It seems wherever you go these days in downtown St. Pete you hear a cacophony of construction. Cranes, construction workers in neon jackets and sidewalk closed signs are common place sights. For pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, traversing downtown is a daily challenge of your patience and safety awareness.
Nearly a half billion dollars’ worth of construction is underway – museums, apartments, condos, a new police station and a dozen other projects mark one of the biggest downtown building booms in St. Petersburg’s 130-year history.
A former parking lot on Second Avenue S is now the site of the 9-story, 326-unit Avanti, due to be finished this spring. A Miami company has just acquired land for a 22-story, 217-unit apartment tower on Third Street S., and developer David Mack and his partners will seek construction bids for Halcyon, a 35-story, 305-unit tower across from Jannus Landing. These projects will add more than 1,500 rental units to the 1,340 finished in the last three years.
The popularity of the Beach Drive condos is fueling two mega projects – ONE St. Petersburg which is nearing completion as the tallest building on Florida’s west coast and a 40- to 50-story tower on Central Avenue planned by billionaire New York entrepreneur John Catsimatidis.
Status of the major projects include the following:
- Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, 350 3rd Ave N: Under construction, complete 2019
- Regent Lane, 145 4th Ave. NE: 20 townhomes, under construction, complete 2018
- ONE St. Petersburg, 1st Avenue N and 1st Street: 41 stories, 253 condos, under construction, complete 2018
- James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art: 100 Central Avenue: Grand opening 4/28-29/2018
- Halcyon apartment tower: 2nd Street N and 2nd Ave: 35 stories, 306 units, Announced
- Apartment tower: 211 3rd St. S: 22 stories, 210 units, Announced
- Condo tower: 3rd Street S and 4th Avenue: About 20 stories, 40-50 units, Announced
- VELA condos: 424 8th St. S: 8 stories, 23 condos, Announced
- Avanti apartments: 201 4th St S: 9 stories, 326 units, under construction, complete mid 2018
- Condos: 519 3rd Ave S: Up to 78 units, Announced
- Mixed-use tower: 400 block of Central Ave: 40-50 stories, Announced
- ICON Central apartments: 800 block of Central Ave: 15 stories, 368 units, ground-breaking 1/10/2019
- Central Flats apartments: 930 Central Avenue: six stories, 218 units, under construction, complete 2018
- District on 9th townhomes: 963 Arlington Avenue N: 34 homes, under construction, complete 2018
- Police headquarters and shooting range: 1301 1st Avenue N: under construction, complete late 2018
- 747 North Townhomes: 747 4th Ave N: 12 townhomes, construction to start soon, complete late 2018
The question is how long can the good times roll? St. Petersburg has had a history of “boom and bust” as evidenced in the St. Pete Preservation lecture series “Boom, Bust & the Burg” sponsored by Estelia Mesimer/RE/Max Retro.
Whether this frenetic growth is sustainable remains to be seen, but for now downtown St. Pete is the place to be!
Florida in the 1920s – The Great Florida Land Boom: http://floridahistory.org/landboom.htm
Secret Bank Records Shine Light on 1920s Boom and Bust: www.hearldtribune.com
The Making of St. Petersburg, by Will Michaels
St Petersburg and the Florida Dream, 1888-1950, by Raymond Arsenault