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Places This Week: Landmark church site and farm to become residential

Veronica Brezina



Open Bible Church. GoogleMaps.

A weekly roundup of local real estate deals.


Northeast St. Petersburg landmark is purchased 

St. Petersburg-based Backstreets Capital has purchased the Open Bible Church campus in Northeast St. Petersburg with plans to demolish the existing structures and build single-family homes. 

The group, under the entity Backstreets Canopy Woodlawn LLC, purchased the 1.6-acre property at 1200 30th Ave. N. in a $2.75 million deal from a trustee and took out a $1.93 million mortgage from Cogent Bank. 

The property consists of 1.6 acres that is home to a 20,903-square-foot church built in 1952. There are several other buildings, including an office building and fellowship hall with a kitchen, and large surface parking areas. 

“We love the Woodlawn neighborhood. When the opportunity for the church property came about, it was something we couldn’t pass up,” Backstreets Founder and President Will Conroy told the St. Pete Catalyst


An aerial of the Open Bible Church property. GoogleEarth.


Backstreets Capital is working in partnership with Canopy Builders, a St. Petersburg-based custom home builder, to redevelop the site into 10 single-family residential lots, which are already platted. 

Conroy said the homes will not be cookie-cutter, and the architects are very conscientious of the surrounding neighborhood. 

Additionally, Backstreets Capital and Canopy Builders also purchased the 4,725-square-foot office complex at 1920 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. in a $1.1 million deal. According to public records, the office building was owned by Jeffrey Hess, the owner of Old Northeast Jewelers.

Backstreets Capital and Canopy Builders plan to develop six townhomes at the site. 

While Backstreets Capital has a residential division, it also has a commercial division. The group is working on several major projects with other partners in St. Petersburg, including the mixed-used Orange Station at the Edge development; The Nolen, a 23-story residential tower; and the Sixty90 project, which will consist of market-rate and workforce housing units. 


Foxwood Farm property to close and become townhome development 

Foxwood Farm, a premier competitive hunter and jumper equestrian center in Pinellas Park, will shut its barn doors. 

The farm at 9595 66th St. sold for $2 million from Georgann Powers Trustee to Foxwood Pinellas LLC, which is tied to the Chalfin Group, a New Jersey-based consulting firm. 

Foxwood Farm. GoogleMaps.

The farm was headed by Georgann Powers, who has trained horses and students for over 50 years in Pinellas County.

The farm features four acres of agricultural property and a three-bedroom home with a farm store building, 35 stables, a nursery/quarantine barn, seven paddocks and rings.  

On Facebook, Powers announced her retirement in Pinellas by writing, “After 60 some years it is bittersweet to think this is the end of an era but the beginning of a new adventure.”

An administrator with the farm said the structures will be removed and 24 townhouses will rise in its place. Further details were not immediately available; however, the Chalfin Group website states it invests in real estate properties in Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties.

The buyer also took out a $1.4 million mortgage from Bank Florida. 

Although the farm is closing, the administrator said, “the legacy will live on as she [Powers] is moving to Ocala.” 


Tennessee real estate firm buys Winn-Dixie-anchored shopping plaza 

Millan Holdings LLC, a Tennessee-based real estate investment company, has purchased the Bayview Plaza retail property in St. Petersburg. 

The group purchased the 78,781-square-foot shopping center in a $7.25 million deal. The Winn-Dixie-anchored plaza, at 11100 4th Street North in the Gateway area, is 89% leased to 14 tenants, including the Skyway Café, according to CBRE’s news release. 

The Winn-Dixie-anchored Bayview Plaza in St. Petersburg. Image: CBRE.

In December 2021, Millian Holdings purchased Bayview Plaza II, a 16,146-square-foot retail center adjacent to the now-acquired Bayview Plaza I. 

“Millan’s acquisition of Bayview Plaza brings both sides of the shopping center back under one ownership. This will create leasing and property management synergies for Millan as they grow their commercial real estate portfolio,” said Mark Shellabarger with CBRE.

Shellabarger and Ari Ravi, who work out of the CBRE office in Tampa, acted as transaction brokers between the buyer and the seller, a private investor.

Ravi said Winn-Dixie will remain as the anchor tenant and the buyer plans to lease the remaining two vacant spaces.


Edge Collective development kicks off 

The first phase of work on the Edge Collective development in the 1200 Block will begin this month, according to the Edge District’s neighborhood newsletter.

The Edge Collective will be a mixed-use development anchored by a 163-key Moxy Hotel by Marriott on a 1.6-acre parcel on 1234-1246 Central Ave.

A rendering of the 163-room Moxy Hotel and its rooftop bar. PTM Partners/Storyn Studio.

The first phase of construction will involve the installation of the construction fencing, signage and pedestrian protections, followed by horizontal demolition and soil improvements. This phase will take approximately five weeks, according to the newsletter. The next phase is the vertical construction of the Moxy Hotel and renovations on the 1246 building, which will become the European-inspired Edge Food Hall.

Total construction time is slated for 12 months, led by Kellogg-Kimsey.


Clearwater hotels to become apartments

A Miami-based multifamily investment firm has purchased two Clearwater hotels in a $20.5 million deal with plans to turn them into apartments. 

Eagle Property Capital Investments, working with Mexico City-based private equity firm Promecap, purchased the 95-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott St. Petersburg Clearwater, 13200 49th St. N.,  and the 88-room Residence Inn by Marriott St. Petersburg Clearwater at 5050 Ulmerton Road. 

The hotel properties. Photo: Eagle Property Capital Investments

The group intends to convert them to efficiency, studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, according to a press release. The planned apartment complex, dubbed Pelican Lake Apartments, would have units ranging from 500 to 850 square feet.  

“This was an exciting and rare opportunity to expand our footprint in the Tampa market by taking two centrally located extended-stay hotels and transforming them into much-needed workforce housing,” Rodrigo Conesa, managing principal at Eagle Property Capital Investments, said in a release. “Negotiations for these two hotels began during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, allowing us to negotiate an attractive price for two high-quality properties that are ideally suited for conversion to apartments.”

Sean Shahar Ziv of GLT Group Brokerage represented both sellers and procured the buyer.

Eagle Property Capital also owns the 345-unit Captiva Club in Tampa and 304-unit Gateway on 4th in St. Petersburg.

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