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Interest builds for West St. Pete townhome project

Mark Parker

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An aerial view of the Strum Place Townhomes, which surround a century-old building built for a pioneering West St. Petersburg family. Images provided.

Construction recently commenced on a unique mixed-use townhome development in West St. Petersburg, and the local development team has already sold two of the nine residences.

Will Conroy, founder of Backstreets Capital, said that underscores the demand for new housing options in the area. His St. Petersburg-based real estate investment firm partnered with J Square Developers, helmed by native Jay Miller, to build the Strum Place Townhomes.

They expect the nine-unit project at Central Avenue and 64th Street North to open in January 2025. Conroy said the development team continuously receives new interest from people who pass by the site and are “really excited about the activity.”

“I think it speaks to the fact that people like the west side of St. Pete, and there is demand for new products,” Conroy told the Catalyst. “That was our original investment thesis – and so far, it’s turned out to be correct.”

The townhome project is one of the first to rise along the western edge of the SunRunner service.

The developers purchased the property for $1.45 million in December 2022. They broke ground on the project in early March, aligning with a previously set schedule.

Strum Place will feature nine high-end townhomes in three buildings. Each will encompass 2,040 square feet and provide three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage.

Unlike most multifamily developments, Strum Place will also offer private fenced yards. Conroy said the team had a “decent amount of land area” and thought that would provide a unique feature for homeowners and surrounding residents.

“This is not a zero-lot line development like you would see in downtown St. Pete,” Conroy explained. “Nor is it the single-family detached housing you may see in the adjacent neighborhoods. So, we felt it was a nice transition from one to the other.”

He noted that Strum Place is near several locally owned small businesses. The development team believes that culture is “paramount” in St. Petersburg, and people prefer to live within walking distance of cafes and restaurants.

The group also preserved the Strum House as part of the project. The townhomes will surround a two-story building built in 1924 for the Strums, a pioneering West St. Pete family.

“We’re from here,” Conroy said. “We understand what historic buildings can mean.”

The development team is converting the former Strum House into office space.

In August 2022, Backstreets Capital and DDA Development relocated the historic 120-year-old home known as the Watergarden Inn from 126 4th Ave. to the northeast corner of 8th Ave. N. and Dartmoor Street. The 13-hour effort that took a year of planning made space for The Nolen, a 23-story boutique condominium tower in downtown St. Petersburg.

Conroy said Strum Place’s development team similarly felt compelled to save the project’s namesake from demolition. “It just needed a little love,” he said. “And we’ve received tremendous interest in that space.”

Miller previously called the building “perfect” for an accounting, insurance or law firm that wants to “own a piece of St. Pete’s history with an office inside the 100-year-old pioneer home.” Conroy said they are actively negotiating with several groups hoping to lease the 4,800-square-foot space.

“I can say that they’re complimentary uses,” he added. “And they’re all users who believe in and see the positive demographics on the west side of St. Pete.”

The two-story townhomes will feature open living and dining areas with “collapsible sliding doors” that lead to private balconies. Prices start in the $700,000s, and buyers can opt for a package with a personal elevator.

Conroy said the centrally located site is about an eight-minute drive from downtown and the beaches. It is also less than a mile from a SunRunner station.

Conroy said he and Miller understand the value provided by transit-oriented development. He called the region’s first bus rapid transit service a “critical piece of that.”

“We’re excited about developing near a station, and we think the long-term benefits are only going to multiply from here,” Conroy said. “We field a lot of calls off of our sign from people who aren’t necessarily interested in buying but are just interested to know what is going on. And I think that speaks … to the pent-up enthusiasm and demand for the west side.”

 

 

 

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jan Wyler

    May 9, 2024at6:54 am

    And there’s lies the problem with what’s going on in St.Pete .. Way too many yuppies and buppies are in the area and that is what Downtown St. Pete/midtown/Southside Lake Maggorie has become.

  2. Avatar

    Susan S.

    May 8, 2024at12:40 pm

    I’m hoping the tendency of building new places extends farther west toward the beaches.

  3. Avatar

    Leslie Taylor

    May 8, 2024at7:01 am

    If one can afford an almost 1 million dollar condo . One can afford a nice new Tesla EV . I do know that a service person , a nurse and many other ppl cannot afford a million dollar condo . Oh yes !! How much will the association fees?

  4. Avatar

    Kari

    May 7, 2024at2:14 pm

    Another awesome project! People realize the value of living next to the SunRunner halfway between downtown and the beaches.

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