Greystar Real Estate Partners has bought the long-vacant land just east of the downtown St. Petersburg headquarters of Duke Energy Florida.
Greystar, a Charleston, South Carolina-based real estate company, paid $15.075 million to buy the land from GM St. Pete, an entity associated with Greenfield Partners in Westport, Connecticut, according to a Dec. 18 deed filed in Pinellas County. Greystar also got a $75 million mortgage on the property from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Pinellas County records show.
The property is the site of a planned mixed-use development called Ascent St. Petersburg at 225 1st Ave. N. City officials approved a site plan modification in July 2019 for a 36-story building with 172 hotel rooms, 354 apartment units and 6,600 square feet of commercial space. It will include four levels of parking, a sixth-level dock with indoor and outdoor amenities including a fitness center and pool, and a roof deck and amenity space on top of the residential building, according to the site plan.
A large crane and other construction equipment now is visible on the site. A request to Greystar for comment on the land purchase was pending return.
There’s a long history of attempted development at the site. In 2004, the city issued a request for proposals for what was at the time city-owned property, seeking developers for both a corporate headquarters and a full-service hotel. The city chose Progress Energy, now Duke Energy, and Kessler Enterprises as joint developers.
Duke now occupies a 16-story, 228,000-square-foot office building at 299 1st Ave. N. But Kessler, the previous developer that had planned the Kessler Grand Bohemian, no longer was associated with the project by the time Greystar submitted its plan. The city issued an administrative approval letter to Greystar in July 2019.