is drawing retirees and empty-nesters who don’t want the hassle of a house but do want more amenities than many condominium communities provide.

The St. Petersburg project is the newest of the three apartment communities that Related has opened in the Tampa Bay area this year. Manor Riverwalk, on the site of the old Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa, is 62 percent leased and Town Westshore, in the Westshore Marina District near the Gandy Bridge , is 60 percent leased.

Related is looking at other possible apartment sites in Tampa and St. Petersburg. "We like this urban feel,'' Smith said, "but nothing is in stone yet.''


  1. A rendering of the new Ulta created by Hennon Group Architects and included in the permits for the building filed with the City of Tampa.
  2. A rendering of the downtown Sarasota building that holds the office of Retirement Wealth Specialists.
  3. The Oaks Estate, a mansion owned by Lazydays RV co-founder Donald Wallace and his wife Erika. The property is a French-Normandy country-style gated manor build on Lake Thonotosassa listed on the market with an asking price of $17.5 million. It includes a main house, 2-story guest house, garage for up to 20 cars, workshop, pool house, gatehouse, horse barn with grazing pasture, indoor and outdoor pools, 2-story boat house, go-cart track, bowling alley and jogging trail pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 in Thonotosassa.
  4. It's not a bad time to be looking for a job. [Scott Keeler, Times]
  5. A burgeoning private insurance market looks to relieve pressure from the National Flood Insurance Program. Pictured is water from heavy rain in August 2019 on Snell Isle Boulevard NE. [Times (2019)]
  6. A pair of wood storks, left, and a large group of white ibis rest and feed in a wetland area off Loop Road in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Florida is home to more wetlands than any other state except Alaska. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2008)]
  7. People fill Community Cafe as drag queen Viktoria Sommers reads a Dr. Seuss book to children during Drag Queen Story Hour.  [Times (2019)]
  8. Tampa Electric Co. announced plans to double its solar capacity over the next three years.  Pictured is a Tampa Electric worker installing a solar panel on the roof of the Tampa International Airport economy parking garage in 2015. [James Borchuck | Times (2015)]
  9. Wawa and Coppertail partnered to create a craft beer that will only be at the gas station's Florida locations.
  10. The Publix at Channelside (pictured) opened in late August. Now the new store at Westshore in Tampa will open later this month. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  11. Brian Davison is chief executive officer of Equialt, which bought this Safety Harbor home in a tax deed sale. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contends in a new lawsuit that EquiAlt is a Ponzi scheme, and Davison has diverted investor funds for his own lavish personal spending. Times (2015)
  12. Daily recreations like this Bible scene at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will end at the Christian theme park, which has been suffering from low attendance and debt for years.