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City approves 21-story tower

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of the tower as seen from Mirror Lake. All images: City of St. Petersburg documents/ODP Architects.

Several vacant buildings stretching from 1st Avenue to Arlington Avenue could meet the wrecking ball as a newly proposed tower is poised to ascend in their place.

Today the St. Petersburg City Council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), unanimously approved Gravel Road Partners’ plan to build a 21-story, mixed-use tower at 685 and 699 1st Ave. North and 694 Arlington Ave. North near Mirror Lake. The CRA found it consistent with the Intown West Redevelopment Plan.

The developer submitted plans to build the tower that would feature 200 residential units, 10,843 square feet of commercial space and a 264-space parking garage.

A rendering of the building as seen from Mirror Lake Drive N.

The 0.57-acre site has two one-story office buildings, a two-story triplex and a surface parking lot that would be demolished for the $63.5 million project.

“The site is in the residential area of the Intown West Redevelopment Plan, which is intended to implement the 24-hour, work, live and play environment component,” Trenam Law attorney Don Mastry, representing the applicant, said during the meeting; the structure will be 175 feet west of  Mirror Lake Drive and in the DC-1 zoning.

“There are no residents or occupants in any of the buildings,” he said, describing the components of the project, including a large grass area to the east toward Mirror Lake. On the north and east side, a 22-foot plaza space open to the public would reduce the mass of the building on the ground level.

“The plaza runs from Arlington Avenue to 1st Avenue, providing a midblock pedestrian connection between these two roads,” Mastry added.

The ground floor of the proposed 21-story building would face the west side of the property, leaving a large outdoor space at the northeast corner. The ground floor would consist of a residential lobby, commercial space and a parking garage entrance. Floors two through seven would house the parking. The eighth floor would consist of amenity space and residential units with the remaining levels of the tower consisting of residential units, according to the application.

A rendering of the tower’s outdoor dining area.

The renderings and site plans show the developer is working with Hollywood, Florida-based O’Donnell Dannwolf and Partners (ODP) Architects Inc.

The developer would contribute $1.27 million to the Housing and Capital Improvement Trust Fund for workforce housing as a result of seeking a 4.0 FAR (floor area ratio) density bonus, totaling a FAR of 7.0.

The next step is for the project to go before the Development Review Commission.

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