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Bullard to control retail portion of Sundial parking garage

Veronica Brezina

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The Sundial parking garage, also known as the MidCore building. Google Maps.

Local real estate entrepreneurs Fred Bullard Sr. and his son are exercising their right to purchase part of the Sundial parking garage. 

The Bullards have leased the downtown St. Petersburg space at 117 2nd St. N. from the city for the past 22 years, and will now look to purchase the retail component within the parking structure. 

The retail tenants include Starbucks, The One Night Stand bar, Tranquility Day Spa, Mio’s Grill and Café, The Optic Shop, Diagnostic Imaging, Pure Natural Nail Lounger and a BayCare primary care center, according to the latest maps of the property. The tenants are not expected to be impacted by the purchase as it will be under the same controlling entity. 

On Thursday, the St. Petersburg City Council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, passed a resolution that ultimately would lead to dissolving the city’s stake in the parking garage. 

The council supported the partial termination and requested that the mayor authorizes the termination of the Final Disposition Agreement (FDA) on behalf of the CRA. The resolution passed by majority vote with councilmember Richie Floyd casting the sole no vote. Floyd explained he was in opposition to the purchase as he is against relinquishing city-owned assets. 

“We want to make sure it’s not an obstacle to the deposition of the property and quite honestly from the city’s perspective, it’s a tremendous benefit to us to terminate as much as we can for that agreement. All of the development provisions within that final deposition have been handled, taken care of and are in place,” city staff said. 

The resolution item is related to the agreement that has been in effect since the late ’90s. In 1998, the city entered into a Final Disposition Agreement with Sembler Group, which Bullard is connected to, along with other parties, for matters related to the development of Sundial, located at 153 2nd Ave. N., a movie theater complex and the city’s MidCore parking garage. 

“When we entered into the final disposition agreement (FDA) and master lease, part of that agreement allowed them the right to purchase that property so the authority was already provided to them under the lease and FDA,” staff said. 

“The CRA is an actual signatory to the actual FDA, which is not something that’s done anymore. It’s a technical step,” said Brad Tennant, the assistant city attorney, noting the needed approval from the CRA. 

Sundial. Google Earth

The expected purchase price for the ground floor retail was not disclosed; however, the city told the St. Pete Catalyst the purchase price is estimated to be roughly $2 million. The purchase price is based on the property’s assessed value and the tenant improvements. 

The option for Bullard Realty to buy the retail portion comes when the entire Sundial complex is going through a renaissance.

Florida-based Paradise Ventures group bought the Sundial shopping complex from longtime owner Bill Edwards earlier this year in a $21.13 million deal. 

Paradise Ventures is planning to fill the vacant retail and restaurant spaces. 

Today, the shopping center’s tenants include Sea Salt, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Chico’s, White House Black Market, Tommy Bahama, Diamonds Direct and the Man Cave barbershop, according to the Sundial’s website.

There are several large vacancies, including the spaces formerly occupied by FarmTable Kitchen and Locale Market. 

“Right now we are vetting ideas for the courtyard,” Paradise CEO Mike Connor told the Catalyst

Connor said they are also in the process of executing leases with two or three initial new tenants, which will be announced once the contracts are inked. 

Paradise Ventures is “not in a rush” to secure contracts and make abrupt changes to the shopping complex, as the group wants to take its time to get the right tenants aligned.

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