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New 21-story tower proposed near Mirror Lake

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the building as seen from Mirror Lake Drive N. All images: City of St. Petersburg documents/ODP Architects.

A new 21-story, mixed-use tower is proposed for 685 and 699 1st Ave. North and 694 Arlington Ave. North near Mirror Lake.

The SPGRP II LLC entity linked to real estate investment company Gravel Road Partners, which is listed as the owner, has submitted plans to build the tower that would feature 200 residential units, 10,843 square feet of commercial space and a 264-space parking garage. 

A rendering of the tower as seen from Mirror Lake.

The St. Petersburg City Council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), is scheduled to review the plans Feb. 2 to determine if it is consistent with the Intown Redevelopment Plan. 

The 0.57-acre site is currently developed with two one-story office buildings, a two-story triplex and a surface parking lot, which would be demolished for the $63.5 million project. 

A rendering of the tower as show from east of 1st Avenue.

The ground floor of the proposed 21-story building would face the west side of the property, leaving a large outdoor space at the northeast corner. The ground floor would consist of a residential lobby, commercial space and a parking garage entrance. Floors two through seven would house the parking. The eighth floor would consist of amenity space and residential units with the remaining levels of the tower consisting of residential units, according to the application. 

A rendering of the tower’s outdoor dining area.

The developer noted the “outdoor space will help provide additional separation between the proposed building and the existing Unitarian Universalist Church that is located on the north side of Arlington Avenue North.” 

The commercial space would be accessible from 1st Avenue North and the parking garage would be accessed from 7th Street North.  

The site plan of the Mirror Lake tower.

The proposed development is located within the “Residential” area of the IRP.

Site improvements would include a 10-foot-wide sidewalk, landscaping, a large uncovered and covered open space, a mid-block pedestrian connection, bicycle parking and a new drainage system, according to the documents. 

A rendering of the entrance of the tower and public art.

The renderings and site plans show the developer is working with Hollywood, Florida-based O’Donnell Dannwolf and Partners (ODP) Architects Inc. 

The developer would contribute $1.27 million to the Housing and Capital Improvement Trust Fund for workforce housing as a result of seeking a 4.0 FAR (floor area ratio) density bonus, totaling a FAR of 7.0. 

The site is near the Reflection, an 18-story condo tower under construction at 300 8th St. North. 

The review of the proposed tower comes after the St. Petersburg Development Review Commission rejected a nearby planned project – Skyward Living’s 18-story condo building – which was going to be constructed on Mirror Lake Drive. 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bill Herrmann

    January 23, 2023at4:37 pm

    We deserve better! St. Petersburg property is in demand. The City should be actively enforcing the walkability and pedestrian-friendly requirements of the CRA and LDR regulations.

    The flat “Bezu-esque” facade of this structures Arlington frontage is ugly. When I inquired as to why the building did not step back into the property, I was advised that the lot is so small, they get a waiver on that requirement. If the lot is so small, it gets waivers on setbacks, it is too small for a FAR bonus.

    Further, the textures and finishes used on the base podium, as shown on the renderings do nothing to break-up the mass of the building.

    DTSP deserves quality in-fill development.

  2. Avatar

    steve sullivan

    January 23, 2023at7:44 pm

    Bill Herrmman I agree with you. The problem is no one has proposed to re-examine the zoning based on the city growth. In other words there is no vision on how the city should look and everyone has bought into this developer driven infrastructure instead of dictating what goes where based on a future vision. Question: When was the last time any administration has proposed another look?

  3. Avatar

    Pat Fling

    January 23, 2023at9:50 pm

    Looks like this developer wants to make St Pete look like Hollywood, FL with luxury towers that are eyesores and don’t respect the people who are already here who do not want this type of development. Money should not be the decider on what our city looks like.

  4. Avatar

    James Mack

    January 23, 2023at10:26 pm

    I believe it was decided, two weeks ago, that Mirror lake shouldn’t have buildings over 5-6 stories high. This is another building with all the same issues, and more. This can’t be allowed to be built!

  5. Avatar

    Donna Kostreva

    January 23, 2023at10:42 pm

    Just what we need, another generic, out of context, modern monstrosity, dumped in the city’s historic fresh water source neighborhood.
    The brilliant architectural drawing even shows this at “Seventh Street and First streets.“ Know your history!!
    Where is the leadership on this at City Hall?

  6. Avatar

    John Donovan

    January 24, 2023at5:59 pm

    Low rise building to the east and west would mean Mirror Lake is fully exposed to sunlight. This structure is 1-2 blocks to the south

  7. Avatar

    James F Mack

    January 24, 2023at6:27 pm

    It’s not about the amount of sunlight Mirror Lake is exposed to, in my opinion. This highrise is totally out of scale with the neighborhood, even more so than the one rejected a couple of blocks away two weeks ago.

  8. Avatar

    Iain Goddard

    January 25, 2023at4:48 pm

    In spite of unfortunate “modernistic” building designs over the years, Mirror Lake is a wonderful historic gem in the middle of St. Petersburg. A skyscraper in the district is totally inappropriate architecturally. Besides the damage to the human environment of Mirror Lake, this high-rise building would be a wart on St. Petersburg’s nose.

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