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County allocates $4.9 million to St. Pete industrial complex

Mark Parker

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The Gateway Logistics Center's first phase recently opened after extensive soil remediation. County funding will support the second phase. Screengrab, county documents.

An embattled $57.2 million industrial project in north St. Petersburg’s Gateway area will soon move into its second phase with the help of Pinellas County’s Employment Sites Program funding.

At their June 11 meeting, county commissioners unanimously approved allocating $4.9 million for the Gateway Logistics Center. Greystar Development is overseeing the 61-acre property’s transformation at 2690 Gateway Centre Pkwy.

The site currently features 291,000 square feet of Class A industrial space across three new buildings. The development will encompass over 622,000 square feet once completed.

Teresa Brydon, business development manager for the county, noted that Greystar did not request county subsidies during the massive project’s first phase. However, the Charleston, South Carolina-based firm has encountered significant construction hurdles.

“Unfortunately, they hit huge obstacles because of the dirt and the land underneath it,” Brydon explained. “They literally have to take time to build up this land and make sure it becomes a stable ground in order for them to build the facilities.”

A rendering of the Gateway Logistics Center. Image: Greystar Development.

St. Petersburg-based Jabil formerly owned the expansive property. The electronics manufacturer once envisioned it housing a new global headquarters.

Jabil’s leadership pursued another option and sold the land to Greystar subsidiaries for $32 million. In March 2022, the development firm announced plans to dedicate 61 acres to industrial uses and 18 for a 425-unit apartment complex.

A development agreement mandated Greystar to build at least 200,000 square feet of industrial space before or concurrently with the mixed-income Marlowe Gateway apartments. It features 85 units for households earning up to 120% of the area median income.

Construction on the housing development will conclude later this year. The industrial complex’s first phase recently opened after overcoming adverse soil conditions.

“The length of time, as well as the costs associated with it, was unfathomable to them (Greystar),” Brydon said. “When they bought that land, they had no clue they were going to be up against that.”

County documents state that the Employment Sites funding will mitigate “geotechnical issues” and the “surcharging of the building pads to poor soil conditions.” The money will also help Greystar purchase additional concrete.

The first building in the project’s second phase will encompass 92,838 square feet. The remaining two structures will each provide 119,477 square feet of industrial and share a truck court. All three will feature 32-foot clear heights.

The site is in an industrial area with a Target Employment Center overlay. Greystar expects the facilities to accommodate over 600 jobs. The firm once estimated that the project would provide over 3,300.

The project is speculative and lacks potential tenants. However, “it provides the county with new industrial facilities that are expected to be quickly absorbed due to the low vacancy rates for industrial building at this time throughout Pinellas,” the document read.

According to its website, leasing is now open for the Marlowe Gateway apartments. Photo: Greystar Development.

Commissioners also approved five other employment site funding requests. The McCormick Stevenson Corp. will receive $221,000 to retrofit a retail space in Dunedin into a new military systems manufacturing and testing facility.

AlloCyte requested $1.9 million to help ensure an outdated Palm Harbor facility is suitable for manufacturing organ preservation liquids. Documents state the company is a new startup that plans to hire 60 additional people.

Commissioners allocated $115,000 for Hero Products to purchase the fill dirt necessary to raise an industrial site in Tarpon Springs and build a loading dock. MicroLumen received $2.8 million to demolish a call center and build a medical tubing manufacturing facility in Oldsmar.

Pinellas Provision Holdings will use $1.2 million in funding to meet Florida Department of Transportation site and stormwater requirements. Documents state the money will allow the meat processing company to remain in Pinellas Park and expand operations.

The Employment Sites Program has awarded $26 million in Penny for Pinellas tax dollars through its first five funding rounds. Six completed projects totaling $11 million have added nearly 450,000 square feet of workspace.

Another 14 projects totaling over $14 million are pending or under construction. County officials plan to award more than $90 million through the program in the next decade.

 

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