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New downtown apartment complex will be car-free

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of a proposed apartment building at 1663 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg. All images: Bold Line Design and Kimley Horn.

Two local developers are planning to build an eight-story apartment building near Tropicana Field. Contrary to many other residential projects in downtown, this complex will not have any parking. 

Developers Craig Bazarsky of BendinRoad Development LLC and Christopher Bicho of Landings Real Estates Group are proposing to build a car-free, 97-unit structure at 1663 1st Ave. S., which is the site of the Sunshine Kitty Cafe and the Dolman Law Group office, and adjacent to the Tru by Hilton hotel.  

Renderings of the apartment complex as shown from the southwest (left) and southeast perspectives. 

According to an application submitted to the city, there will not be any on-site parking garage or street-level parking for the planned project.

“The development supports the mass transit options available and will contribute to the walkability of the mixed-use retail/multifamily character of the Central Avenue corridor,” the application reads. “The project’s proximity to the SunRunner BRT [bus rapid transit] system and its location in the Intown area as well as its proximity to downtown St. Pete make it a prime location for residents who live a car-free lifestyle.” 

Renderings showing the different perspectives of the building, including the courtyard and a lounge space. 

The document states that the SunRunner necessitates higher-density housing, and the apartment complex will have significant bicycle parking.

The applicants also highlighted parking spaces are not legally required, as the one-bedroom and studio units will be less than 750 square feet. 

The existing single-story building at 1663 1st Ave. S. GoogleMaps.

The ground floor of the building will consist of a lobby area, seven apartment units, a residential amenity space and a bike storage room. 

Through floors two through four, there will be 15 units per floor. Level five will have 10 units and feature a rooftop pool and amenity deck. The remaining levels will have 11 units per floor.

The joint developers, filing under the Puppy Industries II LLC entity, will seek project approval from the Community Redevelopment Agency during the June 15 St. Petersburg City Council meeting. 

The CRA will determine if the $25 million project is consistent with the Intown West Redevelopment Plan. 

The project is designed with a target maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 6.40 and a maximum building height of 100 feet. 

The property is within the Downtown Center (DC-2) zone, which allows for the most intense development. 

Jacksonville-based Bold Line Design is the lead architect; Kimley-Horn is the civil engineer and landscape architect. 

The application did not indicate a timeline for the project. 

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  1. Avatar

    Tonya Goodrich

    June 10, 2023at7:40 am

    Ridiculous…it is clear this is being painted as an eco-friendly plan when in reality, it is so the developer doesn’t need to spend for parking which is a hot commodity in St. Pete. We aren’t NYC..

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    Don DiMello

    June 10, 2023at7:28 am

    Why are the particularly whiny and presumptive comments so concerned with residents “schlepping” groceries? Must be St Pete local slang.

    Younger people have realized they do not need to own cars. Yes, even in St Pete, which comments seem to think is as sprawling as Dallas. Yes, they will Uber to work. Yes, they will eat out for three meals every day. Just because your worldview (involving raging commenting on local development news) can’t comprehend a life without cars doesn’t life without cars is impossible. It means this development won’t be for you.

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    Patricia Calvert

    June 8, 2023at8:29 am

    I am normally an articulate person but this idea is so outrageous that I am at a true loss for words. 1st of all this assumes that anyone who lives here is ONLY interested in Traveling East and West on the Sun Runner, the only mass transit system that exists in the city. or walking or biking to downtown Saint Petersburg. Whaaaaat? And let’s not talk about The fact that perhaps not everyone who lives here wants to eat out at restaurants 3 times a day because they don’t want to drag bags of groceries up the elevators, which by the way groceries they’ve had to schlep from the store that was not right around the corner. Secondly, this is 2023 and whereas it sounds Earth friendly to go everywhere by bike and on foot, the reality is that most people have cars. The residents who lease these apartments WILL have vehicles and where will they park them? In the the already outrageously cluttered downtown area? Take this idea to Manhattan or Atlanta or Boston, all of which Have excellent mass transit systems that take you to all geographic points. This concept works for a resort area where people are going everywhere on foot or by bike because it is a destination.

  4. Avatar

    Rick Birmingham

    June 7, 2023at10:12 pm

    Every time a new building goes up in downtown St Pete, the complaints are that it’s adding too many cars in an already congested area. This does just the opposite, and they’ll have no trouble attracting residents who prefer to use bikes and public transportation. Throw in an occasional Uber and it’s way cheaper than owning a car and paying for a parking spot.

  5. Avatar

    John S

    June 7, 2023at3:24 pm

    Occupant parking is important, but not nearly as important as toilet flushing!! St Pete hosts an extremely fragile sewage and drainage system, which fractures each time we are deluged. Times past have seen 💩floating in the streets, an extreme health issue, especially to children and pets. No mass residential building permits should be issued until the City proves that sewage improvements are keeping pace with on-going building….a subject on which I have my doubts.

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    June 6, 2023at4:58 pm

    This is such a terrible idea I can’t even render constructive criticism. You’re saying someone is going to pay 3k per month and give up their car to shlep groceries on the sunrunner? WHAT!

    St Pete was once owned and operated by locals. These clowns must be from out of town. No one above the poverty line is giving up their car in this town. I moved here at 30 and never had a car before getting here. There’s no way to exist here without a car. It’s implausible.

  7. Avatar

    Charlene Rawls

    June 6, 2023at10:29 am

    Will this will be a low income community just asking because this closer to my job and I work at tru by Hilton hotel.

  8. Avatar

    Donna Kostreva

    June 5, 2023at9:59 pm

    Bicho and Bazarsky present a bizarre construction form benefitting only developers.

  9. Avatar


    June 5, 2023at5:47 pm

    How can this even get a permit, every other new construction is REQUIRED to have parking….so even if it’s only bike riding, studio dwelling types, how do other developers feel about the cost of providing parking? There will always be cars, this is stepping backwards

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    Pat Mundus

    June 5, 2023at5:12 pm

    Lets be real here, residents will likely have cars and park on the street.

  11. Avatar

    Julie K

    June 5, 2023at4:59 pm

    Call me cynical. I’m wondering how well this will work for the nearby restaurants and businesses who rely on street parking for their patrons. Will these developers be renting to car-free people? I bet not. Will they charge substantially less for an apartment because they don’t have the added burden of parking? I bet not on that as well.

    While I think the concept is intriguing, St. Pete isn’t NYC or Chicago or San Francisco. I bet all renters will have cars and nearby businesses will suffer.

  12. Avatar


    June 5, 2023at3:21 pm

    The tower may be car free, but it will be interesting to see if the actual residents are car free. My guess is they won’t be and will be searching for alternative places to park their cars while living in a place that costs less, theoretically, because no parking is provided. If that is the case, only the developer benefits.

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