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Places This Week: Kettler buys properties; Academy Sports opens

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of Canopy Oaks. Image provided by Backstreets Capital.

A weekly roundup of local real estate deals. 


Kettler scoops up multiple St. Pete properties

Virginia-based firm Kettler, one of the largest multifamily development, investment and property management companies serving regions in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S., has purchased multiple properties in St. Petersburg. 

The group, under the entity name KEM St. Pete, bought the office building at 1211 1st Ave. N., owned by Rick and Mimoza Noll, for $11.5 million. 

The building at 1211 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg. GoogleMaps.

Since August 2021, the building has been home to the Zubrick Magic Theatre, which will continue operations. 

The buyer also purchased another property from the Mimozas for $2.8 million. 

Additionally, Kettler purchased the building at 1101 1st Ave. N. for a combined $4.8 million from a holdings company. It is home to a MUV medical marijuana dispensary. 

Kettler took out a $13.325 million mortgage loan from Valley National Bank, according to the property records. 


Hotel Zamora to be upgraded following acquisition 

The Hotel Zamora, a 72-room hotel in St. Pete Beach, will be getting a facelift. 

The upscale Spanish-Mediterranean hotel at 3702 Guld Blvd. was recently acquired by Sherman Associates for $38 million.

The Hotel Zamora. Facebook image.

Sherman Associates announced this week it will pump $7 million into upgrades for the hotel, which will “reposition The Hotel Zamora into a four-star luxury hotel.” 

The plans include upgrading the guestrooms, common areas and amenities. 

The Hotel Zamora is located on a 1.61-acre lot and has private dock access to the intercoastal, an upscale full-service restaurant, event space and a rooftop deck with beachfront views. A former bank building and land adjacent to the hotel were also included in the acquisition, according to Sherman Associates. 

When the resort opened in 2014, it was the first hotel built in St. Pete Beach in more than two decades. The site itself has a long history. It was once the site of a condominium project that faced bankruptcy. 

Beth Muzik has been hired as the general manager to lead the repositioning of the hotel through Sherman Associates. She has over 30 years of experience in hospitality with major franchises including Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham and others. 

DLR Group is the architect and Estes Construction is the general contractor for the renovation project.

The renovation is expected to be completed in early 2024.


Construction commences for downtown residential community 

A new townhome and villa community dubbed Canopy Oaks is now underway. 

The planned townhome community is located at 1920 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N. in Euclid St. Paul. 

St. Petersburg-based Backstreets Capital and Canopy Builders are developing the project that will feature six luxury townhomes, two villas and a single-family home. 

“We are thrilled to bring this project to life and believe this type of development is exemplary of how to integrate new homes into established neighborhoods,” Canopy Builders President and CEO Ben Gelston said in an announcement about the project. “The MLK corridor offers so much for residents living in the area with an abundance of restaurants, shops and services within walking distance and it’s so close to downtown.” 

Canopy Builders relocated its office to the neighborhood in 2021. 

The 2,500-square-foot townhome units will have three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms with engineered hardwood flooring. It will offer two-car garages. 

Meanwhile, the 2,200-square-foot, two-story villas will feature three bedrooms and also include two-car garages and private covered lanais with outdoor kitchen upgrades, as well as engineered hardwood flooring, high-end finishes and appliances. 

The single-family, craftsman-style home will feature four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an upstairs loft. 

Canopy Oaks is expected to be completed by winter 2023.


Otter PR buys building for new HQ 

Public relations company Otter PR, which has been operating out of the co-working hub Thrive in St. Pete, has purchased a building from across the street. 

The group purchased the 8,000-square-foot building at 324 1st Ave. N. for $2.95 million. from Highland Properties. 

Otter PR co-founders Scott Bartnick (left), CEO, and CMO Jay Feldman. Image provided.

Otter PR took a roughly $2.7 million loan from Servisfirst Bank, which was recorded as two separate loans. 

Otter PR is gradually moving its staff inside the building and may add a third floor in 2023. The company will continue to operate its second office in Orlando. The majority of its 48 employees are based in St. Petersburg. 


The Academy opens first local store in Pinellas Park 

The first Academy Sports and Outdoors store within the Tampa Bay area opened today in Pinellas Park. 

This 63,000 square-foot store at 7230 U.S. Highway 19 N. will create 60 new jobs. 

The Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Pinellas Park. Image provided.

The sporting goods and athletic wear retailer has opened nine new stores this year. It plans to open 80 to 100 new stores over the next five years, including plans to open another store in Wesley Chapel in 2023. 

“Academy Sports + Outdoors is excited to kickstart fun in the Tampa Bay community by providing customers what they need to make pursuing their sports and outdoors passions easy and affordable,” Sam Johnson, Academy’s executive vice president of retail operations, said in a news release.

“Whether you’re an angler looking to reel in your next big catch, a holiday shopper searching for the perfect gift, or a fan gearing up for gameday at Raymond James Stadium, our great value and services create new possibilities for families to get active.”

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