Sunday, November 18, 2018
Real Estate

Related Group sees a St. Petersburg condo tower in its future

ST. PETERSBURG — Miami’s Related Group, one of Florida’s top developers, would like to build an "iconic’’ condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg, the company’s chairman and CEO says.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: New year, new towers: More apartments to rise in St. Petersburg, Tampa

Though the idea is very preliminary, it shows the continuing interest in what has become one of the trendiest downtowns in the state. And while Related already is a major player in Tampa Bay, it would be the company’s first condo project in the area.

"St. Petersburg has grown beautifully,’’ Related founder Jorge Pérez said Wednesday at the ground-breaking of a downtown apartment project. "It has the best of both worlds, an urban livability with museums and shops and all kinds of different restaurants, and it offers a mix of water views that is difficult to find.

"It’s got the perfect location and we want to do the most iconic building, world-class.’’

Before the ceremony, Pérez and several Related executives walked along Beach Drive, lined with condo towers, and stopped by the sales office of ONE St. Petersburg, a 41-story, 253-unit tower under construction a few blocks from the water.

When asked if he thought any of the downtown towers were "iconic,’’ Pérez had a quick answer: "Not a one.’’

"We are very big on the arts,’’ added Pérez, the main benefactor of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. "If we do a luxury condo we will spend millions and millions of dollars on artwork.’’

Related would want a site close to downtown St. Petersburg’s waterfront, but Pérez acknowledged it likely would involve demolishing an existing structure because of the lack of vacant land. If the condo project came to fruition, Pérez said, it would be marketed to international as well as domestic buyers.

Since it started in 1979, Related has built, renovated and managed more than 90,000 condominium and rental units, including four Trump Towers. In recent years, the company has expanded beyond South Florida, and has focused increased attention on fast-growing areas like Tampa Bay.

Under a banner slung between a front loader and an excavator, Pérez, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and several others wielded gold-plated shovels to officially break ground on the ICON Central apartments in the 800 block of Central Avenue.

Work has already begun on the 368-unit project, which will include a seven-story parking garage, a 15-story apartment tower and 35,000 square feet of space for shops and a restaurant. Part of the retail space will be in a section of the century-old, long vacant Union Trust bank building that Related is preserving.

"They’ve done a very good job of marrying this new structure into the historic structure (of the bank),’’ Kriseman said. He touted ICON Central, which covers an entire city block, as a major step in creating "continuity’’ along Central Avenue.

"There were two blocks when I became mayor that I said I wanted to reactivate,’’ said Kriseman, who took office in 2014 and is now starting his second term. "This is one of them. It’s such a huge part of this area that has come back to life.

"The other "missing tooth in the smile,’’ as Kriseman put it, is the 400 block of Central, where two hulking, abandoned buildings were finally torn down in 2016 to make way for a planned mixed-used tower.

From St. Petersburg, Pérez and the rest of the Related team headed to Tampa to check on the company’s apartment projects there — the 400-unit Town Westshore under construction in the Westhshore Marina District; Manor Riverwalk underway on the former Tampa Tribune site; and ICON Harbour Island, just finished and about 40 percent leased.

The ICONs in Tampa and St. Petersburg are in Related’s new line of high-end apartments, with prices to match — top rents are around $4,000.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

 
Comments
Safety tips for Realtors: forget the taser and spike heels, always follow, never lead a client

Safety tips for Realtors: forget the taser and spike heels, always follow, never lead a client

ST. PETERSBURG — Chips Wells, crime prevention specialist for the St. Petersburg Department, has daughter who’s a Realtor. Among the advice he gave her: Forget the spike heels when showing a house to a stranger. "I want you to wear shoes...
Published: 11/09/18
Hotel developer closes on block next to Tampa City Hall for Hyatt project

Hotel developer closes on block next to Tampa City Hall for Hyatt project

TAMPA — HRI Properties has closed on its $7.6 million purchase of a city-owned block next to Tampa’s City Hall and says it plans to start construction later this month on a dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel project.In 2016, Tampa put out...
Published: 11/09/18
Have a household income of $59,000 a year? There might be an apartment in Water Street Tampa’s first residential building for you

Have a household income of $59,000 a year? There might be an apartment in Water Street Tampa’s first residential building for you

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa broke ground Thursday on its first residential project — a pair of apartment towers rising 21 and 26 stories with:• Floor-to-ceiling windows in every apartment that open onto balconies eight feet wide.• Roofs topped with ou...
Published: 11/08/18
Investor Ben Mallah pays $20 million for Holiday Inn Westshore

Investor Ben Mallah pays $20 million for Holiday Inn Westshore

TAMPA — Largo real estate investor Ben Mallah likes to say that while the other kids were out playing football, he was inside playing Monopoly.That hasn’t changed. Last week Mallah paid $20 million to buy the Holiday Inn Westshore, his second recent ...
Published: 11/05/18
As more shops open in St. Pete’s booming downtown, should Chamber of Commerce find a new home?

As more shops open in St. Pete’s booming downtown, should Chamber of Commerce find a new home?

ST. PETERSBURG — Shoppers can find an array of unusual and upscale items in downtown St. Petersburg:Purses made in Italy of genuine crocodile skin. Hand-enameled jewelry and Russian nesting dolls. Stiletto heels, slinky cocktail dresses and original ...
Updated one month ago
‘Zombie’ homes fading away in the Tampa Bay area

‘Zombie’ homes fading away in the Tampa Bay area

"Zombies’’ are gradually disappearing from Tampa Bay’s housing scene.As of the end of September, the area had just 410 zombies, or vacant homes in some stage of foreclosure, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. That was 6.7 percent of all homes in fore...
Updated one month ago
From bunkers to tunnels, Mafia history stirs underworld exploration in Ybor City

From bunkers to tunnels, Mafia history stirs underworld exploration in Ybor City

TAMPA — A real estate listing touts the features of a 2,068-square-foot home for sale on North 12th Street: Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a basement, a courtyard with Mediterranean-style shed, and beneath the shed, "its own bunker."Welcome to Ybor C...
Updated one month ago
In second major deal, Water Street Tampa to pay $2.75 million for critically needed parcels of land

In second major deal, Water Street Tampa to pay $2.75 million for critically needed parcels of land

TAMPA — One business day after paying $13 million for the site of the ConAgra flour mill, the development company for Water Street Tampa on Monday got the green light to spend another $2.75 million more on land it needs for its finest hotel and talle...
Updated one month ago
Affordable housing ‘nearly impossible’ to build to now in Tampa Bay area

Affordable housing ‘nearly impossible’ to build to now in Tampa Bay area

Construction began on nearly 3,000 homes in the Tampa Bay area in the third quarter of this year but the new-home market shows definite signs of slowing down. Moreover, "truly affordable housing (is becoming) an impossibility in this market," a new ...
Updated one month ago
Water Street Tampa developers buy ConAgra flour mill for future expansion of their $3 billion project

Water Street Tampa developers buy ConAgra flour mill for future expansion of their $3 billion project

TAMPA — In a deal that will sweep away one of downtown Tampa’s last vestiges of heavy industry, the development company for Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment on Friday paid $13 million to buy the ConAgra flour mill just north of their 50-acre Water S...
Updated one month ago