What was once a Greyhound bus station just outside downtown St. Petersburg will soon make way for an upscale townhome development in a rapidly evolving area.
Tampa Bay City Living (TBCL) recently acquired two adjacent parcels at 180 and 200 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St./9th St. North, for $3.95 million. Developer Jeff Craft noted that the St. Petersburg-based company built The District townhouse development a quarter mile south of the properties.
Craft, a Crescent Heights resident, told the Catalyst that he also passed by the underutilized site on his daily work commute. “It’s truly been on the radar for a while,” he said.
“Going after that property just made a lot of sense.”
The two parcels between Central Avenue and I-375 will feature 23 townhomes. The former Greyhound station – shuttered in 2018 – will house 15 units. The company opened a more centrally located Pinellas Park location in partnership with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in 2019.
The townhouses, ranging from 2,400 to 2,600 square feet, will offer three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. Each will come with a rooftop deck and a two-car garage.
Craft said area zoning permits additional units. However, TBCL was satisfied with the current configuration and increased the square footage.
“On our rooftop deck, we have a larger entertainment room, which could truly be indoor-outdoor space,” Craft explained. “Just that feature alone added roughly 300 square feet.”
While TBCL could include another unit per building with single-car garages, Craft believes homebuyers prefer the extra parking space. “Based on our (market) knowledge and what we like to do as design-builders, it just fit,” he said.
The property is three blocks north of Central Avenue and surrounded by restaurants. Craft noted other developers are building multiple mixed-use towers in the area, about a third of a mile northwest of the Edge District.
“The area just has all of the makings of something that is going to be great one day,” he said. “This is sort of that last little connective piece going into downtown.”
Like many local stakeholders, Craft appreciates a city initiative to reevaluate several one-way roads. Those include Dr. MLK Jr. St. N., which currently features faster-moving one-way traffic around the redevelopment project.
Converting the street to two-traffic will require the Florida Department of Transportation’s approval. While Craft called that “easier said than done,” he believes it will eventually happen and foster retail business growth along the corridor.
The area still provides an urban, walkable environment outside of downtown. Craft said TBCL increasing the townhomes’ size underscores its confidence in market demand.
He is also eager to start the construction process. The development group expects to demolish the Greyhound site in June.
“I would demo this building earlier, but there’s a pastor that’s a friend that’s using it for his congregation,” Craft said. “So, I can wait until a later date.”
He expects construction to commence by July 1 and conclude in 12 months. Craft said it is too early to estimate the project cost or sales prices.
However, he said the development group has vertically integrated with a construction, engineering and planning firm. Craft said that allows him to “control all the variables” and lower costs.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” Craft added. “But this, based on the area and the effect it’s going to have on the MLK corridor leading into downtown, I just think it’s going to be great.”