The DeNunzio Group plans to build a hotel with some retail and residential components on the northern edge of downtown St. Petersburg.
The real estate development and consulting firm, based in Boston and with a growing presence in St. Petersburg, paid $4.8 million for just under an acre of land at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue North and 1st Street North. The deal closed late Wednesday night, said Jon Wittner, director, South Tampa, for KW Commercial.
It’s the second St. Pete project for DeNunzio Group. The St. Petersburg City Council last month approved a term sheet with the company for a proposed mixed use project that includes public parking and office space at 1st Avenue North and 5th Street North, just a block from City Hall.
The 5th Avenue/1st Street North site is a different type of property, said Dustin DeNunzio, president of DeNunzio Group.
“This one is more toward the waterfront and that appeals to us,” DeNunzio said.
The site offers an opportunity to develop a project that fits with the vibrancy and architecture of the Old Northeast neighborhood just a block away, said Jake Wollman, CRE advisor for KW Commercial in St. Petersburg, who along with Wittner was the transactional broker on the deal.
“The quality and style of the hotel will be a really nice addition for the neighborhood, for when parents or grandparents come to town,” Wollman said. “It will be a neighborhood scale hotel.”
The project will have some challenges, including a historic component to some of the property, DeNunzio said.
“There’s no project that’s without challenges,” he said. “The city of St. Petersburg has demonstrated that they are in favor of smart growth. This would be a key property for smart growth.”
There are height limits on property in the area, which DeNunzio said was a good thing. “It’s not our intention to squeeze every bit of density out of it … We’re interested in a development that makes sense for us and the city and the neighbors.”
It’s too early to say how much the project might cost, he said.
The sale has been nearly two years in the making, while the seller worked through title issues, Wollman said.
“The DeNunzio Group hung on and they are excited about the potential on site,” Wollman said.