Click the arrow above to listen to the full interview with PTM Partners and St. Pete Catalyst Finance Editor Margie Manning.
PTM Partners has raised $97.9 million for an Opportunity Zone fund that will finance The Edge Collective in St. Petersburg and other projects.
PTM, a Miami-based real estate investment and development firm, just closed on the PTM Partners Opportunity Zone Fund I LP, a news release said.
Edge Collective, and PTM’s other Opportunity Zone projects, are designed to create impact, said CEO Michael Tillman.
“Our projects revolve around what is the impact we can create in the local community and what is the benefit, not just to our investors and partners, but to the local stakeholders and the surrounding community,” Tillman said.
The company expects to begin work in June on Edge Collective, a mixed-use retail, hotel and co-working development in the heart of the EDGE District in downtown St. Petersburg. The project is slated for completion by the first quarter of 2022, said Nicholas Pantuliano, PTM chief operating officer.
The PTM partners sat down with the St. Pete Catalyst in late January to talk in detail about Edge Collective in the 1200 block of Central Avenue.
It will be anchored by a 161-key Marriott Moxy hotel with a rooftop pool. That will be built on what is now a parking lot. Jamal Wilson, who owns The Hall on Franklin in Tampa Heights, will 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, will run 17,000-square foot co-working space on the upper two floors of the building.
The interaction between the major components of the project is vital, said Scott Meyer, PTM’s chief investment officer.
“We looked at mixed use development as not just the parts, but as one plus one equaling three,” Meyer said. “We envision a project where each of the uses feeds off each other and makes this space as efficient as possible versus individual stand-alone businesses or operators that don’t interact with each other.”
Moxy is a new brand from Marriott, and each Moxy hotel is designed to fit the city in which it is located, Tillman said.
“Moxy has a focus on bringing the millennial population to the property, focusing on the experiential portion, having outsized amenities and common areas for the size of the hotel, and making sure that the rooms have all the basic needs for guests but encourage guests to be outside. In our mind what better market for that than the city of St. Petersburg, especially downtown on Central Avenue in the Edge District,” Tillman said.
The food hall will serve both the businesses using the co-working space as well as hotel guests, Tillman said.
“We now have the ability to offer the guests at the hotel multiple food options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, an additional nightlife option and for the Hall, they have 161 captive hotel guests to feed. We have the ability to work through ideas about in-room dining. We have the ability to talk about banquets and events, and there’s also a great 7,000-square-foot garden, which will be served by both properties collaboratively.”
That will further be enhanced by Station House, which Tillman described as a curated and unique office design.
“What better tenant could we have with all the different areas of activation in a hotel where we could have meeting space, events, where we could utilize his program. As Scott said, one plus one could equal three and we’re very excited about that,” Tillman said.
Pantuliano, Tillman and Meyer previously worked together in New York, for a development firm that wanted to focus on South Florida, although their own research drew them to central Florida.
“The area that seemed the most attractive to us from a quality of life, affordability standpoint, population growth and employer base was the I-4 corridor from Orlando to Tampa to St. Pete,” Tillman said. “When we created PTM the opportunity that we saw within Tampa and St. Petersburg was tremendous.”
The mayors of both Tampa and St. Petersburg made sure the Opportunity Zone designations in their cities included areas with strong redevelopment potential, he said. In St. Petersburg, that designation takes in the property on which Edge Collective will be located as well as the 86-acre Tropicana Field site, directly across 1st Avenue South.
The future of the Trop site is undetermined. The city has prepared two conceptual plans for the site, one with a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays and one without a stadium if the Rays don’t stay at the site once their agreement with the city expires in 2027.
It will be great for Edge Collective to have the Trop and the Rays’ 81 home games but that’s not driving PTM’s investment, Pantuliano said.
“When it comes to the Tropicana Field site, we feel that’s a very unique, very special piece of property. There’s not a lot of pieces of property of that size connected to a downtown, near an interstate and connected to airports and other significant infrastructure. We like the site a lot and would love the chance to do more,” Pantuliano said.
The 1st Avenue South connection to the Trop site is key.
“We have one-third of an acre that’s right on 1st Avenue South that we’ve set aside for a Phase Two. We really want to see what happens with the Tropicana Field site. We’ve designed the site plan to have a pedestrian-friendly nature that picks up on Central Avenue and has a paseo that goes from Central Avenue to 1st Avenue South, with the hopes that that’s a direct conduit to the Tropicana Field site when that develops,” Pantuliano said.