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Developer behind Moxy Hotel project in Edge District alters plan

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the 163-room Moxy hotel. PTM Partners/Storyn Studio.

The group behind the proposed Moxy Hotel-anchored project in the Edge District has reworked its initial plans and has joined forces with a new joint venture partner. 

Miami-based PTM Partners, one of the leading opportunity zone-focused development firms in the country, is developing The Edge Collective. The mixed-use development will be anchored by a 163-key Moxy Hotel by Marriott on a 1.6-acre parcel on 1234-1246 Central Ave. 

The site is currently a parking lot and there’s a vacant, freestanding four-story, 28,708-square-foot retail building that formerly operated as a furniture store and showroom. PTM Partners acquired the site in 2019 for $13 million. 

The plans for The Edge Collective project have been in the works over the last several years, but when the ball was starting to roll on the project, the group had to hit the pause button. 

“We were going through permitting and working through the construction documents and that’s when the pandemic hit,” said Michael Tillman, co-founder and CEO of PTM. “Rather than changing course and selling the site or building multifamily units there, we decided to hold firm on our plans of the Moxy Hotel.”

The Edge Collective. Rendering: PTM Partners and Storyn Studio. 

The Moxy Hotel by Marriott, which would be the first lifestyle hotel for downtown St. Petersburg’s Edge District, along with other mixed-use developments, was expected to be completed in 2022. However, due to the pandemic, the project will now break ground this year.  

“We love downtown and at the time we purchased the site, it was one of the largest undeveloped sites on Central with 1st Avenue connectivity,” he said. “In a weird way, the pandemic may have been the best thing for us. We want to be longtime partners in this community. During this time, we’ve become more involved in the neighborhood and learned more about the district.” 

As the pandemic ensured during that time, Tillman launched The Edge Collective Urban Market Place, a type of pop-up market, that provided temporary spaces for startups and displaced vendors suffering from the impacts of the pandemic to have spaces along Central Avenue and do business. The marketplace used shipping containers and outfitted them with kitchens.

Now with circling back to the table, PTM Partners has formed a new partnership with Fort Lauderdale-based DoveHill Capital Management on the hotel. Tillman said the duo has a “symbiotic relationship” and DoveHill, a vertically integrated hospitality real estate developer, is well-known in the industry for The Dalmar hotel in South Florida. 

“There is such a tremendous art community in St. Pete, so we want to have rotating exhibitions in the hotel and the green spaces like you’d see in New York,” Tillman added about the vision for the development. 

The Philadelphia-based Wurzak Hotel Group will manage the hotel. Once complete, it will feature a lobby bar, a coffee shop, a rooftop restaurant and a rooftop pool. 

Tillman explained both his firm and DoveHill have an extensive relationship with Marriott, which was seeking a presence in St. Pete. Tillman said it so happened that the site Marriott was eyeballing is the site PTM purchased. 

PTM’s initial plans that will also remain include a very large open-air green space between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue that would be a community gathering area for cocktails and special occasions such as sports viewing events. 

A central component of the Edge Collective will be a mid-block retail arcade/paseo that will lead directly to Tropicana Field. Rendering: PTM Partners and Storyn Studio.

“With the Tropicana Field stadium behind us, whatever redevelopment happens around the stadium, it will create tremendous activation and we want a natural bridge between Central and 1st [Avenues],” Tillman said. 

However, the plans of converting the vacant commercial building on the site at 1246 Central Ave. into a potential food hall and co-working hub have altered. 

Jamal Wilson, who owns The Hall on Franklin in Tampa Heights, planned to open a 12,000-square-foot food hall, The Hall on Central, on the lower two floors of an existing building just to the west of the parking lot. Steve Gianfilippo’s Gianco Companies, which owns Station House, was expected to run a 17,000-square-foot co-working space on the upper two floors of the building.

“The co-working concept will not be happening. We will renovate the building and use it for commercial use,” Tillman said, adding how there’s a rise of tech and finance firms growing and relocating to St. Pete. 

“We are still exploring a food hall opportunity, but for now, we are listing it as [traditional] retail space,” he said. 

PTM Partners has two opportunity zone funds dedicated toward the development of the site. The group raised $100 million for the first fund, and the second fund is north of $150 million.

Tillman said he expects the entire project will take 20-22 months to complete and it will not open in phases. 

Tillman said The Edge Collective development may not be the sole project PTM will build in the city.

“We are looking at the new multifamily builds and the majority of them are market-rate units. If we had an opportunity, we’d like to introduce a new product geared toward workforce and accessible housing – it’s a model we know we can replicate,” he said. 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    RICHARD WASILIK

    January 6, 2022at11:02 am

    I think the ideas are good, however we need to remember that our affordable housing is getting less and less.

    I am in the property management profession and am concerned about this.

    Everyone seems to talk about it but no one does anything about it.

    It is something that should also be addressed.

  2. Avatar

    Danny E White

    January 6, 2022at4:43 pm

    The former furniture store space could be converted to micro-suite units with common kitchen and gathering spaces, much like some of the better communal-type college dorms. These can be transition housing for younger people just getting started in their career. A 540sf unit could fetch, say $17 per sf? That may be delusional on my part, but it’s just an idea that could very well address the constant outcry over increasingly sparse inventory of ‘affordable housing.’

  3. Avatar

    steve sullivan

    January 10, 2022at6:01 pm

    Danny E White, you are not delusional. You are on to something there. But the first thing I would do if I were the Welch administration would be to propose a tenants bill of right ordinance as is being suggested, that would make it illegal to reject a renter based on the renters source of income or payment. This would immediately release existing housing units and make them available to the public at large. It would also diversify local neighborhoods and disperse concentrations of poverty. This can be done immediately by council and doesn’t tread on state law. Secondly, city owned land sold to developers need more teeth in them that mandates a higher percentage of affordable units. Right now its subjective. That is a administrative policy change and doesn’t require a council vote. And, thirdly, council and administrative need to revisit zoning. It seems haphazard and not well thought out. Like council and administration had no vision for the future and looked to developers for guidance instead of locals.

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