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Inside the Moxy Hotel, linking Central and the Trop

Veronica Brezina



Construction workers celebrate the topping out of the Moxy Hotel. All photos by Veronica Brezina.

City officials huddled in a caged elevator hoisting them up to one of the floors inside the Moxy Hotel by Marriott that’s under construction at 1234-1246 Central Ave., across from Tropicana Field.

The 163-key hotel has officially topped out – marking the successful completion of the structural phase of the project. The Moxy Hotel is only scratching the surface of the entire bold vision from Miami-based PTM Partners to establish a new destination that would bridge a connection between the bustling street to the Trop, anchored by the hotel.

Construction as of Jan. 31, 2023 for the Moxy Hotel.

“We took what was a parking lot and are building the missing link between the Gas Plant and the most vibrant, walkable pedestrian street,” Michael Tillman, co-founder and CEO of PTM Partners, said to the dozens of contractors and city officials celebrating the topping out Tuesday morning.

PTM Partners, one of the leading opportunity zone-focused development firms in the country, is developing The Edge Collective in collaboration with DoveHill. Sarasota-based Kellogg and Kimsey Inc. is spearheading the construction at the 1.6-acre site.

Tillman joked that the mayor planned to announce the news of the Rays and Hines team as the selected development group for redeveloping the Gas Plant District/the Trop the day before Moxy’s topping out.

The view of Tropicana Field from the Moxy Hotel. 

Tillman previously said he envisions the ability to create a collective (hence the name The Edge Collective) between the 1100 and 1300 Block. With this street, given its proximity to the Trop, it could be enhanced with a mix of experiences and create a gateway leading to the site.

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch (left center), Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld (left), among other city officials and the development team at the topping out event for the Moxy Hotel.  

The hotel will include 5,000 square feet of retail, which includes a large lobby on the ground floor with a coffee shop and bar. The rooftop will be activated with a rooftop pool and Sparrow, a rooftop bar with a retro theme.

The Moxy Hotel rendering. Image provided by PTM Partners and Storyn Studio for Architecture.

The group is also redeveloping the adjacent three-story, 30,000-square-foot building at 1246 Central Ave., originally planned to become a food hall and house office space; however, plans are still being considered for the space.

“Thank you all for doing development the right way; the first thing you did was talk with the neighborhood,” St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said during the event. “St. Pete needs to innovate while understanding its history.”

PTM Partners worked closely with Edge Business District Association members on the project, which has a 10-foot setback and doesn’t overshadow Central Avenue due to its unique architectural style.

The hotel was initially expected to be completed in 2022; however, the pandemic disrupted the construction timeline, and the hotel is now expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

The boutique hotel, which will be managed by Philadelphia-based Wurzak Hotel Group, will feature open gathering spaces at its outdoor garden.

City officials including Economic and Workforce Development Director Brian Caper toured inside the Moxy Hotel for the topping out event.  

The development team will now draw their attention to the interior buildout.

PTM Partners is working with Everald Colas and Jose Miranda from the St. Petersburg-based Storyn Studio for Architecture and Grace Escano-Maniatis from the New York-based firm GEM et AL, which are serving as the interior designers.

In addition to the working on the hotel and renovating the existing adjacent building, PTM Partners has also recently acquired the nearby Dr. BBQ The Restaurant and Burnt Ends Tiki Bar at 1101 Central Ave. S., across from Tropicana Field, which was owned by The Datz Group and operated by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe.

For the Dr. BBQ site, PTM Partners plans to bring in a new operator to keep the space running with the Dr. BBQ name until it may be redeveloped.

Nick Pantuliano, co-founder and COO of PTM Partners, said the Dr. BBQ site would likely be redeveloped into multifamily housing.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Georgia Earp

    January 31, 2023at8:44 pm

    This sounds like an exciting addition to the Edge District. I am glad that the PTM partners decided to keep the 30,000-square-foot building at 1246 Central
    Ave. The mural on the East Wall is one of my favorites!

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