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Mosaic, Brookview turn former SunTrust Bank site into apartments

Margie Manning

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A rendering of 3100 Central Avenue

Roxanne Amoroso has developed a lot of real estate projects, both for her own firm, Mosaic Development LLC, and at her previous job at Bank of America.

But her current project, a 122-unit apartment building at 3100 Central Ave., is special.

Roxanne Amoroso

It’s the first project Mosaic has taken on in St. Petersburg.

Amoroso and one of her business partners live in the city and another partner lives here part-time.

“We’ve always wanted to do a project in St. Pete. It’s personal for us,” Amoroso said.

Mosaic and Brookview Realty Group LLC formed a joint venture to build 3100 Central, on the site of a former SunTrust Bank branch on the west boundary of the Grand Central District. The four-story Class A luxury development will have one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 663 to 1,098 square feet. It will include 17 workforce housing units. There also will be a garage with 190 parking spaces and amenities such as a dog park and pet wash, pool and pool deck, coffee shop, coworking space and fitness center.

Mosaic has established a partnership with the Duncan McClellan Gallery, which is incorporating artwork into the project.

The economics behind the new apartments are positive.

Multifamily rental demand is outpacing inventory additions in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area, according to the Marcus & Millichap 2019 investment forecast. Demand is being driven by population gains that are double the national average. Rising home prices and lack of for-sale starter homes are keeping renters from transitioning to home ownership, another factor in apartment demand.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area is No. 4 in the nation for year-over-year rent growth at 5.2 percent, and there’s 95.9 percent occupancy in the metro area, a prospectus for 3100 Central said.

In addition, 3100 Central is close to major thoroughfares, five minutes from downtown and 15 minutes from the beaches.

“Central Avenue is a high growth corridor and we feel like the growth is moving toward U.S. 19 and that is a great location for a new product,” Amoroso said.

The joint venture bought the 1.75 acre site on May 30, paying $2.85 million, Pinellas County property records show. Construction costs will be about $25 million. There are investors on board and the project is fully funded, she said.

Rents will range from $958 a month for a one-bedroom workforce housing unit to $2,300 a month for the largest two-bedroom market-rate apartment. The workforce units are designed for tenants whose income is between 80 percent to 120 percent of the area’s median income.

Construction is scheduled to start this September, with the first tenants moving in about a year later.

Both companies in the joint venture have a deep bench of experience.

The principals at Brookview Realty Group, with offices in New York and Tampa, have more than 30 years of experience and have bought or developed more than 2,000 units valued at over $200 million.

Mosaic has construction projects ongoing in St. Petersburg, Kissimmee and Bonita Springs, totaling more than 800 units and representing a financial investment of $160 million.

Amoroso, the lead principal at Mosaic, previously was senior vice president for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development, where she was responsible for multifamily and master estate development activities in Florida and the southeast United States. She had a lead position in the Encore project, a $450 million multifamily development in downtown Tampa.

She’s also the newest member of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The City Council approved her appointment to the agency Wednesday.

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