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In the past six years, downtown St. Petersburg has seen an amazing renaissance. Scores of condos have been built, the BayWalk movie and entertainment complex opened, and downtown again has become a center of activity. But what has happened where? And what is still to come? Here is a list of the larger projects already done and yet to come.
By SHARON BOND, Neighborhood Times Business Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 23, 2003
1. VINOY PLACE, 555 Fifth Ave. NE. Status: Near complete. This project, situated near and named after the historic Renaissance Vinoy Resort, consists of four newly built towers with 92 condominiums. The project also has 10 so-called city homes facing Fifth Avenue. Prices range from $500,000 to $2.2-million. In 2001, residents began moving in.
2. OPUS 400, the 400 block of Beach Drive NE. Status: Planned. Not yet named, this project consists of a 27- to 30-story condominium tower with 145 units. No prices have been set. The tower's design is expected to be more contemporary than other buildings along Beach Drive that draw from the Mediterranean Revival style. A lower building will sit in front of and around the sides of the tower and include townhouses and retail space.
3. STRAUB COURT, Fourth Avenue N between Third and Fourth streets. Status: Complete. This townhome group is representative of a number of smaller residential projects being built throughout downtown: new construction with architectural flair, amenities and prices in the $200,000 range. Straub Court has 14 townhomes. Residents moved in in 2001.
4. PENNSYLVANIA HOTEL, 300 Fourth St. N. Status: Planned. As in the case of the Detroit, initial plans for this 1925 seasonal hotel called for it to be renovated and continue as an inn. However, condominiums turned out to be a better economic deal for the seven-floor building. It will have 18 units of loft-style residences priced in the $227,000 to $315,000 range.
5. HUNTINGTON, 350 Second St. N. Status: Complete. An old hotel was torn down to make way for these two-story townhomes, which then adopted the hotel's name. The 27 residences marked the first new residential construction downtown since the 1980s. In 1998, residents began moving in. Initial townhome prices ranged from $159,999 to $169,999.
6. BAYWALK, bounded by Second and Third avenues N and First and Second streets. Status: Complete. This entertainment/retail center was a $40-million project that opened in November 2000. It features a 20-screen Muvico theater and a number of restaurants and retail shops. It has become a social meeting place for teens. It generates a lot of pedestrian traffic, some of which spills into other parts of downtown.
7. OPUS 300, Beach Drive NE and First Street on the north side of Third Avenue. Status: Planned. Still in the planning stages, this as-yet named project will be another condominium tower. It is expected to have 30 stories and 120 units. Developers have not put prices on the homes. The building also will have some retail space at the street level.
8. CLOISTERS, 288 Beach Drive NE. Status: Complete. The first of the new luxury condominium high-rises, the Cloisters has 32 units on 14 floors. In 1999, residents began moving in. Prices for the units ranged from $340,000 to $1.5-million, something of a shock for St. Petersburg's downtown at that time. Retail space is on the street level.
9. HAMPTON INN & SUITES, 80 Beach Drive NE. Status: Complete. This new hotel, the first to open downtown in more than a decade, sits beside the Florencia condominium building and shares some of the same architectural accents. It was an $8-million project. An office building initially was planned for the space but demand for hotel rooms was stronger. The inn has four stories and 91 rooms, plus a first-floor meeting room. Rates per night are in the $100 range.
10. FLORENCIA, 100 Beach Drive NE. Status: Complete. Right down the street from the Cloisters, this new high-rise has 21 stories with 50 condominiums. It was built on the site of one of the city's boom-time hotels, the Soreno, which was torn down before the condos were planned. The Florencia was completed in 2000 with prices ranging from $375,000 to $1.75-million. It has ground-floor retail space.
11. DETROIT HOTEL, 215 Central Ave. Status: Complete. This historic hotel survived destruction and has been converted to urban condominiums. Residents began moving in last year. Prices on the 24 condominiums on floors two, three, and four of the four-story hotel range from $159,000 to $290,000.
12. SNELL ARCADE, 405 Central Ave. Status: In progress. A trademark of downtown, this nine-floor, castle-like office building from 1928 is being converted to 11 residential condominiums. Prices run from the low to mid $300,000s with the exception of the tiny penthouse, $100,000, and the large third floor condo with courtyard, just under $500,000.
13. YMCA, 116 Fifth St. S. Status: In progress. Construction is under way to turn this civic building from the 1920s into 15 luxury condominiums. The building is four floors with an ornate exterior, including balconies and a tower. Its units will start in the $400,000 range.
14. UNIVERSITY VILLAGE, 224 Third St. S. Status: Planned. A long-time downtown business, Dew Cadillac, moved out this year to make room for a new shopping center with a Publix grocery and an Eckerd drug store. University Village is a $13-million project. It brings to the downtown a long-sought grocery, an amenity needed more and more as the number of downtown residents increases. Demolition begins on the car dealership soon. The Publix should open late this year or early next year.
15. MCNULTY LOFTS, 101 Second St. S. Status: Planned. Floor plans are drawn for this 85-unit project, which will sit on top of an existing garage. Prices will be between $189,000 to the mid $500,000s. Already 24 of the units are sold, and the developer has not yet begun marketing McNulty Lofts.
16. CARLTON TOWERS, 470 Third St. S. Status: Planned. Carlton was built as an apartment building 40 years ago. A buyer who hopes to seal his deal to purchase the Y-shaped building by the end of the month plans to turn the 183 apartments into condominiums with prices ranging from $69,000 to $200,000.
17. MADISON, on two city blocks bounded by First and Third streets S, and Fourth Avenue and Delmar Terrace. Status: Complete. This recently finished development of flats and townhomes contains 277 luxury apartments, the first such rental units downtown. Base rents range from $850 per month for a small studio to $1,745 per month for a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. Extra charges are added for views and for the higher floors and can push rents beyond $2,000 per month.