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Development team addresses parking for proposed Edge hotel

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of Eastman Equity's proposed hotel at 1111 Central Ave. All images: City of St. Petersburg/Alfonso Architects.

A proposed hotel that a development team is describing as a “corner jewel for the Edge District” is moving forward, as the team works with the district on parking improvements. 

St. Petersburg developer Jon Daou, president of Eastman Equity, working in coordination with Tampa-based Alfonso Architects and David Moore, is proposing to build a 13-story, 114-room hotel and mixed-use development at 1111 Central Ave., on the corner of Central Avenue and 11th Street North. 

During Nov. 10’s city council meeting, the members voted unanimously, finding the project is consistent with the Intown West Redevelopment Plan; however, it will need to address parking concerns as it could interfere with the beautification project of Baum Avenue, according to the Edge Business District Association. 

The property has green space, multiple commercial strictures and a surface parking lot. 

The $26 million project has a two-phase approach: Phase 1 entails constructing the 95,000-square-foot hotel on the green space at Central Avenue and 11th Street North.

Renderings of the 1111 Central Ave. hotel and mixed-use development.

The group would demolish the existing vacant structure at 1201 Central Ave. and repurpose an existing 3,000-square-foot commercial building.

As part of Phase 1, Intermezzo Coffee’s building would be demolished. The space would be converted to a pedestrian-only connection “promoting cross-block connectivity” and would be adjacent to the hotel, according to city documents.

Phase 2 includes redeveloping the valet parking area into an urban garden and detached single-story garden bar.

A Nov. 3 letter indicates the Edge Business District Association does not support the project, primarily due to concerns with the valet parking lot. During the public speaking portion, several board members said the current valet parking negatively impacts the Baum Avenue improvements project along with creating congestion on 11th Street North and Central. Therefore, the board wishes to work with the development team in securing offsite parking. 

“The bottom line,” said board member Leslie Curran, “is we are very disappointed – we had an agreement regarding the parking and the valet stipulation for the tenant, and a 10-year agreement to do offsite parking, and then at the last minute they reneged.”

At the podium, Moore said the team has engaged with the Edge Business District Association on multiple occasions and understands the need for parking solutions, but said a 10-year agreement is a major commitment to pursue before dirt is moved for the project.  

He said the first step is for council to approve the item to move forward, and then continue working with the city and district regarding offsite parking solutions, which may be presented at a later time. 

“It’s going to be a jewel on that corner and a real anchor to the entire edge district,” Moore said, also informing the board that the project will create 85 direct jobs, over 100 direct and indirect together, and bring an additional $3 million impact to the district. 

Jack Kane, director of business development for Tampa-based Evolution Parking and Guest Services, which works with the Vinoy, the Hilton Downtown Tampa hotel and many others, said the parking situation would be similar to Hotel Haya in Ybor City, which also has an offsite parking requirement. 

Speakers also took to the podium to voice support for the overall project in helping evolve the growth of the district. 

Alberto Alfonso, whose Alfonso Architects worked on the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in downtown St. Pete, said this mixed-use hotel project would be its second project to design in the city and said it is on the same level as The Tampa Edition hotel. 

The newly proposed hotel would have two high-quality restaurants and a cafe. 

Jarrett Sabatini, who opened Intermezzo Coffee (the same building that would be demolished for this project), said this project is exciting and needed for the continuation of the evolution of the district. 

He said during his first two years of doing business in St. Pete, there wasn’t a “real neighborhood,” recalling how he would park in a dirt lot next to his building, but over a six-year period, it has “blown up.” 

“This is a huge opportunity to solidify the Edge,” Sabatini said. “It’s going to bring really good clientele to the neighborhood.”  

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    November 14, 2022at5:02 pm

    They are clearly pushing this parking matter further down the road and passing it off as if it’s not a concern and that we (residents of St Pete) should just be ecstatic that a “jewel” will be built and bring some jobs.

    I live in the Edge. And yes I would like to see something like this be built here. But I’m not going to hope that parking is going to be ok and that they’ll get it addressed later down the road. They’ll keep pushing this out, and the available land/space to do parking will be gone by the time they come around to it, and then they’ll have no solution and we the residents, our guests and other businesses will just have to suck it up, and the developer will get pass.

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