Places This Week: Developer proposes $72M tower

A weekly roundup of local real estate deals.


Developer plans to build 22-story tower 

Developer Focus Acquisition Company LLC is proposing to build a 22-story residential tower with commercial space in St. Petersburg. 

On Dec. 8, the city council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), will review plans for the $72 million project called 275 5th St. S. Apartments. The apartments would be built at 511, 533, 543 and 551 3rd Ave. S. and 226 6th St. S. The CRA will determine if it’s consistent with the Intown Redevelopment Plan. 

Tampa-based investment firm EquiAlt is the seller of the property. 

The project entails building 335 apartments, 11,560 square feet of commercial space and a 382-space parking garage. The developer is proposing to have a minimum of 5% of workforce housing units. Many of the units in the building will be less than 750 square feet, according to the application filed with the city. 

A site plan of the 275 5th St. S. Apartments project. Image: City of St. Petersburg documents.

The property is currently developed with a surface parking lot, vacant green space and a one-story “outdated” office building, which would be demolished, according to the application. 

The ground floor would feature a residential lobby, a fitness area, a co-working space and commercial. A large open green area would be on the east and south sides of the building, abutting the residential lobby.

Floors two through five are planned for parking and residential units. Floors nine through 22 would house the remaining residential units.

The property is zoned DC-1 and the project would have a 7.0 FAR (floor area ratio). 

The developer is working with St. Petersburg-based Place Architecture. 


Longtime locally owned powersports dealership sells for over $10 million 

Barneys Motorcycle and Marine, which has dealerships across Tampa Bay selling everything from ATVs to jet skis, has sold its portfolio of properties, including its St. Petersburg dealership. 

The family sold its local dealership at 10411 Gandy Blvd. for $10.375 million to DAV St. Pete Inc., which is connected to Dave Veracka, founder of The Motorcycle Company, a Harley-Davidson dealer consultant group founded in Michigan. 

During a local shoot for TV’s “Route 66” in 1963, actor Martin Milner bought a motorcycle from Barney’s. File photo.

The buyer also purchased the Brandon dealership for $4.325 million. 

KC Wood and Todd Hempstead, which have been in the motorcycle business for decades operating Barney’s, moved from Illinois to St. Petersburg in 1951, where they opened three local dealerships, including one in Brooksville. 

“After 76 years and three generations of owning Barney’s Motorcycle and Marine, our family made the difficult decision to sell our three dealerships,” co-owner Wood said in a news release. “When George Chaconas and Courtney Bernhard [Veracka’s brokers] first reached out to us, we had not yet made the decision to retire. They provided valuable information as to what the sales process would entail, and before we knew it, they brought us an offer from a well-respected company in the industry.”

The dealerships have been renamed Rockstar Powersports, according to a press release. 

The new owner, Veracka, has spent decades in the powersports industry alongside his sons, Paul and Michael. In 2019, they decided to split the company into two groups; his sons took over the Harley-Davidson dealerships and Veracka established The Motorcycle Company. 


Woodie’s Wash Shack closes on restaurant site 

An LLC connected to the Woodie’s Wash Shack franchise has purchased Leo’s Italian Restaurant in Palm Harbor. 

The group bought the property for $2.5 million from owners Ilir and Irena Karruli. 

Leo’s Italian Restaurant. GoogleMaps.

Plans that were filed earlier this year indicated Woodie’s Wash Shack would redevelop the restaurant into an express car wash inspired by the “Woodie” car and surf culture of the 1950s and ’60s,  which is reflected in Woodie’s surf wagon logo. 


Pinellas Housing Finance Authority Trustee buys vacant land parcels 

An entity titled the Pinellas Housing Finance Authority has purchased seven parcels of vacant land for $3.8 million. 

The acquired properties are located on Kirchuff Lane and Seminole Boulevard, including 1925, 2031, 2075 Seminole Blvd. S. in residential areas. 


Seafood company’s property switches hands 

Luggers Backup LLC, which is connected to Jason DeLaCruz of the Wild Seafood Co., has sold its Madeira Beach property. 

The property at 215 Boardwalk Place E., which is listed as the address where the Wild Seafood Co. operates, sold for $4 million to Boardwalk Place Properties LLC.

Wild Seafood Co. GoogleMaps.

Broadwalk Place Properties LLC is linked to Bill Karns, a local developer who is behind the Madeira Beach Town Center development and is known for scooping up waterfront real estate. 

The buyer took out a $2.8 million mortgage loan from Diversified Asset Funding LLC. 

Veronica Brezina

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