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Grand Central’s neighborhood vibe draws a new condo project

Margie Manning

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Large terraces overlooking Central Avenue make 2800 Central stand out.

Andrew Hunsicker, principal at Ash Developers, really likes the vibe along Central Avenue in the Grand Central District.

That’s why he’s just started his second mixed-use project in the area, at 2800 Central Ave.

“It’s not the busy downtown with real tall buildings. It’s more neighborhoody,” Hunsicker said.

2800 Central is a 25,000 square foot mixed-use project with 14 condominiums, including two penthouses, and two ground-floor commercial spaces. Most of the condos will be two-bedroom, two-bath units with a den and will be priced starting in the $500,000’s, with a premium for the corner units, Hunsicker said. The penthouse units will be larger and priced in the mid $800,000’s.

“The thing that makes them exceptional is there’s a 20 foot wide by 10 foot deep terrace overlooking Central Avenue,” Hunsicker said. “If you drive up and down Central Avenue, everyone has a balcony that’s maybe three feet wide and six feet deep. It’s not big enough to do anything. We want to make  an outdoor living space. You’re downtown. No one has a yard. But let’s make it really enjoyable, so you can dine outside.”

The penthouse units will have even larger terraces that are 40 feet wide and with outdoor kitchens.

Ash Developers is working with Fraze Design on 2800 Central.

The new development is just a block or so from a project at 2641 Central that Ash completed last year, a four-unit condo building with two retail spaces.

“Everyone loved it. It was an absolute success. When we started 2641, we told ourselves the biggest problem we’re going to have with this is not enough units. We were sold out before we broke ground,” he said.

Ash Developers, based in St. Petersburg, bought the quarter-acre property at 2800 Central for $740,000, or $70 a square foot. “The price per square foot of the site sale is one of the highest land prices achieved in the district,” said T. Sean Lance, a founding partner at Vertica Commercial Advisors, a subsidiary of Vertica Partners in Tampa. Lance and Max Boehmer, also a founding partner at Vertica, had the exclusive right to sell the property for the previous owner, a private party in Davie, Florida.

Jessica Dwyer of Klace & Company Real Estate represented Ash Developers.

“Andrew and I had met a week or so before signs went up on the property,” she said. At first, the asking price was about $2.5 million, including some parcels on 1st Avenue South.

“Then, about six weeks ago, I thought, let me call again, it’s been a while, and sure enough the 1st Ave South side was under contract leaving only the Central Ave piece, which is what I knew Ash Developers wanted. So we wrote up a deal that day.”

Hunsicker and his wife Sarah are also licensed agents, so they will be listing units for sale themselves, Dwyer said. Dwyer can write buyers contracts before they go live. Both she and Hunsicker said demand is high in the condos, and Hunsicker said he’s also getting a lot of calls about the ground-floor retail spaces, which will be for sale. They each will be about 1,200 square feet with 40-foot storefronts on Central Avenue.

“The amount of new development and new tenants to the area is truly transforming the district,” said Vertica’s Boehmer. “Vertica is also currently under contract with a buyer on the adjacent 0.88 acre site to the south for a residential development which will be closing next quarter, further adding to the growth of the neighborhood.”

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Michael

    March 20, 2021at3:50 pm

    Good news for wealthy folks.

  2. Avatar

    JOHN DONOVAN

    March 22, 2021at3:33 pm

    Good news for all folks. Construction jobs. Maintenance jobs. Occupants with means to spend at retail estabishments. Likely a large increase in taxes paid by new property owners versus previous property assessment. Plenty of land and sky in St Petersburg for other necessary and desirable development. The list of good things goes on and on.

  3. Avatar

    Tim Callahan

    May 23, 2021at2:35 pm

    I have seen this type of rapid development in Seattle before moving to St Pete. Has there been any impact study or assessment as to what will happen to a sudden jump in population, parking, increased congestion, noise, etc…. It will definitely change the vibe of this area of Central Ave. Better for some, but perhaps a loss for those living in the nearby neighborhood.

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