The latest project in the Skyway Marina District in southwest St. Petersburg will inject $55 million into the local economy.
The Addison at Skyway Marina, a 308-unit Class A rental apartment community, has hired a dozen design professionals and workers in 30 different trades, and will have about 100 workers a day onsite over the 23-month construction time — people who will spend money at local restaurants and shops — said Mark Ogier, president of ContraVest Development Partners, the Orlando developer behind the project.
That spending will continue after the project opens, by both ContraVest, which plans to operate and maintain the property, as well as by the 600 residents expected to live there, he said.
“I’m excited to be doing business in Pinellas County, in St. Petersburg and especially in the Skyway Marina District,” Ogier said during groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday morning at the site, a long-abandoned Kmart at 34th Street South and 38th Avenue.
“The district is concrete evidence that public and private initiatives can work and improve communities,” Ogier said.
The Addison at Skyway Marina is one of three major ongoing projects in the Skyway Marina District, joining Phillips Skyway Marina, a 300+ unit multi-family, mixed-use development, and the soon-to-be-completed Wawa.
“Everybody talks about downtown, but the real opportunity and the real gem for development and redevelopment is right here in the Skyway Marina District and along this corridor and south of Central Avenue,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman, a long-time proponent of development in the area.
The Addison will have three four-story buildings and two-story carriage buildings, along with a clubhouse, a “resort style” swimming pool, fitness center, business center, a dog park and other amenities, according to a description on the ContraVest website.
It’s billed as a luxury complex and comes amid wide-ranging calls for affordable housing units in St. Petersburg.
“We do have issues with housing affordability, but this also sends a message that’s important. Just because you live in south St. Pete doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to live in market rate or luxury housing,” Kriseman told the St. Pete Catalyst. “We don’t want any area of town to be where you focus a particular type of housing. The best communities have a mix of housing throughout them. They have low income, they have working class and they have luxury. There is a need for luxury housing in south St. Pete as there is a need for affordable housing throughout St. Pete. So I think this goes to creating that mix.”
Affordable housing remains a vital part of the housing mix sought by Pinellas County, said County Commissioner Ken Welch. He’s also on the board of Forward Pinellas, a land use and transportation planning agency, and said that that agency amended its county-wide plan on Wednesday.
“A vital component of that is a diversity of housing and having the density in the right places to support transit. This checks off a couple of those boxes. It’s got the density. It’s on a main transit route. We’re going to be talking about Complete Streets on US 19, bus rapid transit, so there are a lot of different components,” Welch said. “But affordable housing is a component that never goes away. Just because it’s not in this particular development, it is in other developments all around the city and around south St. Pete.”