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City supports 900 Central project

Veronica Brezina

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The redevelopment project for 900 Central Ave. All renderings: City of St. Petersburg documents.

A new redevelopment project in the Edge District, which will leave a historic building intact, is moving forward with a nod from city council. 

During Thursday’s city council meeting, the council members, meeting as the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency), unanimously supported the proposed redevelopment of 900 Central Ave., entailing the construction of a 14-story building with hotel rooms and apartment units. 

The $58.1 million project is being proposed by The Dinerstein Companies, which is based in Houston. The full scope of the development includes 185 dwelling units, 20 hotel rooms, 9,961 square feet of commercial space and a 204-space parking garage. 

The project site encompasses the entire block, but the main 900 Central Ave. building will be preserved as the large mixed-use tower will be built south of the vintage 1920s structure, originally a hotel. 

The building at 900 Central Avenue. GoogleMaps.

The retention of the building was made possible through a multi-year effort by the association in collaboration with the property owner and development team. It was noted during the meeting that the Edge Business District Association supports the project, which was previously granted site plan approval and received approval from the development review commission. 

Trenam Law attorney Don Mastry, representing the developer, said the development plan is consistent with the Intown West Redevelopment Plan and that the site is currently underutilized with a surface parking lot and outdated retail buildings. The applicant will be demolishing the surface parking lot to develop the tower, which will also include 10% of workforce housing. 

“This is complementary to the area,” councilmember Gina Driscoll said. 

The property is zoned DC-1, which permits multifamily units and commercial uses with a FAR (floor area ratio) of up to 7.0. The project would have a 5.0 FAR and a height of 150 feet, abiding by the zoning code. 

Rendering of the redevelopment project for 900 Central Ave. 

The retail entrances for the new proposed development will be on Central Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S. There will be 10-foot sidewalks and streetscaping, and the ground level lobby and resident amenities fronting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street S., “which will activate this corridor,” according to the application. 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Eva Bryce

    December 1, 2022at4:55 pm

    More high rises that the base of St.Pete residents can’t afford, with an infrastructure and sewage system that already can’t handle the amount of residents we have now without dumping sewage into our bay! You’re not serving the community, you’re serving your own pocketbooks, gentrifying the city, and only trying to attract the wealthy! Shame on you for allowing this!!!

  2. Avatar

    John

    December 2, 2022at9:06 am

    We have a housing shortage and an inventory issue. Can’t afford it, move somewhere else. But don’t blame the government for your issues. This will be great for Central Ave and the Edge District.

  3. Avatar

    Carl Hebinck

    December 2, 2022at11:38 am

    If I’m reading correctly the 185 units proposed would include only 10% for workforce people [18.5]. Is this justification? I’ve proposed a plan where we could supply 1000’s of ADU houses in So. St. Pete at half the cost, in half the time and with half the GHG’s…..building them for under $!00 per sq ft. when current residential construction is going for $220 per sq. ft. I can offer this detailed information freely to ANYONE desiring it.

  4. Avatar

    tdj

    December 2, 2022at1:38 pm

    Way to miss the entire point, John. Thought I don’t agree with every point that the OP made, what do you think a government is funded to do?

    Tell you what: when the sewage backs up into streets, yards, and homes; water quality plummets; beaches erode (with current replenishment costing of $50/cubic yard flowing to South Florida from here, 5x what it was long ago) even more than they have, and what’s left of the city’s charm fades into the same generic Anytown prefab that dominates every place these people are coming from they will move on. So is that your vision of how society should function? Like locusts?

  5. Avatar

    John

    December 2, 2022at3:00 pm

    TDJ, you may be new here, so I’ll leave you the benefit of the doubt. The sewage issues that persisted years ago have received over $300M in Sewer System upgrades from the government. This doomsday scenario that you seem to present just isn’t based in reality. The reality is that St. Pete is one of the most sought-after cities in the country and investment will continue to pour in. I’d also try to figure out your basis on this “anytown prefab” that these people are coming from comment, but you just sound salty that changes are occurring to the city and more people around the country are beginning to discover it.

    I’m not pro-build anything anywhere in St. Pete, but when it comes to housing, this is a tough one to argue. St Pete and the developer will successfully preserve a historic building, while adding housing in a desirable area.

    Win-Win

  6. Avatar

    Steve D

    December 4, 2022at8:57 am

    Thank you, John, for stating facts, not hyperbole. The “don’t allow it to be built and they won’t come” strategy is already a failed experiment. I lived in NIMBY-land for 9 years, better known as California. What a housing nightmare, mainly caused by the strategy of using environmental litigation to delay or kill housing projects. Beware these people; they are the path to ruin.

  7. Avatar

    tdj

    December 5, 2022at4:52 pm

    I’m not new and the amount spent does not mean it will be effective or was even sufficient or well targeted (as in what capacity was it built for and where). I’ll let what actually happens speak for itself.

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