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Exclusive: Phillips Development’s Skyway Marina project moves forward

Margie Manning



A rendering of Sur Club courtesy of OWA – Open Workshop for Architecture

Construction will begin soon for Sur Club, a $62 million, 296-unit mixed-use development in St. Petersburg’s Skyway Marina District.

The developer, Phillips Development & Realty in Tampa, secured a $50.8 million construction and permanent loan from Love Funding for the project, said Don Phillips, managing director. The rest of the cost will be equity held by Phillips Development.

Sur Club interior lobby rendering courtesy of OWA – Open Workshop for Architecture

“The permits are in hand,” Phillips told the St. Pete Catalyst. Capstone Construction in Montgomery, Alabama is the contractor on the project. “They have mobilized on the construction site and there will be significant activity over the next 30 days.”

The first units will be completed in 14 months, with the entire project expected to wrap up in 22 months, Phillips said. The development also will include two restaurant out-parcels.

Phillips Development initially announced the project in 2016, amid a push by Mayor Rick Kriseman to revitalize the Skyway Marina District, located on 34th Street South between 30th and 54th Avenues. Sur Club is at the north end of the district, at 3000 34th St. S., on a site where Home Depot once planned a store. Phillips bought the land from Home Depot in 2017 for $4.2 million, Pinellas County property records show.

Love Funding, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is one of the top HUD lenders in the country. Getting the HUD loan was a process that Phillips said was “a little more arduous” than conventional financing

Love Funding is providing Phillips Development with a 40-year, amortizing fixed rate loan at 3.4 percent.

“This loan is set up for someone who wants to build and hold the project for the long term, which was our deal with the city. Long-term ownership is a key driver for them,” Phillips said.

Sur Club is a market-rate project, although the loan provides a developer some flexibility with respect to rents, Phillips said.

Sur Club Cabana pool deck rendering courtesy of OWA – Open Workshop for Architecture

The project will have an Americana-style ’60s kitsch feel to it, similar to a Howard Johnson or Holiday Inn, and not unlike Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. “St. Petersburg had a lot of that and now it’s back in style,” Phillips said.

Sur Club is one of several projects underway in the Skyway Marina District, including The Addison at Skyway Marina, a 308-unit Class A rental apartment community that broke ground in July at the site of a former Kmart.

“There’s a lot of activity,” Philips said. “The more the merrier. It will create a lot of upscale options that will drive retail and we’re the only ones that have a retail component.”

Phillips Development also plans to start construction in December on Woodie’s Wash Shack, an eco-friendly car wash “experience” with the same ’60s style as Sur Club, on an outparcel at the Walmart on 34th Street South. Phillips developed the Woodie’s concept and plans to open 11 stores over the next 16 months. The first one is open on 5601 66th St. N. in St. Petersburg.

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