ST. PETERSBURG – A stretch of 34th Street S in the Skyway Marina District has become a hotbed of construction.
Three projects promising hundreds of apartments are set to rise, all within a short distance from each other.
Announced in 2016, the long-promised project by Phillips Development of Tampa is set for groundbreaking Friday. The $75 million Sur Club project at 3301 32nd Ave. S will include two restaurants.
ContraVest of Altamonte Springs broke ground on the site of a shuttered Kmart in July. Its 308-unit luxury apartment complex will be known as the Addison Skyway Marina. The multi-million-dollar project — Mark Ogier, principal of ContraVest, declined to give an exact figure — is expected to be finished in June 2021.
Marina Walk is the newest development to be announced. Demolition equipment quickly rolled in to flatten the Flamingo Resort after it was closed in July to make way for the new $50 million, 8-story, 245-apartment complex with water views. Demolition of the former hotel at 4601 34th St. S is expected to be complete by Wednesday, said Jack Dougherty, who owned the Flamingo and now has embarked on the new project.
The spate of apartment building is welcome in the young Skyway Marina District, situated at St. Petersburg’s southernmost point, near the Skyway Bridge, Eckerd College and Boca Ciega Bay. The business district stretches from 30th Avenue S to 54th Avenue S along 34th Street, and includes businesses west, such as Maximo Marina, which recently underwent a $25 million renovation.
The district and its neighbors are now lobbying the city to co-name 37th Street S, which runs alongside the marina, Skyway Marina Boulevard. “It’s important for the brand. If we can get it done, it will be a good thing,” said Dougherty, who has been at the district’s forefront, serving until October as its president. “I think that the Skyway Marina District is the city’s last hidden gem.”
The U-shaped Marina Walk complex will face west toward Boca Ciega Bay, its entrance located on the hoped for Skyway Marina Boulevard. The complex will have a garage and its one- and two-bedroom apartments will be larger than those currently being built, Dougherty said.
Units from the third floor up will have water views, he said. The complex will also feature a two-story sky lounge, encompassing the seventh and eighth floors. The ground floor will have a small coffee shop. “The building is right on the Pinellas Trail. We are hoping that people walking the trail and jogging or riding will stop by,” Dougherty said.
He describes the architectural style of the new complex as “Miami Modern,” borrowing from the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. It will feature large patios and lots of glass. The colors will be white and aqua. “There is nothing else in the area like this,” Dougherty said.
The complex is also being built with concrete and steel to withstand high winds and deaden sound between the walls, he added.
Given his project’s views, unit sizes and parking garage, Dougherty has declared it more high end than the luxury apartments being built by ContraVest. He expects to attract married professionals between the ages of 30 and 60.
He said it was a bittersweet feeling to close the Flamingo, renovated from an old hotel he bought in 2009 and transformed into the popular gay-friendly resort. “There were a lot of memories there," he said. "The clientele was great, but it was time to move on and do something else.”
Stone columns will start to go in after Thanksgiving. The new complex is expected to be complete by the summer of 2021.