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New renderings show modernized Sundial plaza

Veronica Brezina



Rendering of the new Sundial courtyard. All images: Paradise Ventures/Behar and Peteranecz Architecture.

St. Petersburg-based Paradise Ventures, which purchased the Sundial shopping plaza year, is working with Ally Capital Group in Tampa to redevelop the plaza into a modern destination with an enhanced courtyard.

Paradise Ventures purchased the 85,357-square-foot-shopping center last year from businessman Bill Edwards. At the time, Connor said they had plans of updating the plaza and filling the vacant spaces with new tenants; however, this is the first time the group has publicly revealed renderings of the vision for the Sundial.

The Sundial shopping plaza as it appears today, Feb. 2, 2023. Photo by Veronica Brezina.

“We have a unique opportunity to create a centralized gathering and shopping space that can grow with our city,” Mike Connor, president and CEO of Paradise Ventures, said in a Thursday announcement. “A space that compliments the development landscape of St. Petersburg and that is a long-term investment in the city.”

Rendering of the new Sundial courtyard.

The owners and team, including St, Petersburg-based architecture firm Behar and Peteranecz, said millions of dollars will be pumped into improvements designed to “revitalize the once upscale retail destination into a modern mixed-use urban destination.”

Rendering of a new bar.

Part of the plan entails updating the courtyard with a large outdoor bar and communal green gathering space.

“Placemaking is important, and the new Sundial is designed to be extension of the community,” Andrew Wright, CEO of Ally Capital Group, said in the news release.

The team has also partnered with House of Current, an Atlanta-based agency specializing in brand storytelling.

Architectural and engineering design is currently under way with infrastructure improvements set to begin later this spring. The team expects to complete the project at the end of the year.

Today, the shopping center’s tenants include Sea Salt, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Chico’s, White House Black Market, Tommy Bahama, Diamonds Direct, the Man Cave barbershop and others.

There are several large vacancies, including the spaces formerly occupied by FarmTable Kitchen and Locale Market.

Connor told the St. Pete Catalyst that they are in talks with multiple new tenants and their plans to convert some space in the Sundial into offices have changed. The planned office spaces will now house fitness tenants.

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  1. Avatar

    Mike H

    February 3, 2023at11:43 pm

    Like those renderings but the name Sundial should should fade into the sunset.
    If tourists see a place called the Sundial it does not connect with something they can relate to or as a shopping district. Sure there is the history behind the name but in order in move into the future we have to think of the newer generation.
    Has not been as successful over the decades as it could have been which is no secret.
    We need a name that sparks excitement and will get the buzz from social media.
    Tampa has the Sparkman Wharf. Something that drives the people in.

  2. Avatar

    John B.

    February 3, 2023at1:56 am

    I agree, Natalie. It is certainly not controversial.

    “The plaza’s centerpiece is a nearly three-story working sundial and fountain designed by Emmy Award-winning production designer René Lagler. The sundial is a nod to St. Petersburg’s history as the Sunshine City and was designed to keep accurate solar time. In addition to the sundial, bronze dolphins created by St. Petersburg-based artist Mark Aeling create a memorable picture spot.”

    Perhaps Bill Edwards decided not to include it in the sale and it will continue to be seen and enjoyed in another location.

    Hopefully the third time will be successful. Someone may remember the original involvement by the city which cost the taxpayers $millions during the redevelopment days.

  3. Avatar

    Natalie G Stockard

    February 2, 2023at7:16 pm

    Really wish they wouldn’t remove the Sundial statue. It’s a great landmark

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