The 4th Street corridor in St. Petersburg continues to be a very hot real estate market, a leading broker says, citing his latest deal as evidence.
HSW Associates Inc. in Tampa bought Garden Shoppes of St. Pete, a 7,260-square-foot retail strip center at 1535-1575 4th St. N., for $2.975 million.
Mike Milano was part of the team at Colliers International that represented the seller, J Square 4th Street Partners LLC. Amy Barrett of Colliers International represented HSW, a family owned and operated property investment and management group with more than 160 properties in its portfolio.
The Garden Shoppes property was originally built in 1940 as one of the first auto dealerships in St. Petersburg, Brown Nash Motors. It was an antique mall when J Square acquired it in 2006, paying $1.1 million, according to Pinellas County property records. J Square completely renovated the property into contemporary retail space, restoring its original Art Deco features and attracting a mix of local and national tenants.
It is currently fully occupied by three tenants: fitness facility F45 Training, First American Title and Canvas Fashion Gallery.
When Milano and the rest of the Colliers International team —Sean Glickman, Chris Smith and Brandon Rapone — took the property to market, it received a great response, typical of properties on 4th Street, Milano said.
“It’s driven a lot by demographics and access and proximity to downtown. Downtown St. Pete has been going through a tremendous revival for the last four to five years with a lot of exciting things going on, and a lot of that energy radiates out. 4th Street is a prime corridor, with good accessibility, good traffic, good demographics and great density. Retail is driven primarily by the demographics. It’s driven by population densities, population income levels, traffic counts,” Milano said. “4th Street just checks all the boxes.”
Milano sees no sign of a slowdown, as Florida continues to attract about 900 new residents every day.
“There’s a lot of investing going on in Florida and when you drill it to the micro level, 4th Street is the beneficiary of that. We don’t see anything changing that anytime soon,” he said.
Other strong retail submarkets include the Tyrone area in St. Petersburg, Gulf to Bay in Clearwater, and Oldsmar, said Milano, a 26-year veteran of Colliers International.
“Pinellas County is so densely populated that almost any main roadway — East Bay, Ulmerton, US 19, Gulf to Bay — if you can find properties to buy, to assemble, to redevelop, to repurpose, they seem to get a very strong reception in general,” Milano said.
This property on 4th Street was a good fit for HSW, the new owner, because it’s in the wheelhouse of the types of properties they acquire and manage, said Barrett, director of retail and office services at Colliers International Tampa Bay.
“HSW is committed to making long-term investments in the Tampa Bay area and advancing the steady growth of downtown St. Petersburg,” Barrett said.
Jay Miller, president of J Square Developers, is a principal in EDGE Central Development Partners, the team selected by Mayor Rick Kriseman to redevelop the site of the former St. Petersburg Police headquarters at 1300 1st Ave. N.