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Orange Station developers retool plans, add hotel

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of the Autograph Collection Hotels property that will be part of the Orange Station mixed-use development. All images provided.

The group behind the mixed-use Orange Station development on Central Avenue is adding a Autograph Collection Hotels property to the overall project. 

The Orange Station property, currently under construction at the site of the old St. Pete Police headquarters at 1301 Central Ave., includes an adjacent pad of land, which will house the future hotel. 

The Edge Central Development Partners, a local partnership group consisting of DDA Development, Backstreets Capital and J Square, previously floated the idea of building an office tower at the site but retooled the plans to secure a hotel development. The group has also simultaneously reshaped its vision for the Orange Station complex. 

“One of the benefits of a 100 percent local development team working in partnership with the city on a complex mixed-use project like Orange Station is the ability to understand and respond to the needs of the neighborhood and shifts in market conditions,” Backstreets Capital founder and President Will Conroy said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “We are grateful for all of the hard work our partners have put into making this project come to life and we look forward to moving ahead.”

Autograph Collection Hotels is a group of independently-owned upscale hotels within the Marriott International portfolio. 

The announcement of the hotel addition comes as the partners have scrapped the plans to build 61 condos, known as The Residences at Orange Station.

The development will still include The Wye, a 42-unit workforce housing apartment building, 125,000 square feet of office space (which has more than doubled since the initial plans), a parking garage and 14,000 square feet of retail. 

Commented DDA Development Principal Bowen Arnold: “A premium lifestyle hotel concept at the level of the Autograph Collection Hotels is the perfect complement to our project, which features the first new Class A office space in the area in 30-plus years … ” 

A full-scale rendering of the Autograph Collection Hotels property. 

The full-service hotel will have approximately 160 rooms. The hotel will feature a bar and restaurant concept, meeting and conference rooms, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a multi-level theater and a rooftop pool. 

Tampa-based Ellison Development will lead the Autograph Collection Hotels property development and become a joint venture partner on the overall project. 

“We’re excited to work with a like-minded brand such as Autograph Collection Hotels, who are also known for the same uniqueness that sets the Edge District apart,” said Casey Ellison, CEO of Ellison Companies. 

The Edge Central Development Partners plan to present the revised development agreement to the St. Petersburg City Council in July, which includes an agreed-upon timeline. Currently, the partners expect to start construction this fourth quarter. 

Although the Autograph Collection Hotels project will be new to the corridor, the brand has a large presence throughout the Tampa Bay metro, including The Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, which is only property within the Autograph Collection Hotels brand in St. Petersburg. Other brand properties include The Current Hotel and Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Fenway Hotel in Dunedin, Waterline Villas and Marina in Holmes Beach and Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota. 

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  1. Avatar

    Ana Adler

    May 16, 2023at6:06 pm

    And so it begins. The original plans were “retooled” and its “vision reshaped” as bigger profits are chased. 62 condos are now gone. You can kiss those 42 workforce unit good-bye as plans continue to be “retooled” and “vision reshaped.” Sigh.

  2. Avatar

    S. Rose Smith-Hayes

    May 16, 2023at10:35 pm

    What happened to the apartments with workforce housing???Same type lies told to us in the GasPlant/Laurel Park areas. Lie to us, we buy into it, we move, then you change the plans. No trust, makes no sense.

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