With the limited amount of downtown parking for employees and visitors, the city has agreed to enter an agreement with the developer of the mixed-used Mid-Core building to secure the parking spaces.
The Mid-Core parking garage, also referred to as the Sundial garage, has 250 covered spaces city employees use and ground floor retail with tenants including Starbucks, the One Night Stand bar, Tranquility Day Spa, Mio’s Grill and Café, and The Optic Shop, according to the latest maps of the property.
During a Thursday St. Petersburg City Council meeting, the members unanimously supported several actions to retain the public use designation of the spaces inside the building, located at 117 2nd St. N.
“Every year, we do a setup and tear down of the Grand Prix and actually have to displace a significant number of Al Lang [Stadium] and Mahaffey Theater parking. We need to make sure we have that protection to provide those parkers a place to go,” outgoing City Manager Joe Zeoli said.
In June 2022, local real estate entrepreneurs Fred Bullard Sr. and his son, who have leased the building from the city for over 20 years, purchased the ground floor of the garage. The deed was transferred to a commercial condominium form of ownership with the city owning the remaining floors.
Last month, through the Chaco I LLC entity, the pair notified the city that they intend to purchase floors two through seven.
“We had this right [to purchase] and used it to negotiate with the developer for several key elements that were important to the city and general public. The first thing is we decided we would look at the purchase of the building in two phases,” Zeoli said.
Without a new agreement, the developer wouldn’t have an obligation to allow public parking within the garage.
The supported action includes a resolution acknowledging the purchase of floors from the developer and continuation of the purchase option for floor seven; authorizing the execution of a parking agreement with the developer, and the assignments of city agreements for security and management of the Mid-Core Garage.
The city is allowing the developer to purchase the building in two phases: Phase 1: The purchase of floors two through six for $11 million. Phase 2: An option to purchase floor seven for $4 million, and the developer must agree to operate Mid-Core as a public parking facility for 25 years.
The cost formula was based on historical construction costs to the city and debt, the appraised value and costs offset by the parking revenue the city earns.
“It’s not beneficial in the city’s interest to retain ownership. If the remaining portions of it are [owned by a] private entity ownership, which is what we are talking about here, we’d become a silent partner in the Mid-Core Condo Association,” Zeoli said. “Without an agreement with the owner, we wouldn’t have assurance of the commitment for parking.”