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Downtown St. Petersburg's tallest tower, Priatek Plaza, has a new owner

ST. PETERSBURG — The tallest office building in Pinellas County has a new owner.

Priatek Plaza, which was renamed from One Progress Plaza in Sept. 2015, was sold to Third Lake Capital, the locally-based investment firm of the Wanek family behind the Ashley Furniture brand.

The sales price was not disclosed and a local record of the sale had not yet been posted as of late Monday. Rumors of the building being for sale have been circulating among brokers in the area for months.

The 28-story tower at 200 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg was previously owned by Kucera Properties. Bank of America moved its lobby branch out of the 27-year-old building in 2010. Prior to Bank of America, the 309,000-square-foot building was known as the Barnett Bank tower. Before that it was the headquarters for Florida Progress Corp..

It is unclear at this time if Priatek will continue to hold the naming rights for the tower. Priatek is an interactive advertising company whose headquarters are on the 23rd floor of the 386-foot-tall building.

Tampa-based Third Lake Capital — which is owned by the family of Ron Wanek, the billionaire founder of Ashley Furniture — has a variety of real estate and businesses in its portfolio. The firm owns the WingHouse Bar & Grill chain and is the equity investor behind One St. Petersburg, a 41-story upscale condominium tower that is currently under construction at First Avenue North and First Street North.

"We want people to know the building is under new ownership and that improvements are coming," said Ken Jones, CEO of Third Lake. "We're looking for a new type of tenant for this building. We know it's a creative district and we want to attract more tech companies that employ millennials that fit in with the city's vibrancy."

Jones declined to comment on how much Third Lake would invest in improvements, but said it was "significant."

Current tenants in the tower include Priatek, iQor, Raymond James, American Express, Merrill Lynch, Trenam law firm, The Bank of Tampa, Sabal Trust Co. as well as The Mill and Subway restaurants. The tower is 76 percent occupied.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

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