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Condo tower near Mirror Lake wins approval, DeNunzio project advances

Margie Manning

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Conceptual design of Reflection, an 18-story building with 88 condominium units and ground floor retail at 8th Street North and 3rd Avenue North.

An 18-story mixed-use development with 88 condominium units is planned near Mirror Lake in downtown St. Petersburg.

The project advanced Wednesday, when the site plan won unanimous approval from the St. Petersburg Development Review Commission.

The building, called Reflection, is planned at 8th Street and 3rd Avenue North, on land that currently serves as a parking lot of the Lyceum, an event venue now being used for worship services by Bridgepoint Church. Bridgepoint has agreed to sell the parking lot to developer Mirror Lake Place LLC, a group led by Fred Hemmer, a veteran of the real estate and banking industries.

 

The ground floor will have 3,800 square feet of retail space, as well as a residential lobby and access to the parking garage. The second through sixth floors of the building will be devoted to parking, with the residential tower on top of the six-story parking base. The rooftop will have a pool and other outdoor amenities.

In order to maximize the density of the project, Mirror Lake Place has agreed to provide financial support for the city’s affordable housing fund and to buy transfer of development rights from a locally designated landmark. Purchasing TDR’s prevents historic properties from being demolished.

Based on construction costs of $44 million, Mirror Lake Place will paid $220,000 to the affordable housing fund, and will buy 87,117 square feet of transfer of development rights, Corey Malyszka, urban design and development coordinator, told the commission.

Malyszka and other city staff recommended approval of the project, provided the developer agreed to several special condition, including providing public art at the site or contributing to the city’s downtown public art program, and providing 67 parking spaces for the Lyceum in the parking garage. Mirror Lake Place agreed to all the conditions, according to Don Mastry, an attorney at Trenam Law who represented the developer.

Separately, the Development Review Commission approved a measure to advance the 25-story mixed-use development planned by DeNunzio Group at 1st Avenue and 5th Street North.

The southern boundary of the project is an alley, and the developer asked the commission to vacate some of the alley air rights in order to build the parking garage structure that is part of the project.


Related story: Despite dip, future of development looks bright in St. Pete  


A couple who lives in a condo just south of the project objected to the proposal, raising safety concerns and saying the exhaust fumes from cars in the parking garage would be overwhelming.

Dustin DeNunzio, president of DeNunzio Group, said he’s worked closely with the city of St. Petersburg on the project, trying to further the city’s goal of providing additional parking downtown. DeNunzio said he has met with the condo residents and will do whatever he can to help them.

“If the commission wants to put in a requirement for us to work with our neighbors and screen a portion of the property or all of the garage in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to our neighbors and is safer, and if we need to vent in a certain direction, we are very amenable to working with the city and with our neighbors,” DeNunzio said. “We’re planning to be there for a very long time so what we’d like to do is try to work with everyone and do the best we can. I would welcome a condition like that and we will do our best to make sure it looks good and it functions properly.”

The commission voted unanimously to vacate the alley air rights, and said it would consider design ideas to minimize the impact of the project on the neighbors during an upcoming site review.

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