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Places This Week: Tesla buys Lealman site; 18-story tower plans revised

Veronica Brezina



The potential site of The Julia. Photo: Veronica Brezina.

A weekly roundup of local real estate deals.


Tesla closes on Kane’s Furniture liquidation center 

It’s official, Tesla is coming to Lealman
A developer working with Telsa Motors has purchased the Kane’s Furniture liquidation center in a $13 million deal under the entity St. Petersburg Motors LLC. 
The delay Beach-based Truett Realty Group, which purchased the site for Tesla, also took out a roughly $17.687 million loan from Valley National Bank for the purchase. 

The site plan of the Tesla sales and repair center that would be built at the Kane’s liquidation center site. Image: Pinellas County records.

The 102,410-square-foot facility at 4601 34th St. N. would be converted into an automotive store where customers can become familiar with the different Tesla models, test drive cars, purchase or lease cars in-store or online and have their vehicles repaired, according to county records. 
“We’re thrilled to execute on an adaptive reuse project that will transform a building originally developed as a distribution center into a state-of-the-art Tesla facility. Our redevelopment projects are extremely rewarding as they provide a cost-efficient way to enter markets with high barriers to entry while promoting a sustainable environment,” TRG Principal Rob Truett said in a news release following the sale. 
The news of Elon Musk’s Tesla company entering Lealman is significant because Lealman has long been considered a neglected area. The new center may not only spur more activity in the district, but it would also become the first Tesla center in Pinellas County.
“Our strong history with Rob and Jacob was a major driver in financing this project,” Jordan Simler, senior vice president and commercial banking team leader for Valley Bank, said in the release. “We especially value his focus on redevelopment projects that drive economic and beautification efforts for underserved communities. This is the second CRA-classified Tesla Center that we have financed.”
TRG expects to begin construction this summer.
Today, Tesla has a center in Tampa, several in South Florida and in other parts of Florida, according to its website. 
Meanwhile, the Kane’s Liquidation center will move across the street to 4501 34th Street North behind the main Kane’s Furniture store located at the same address.


Developer retools plans for a luxury condo tower on 4th Street

The developer behind the plans to construct an 18-story luxury condo on 100 4th Ave. N. has significantly revised the plans. 

The Julia, named after one of developer Peter Francis’ daughters, was a planned condo tower that would be built in a vacant corner lot by the historic Flori de Leon apartment building. 

The site was once eyed for the Bezu development, a 24-story condo tower which was ultimately denied by the city council. It was also previously  to become the Blue Lotus

A sign currently stands on the lot advertising the future condo units that start at $1 million; however, the previously-slated 20 condo units will now become 36 units and will be rentals. 

A rendering of The Julia as shown during the meeting. 

Robert Sherman, the owner’s consultant, held a public meeting Thursday night, with Francis, at Hampton Inn and Suites downtown to share the updated plans with the public, and how the developer has made changes to address the public’s concern. 

Sherman said it was fiscally more sustainable to create apartments instead of the originally intended townhome-style condo units with lofts.

The majority of the units will average 1,500 square feet with 24 two-bedroom units and 12 one-bedroom units. The monthly rent for the units will range from $3,500 to $5,000. 

He reiterated that the project has already gone through approvals and will not need any bonuses, but due to the new changes, it will have to go before the city’s Development Review Committee, which will likely review the project in June. 

Beyond the shift from homeownership to rentals, the project also changed the parking design and relocated the pool to the rooftop on the 18th level. 

The building will have a carousel parking structure rather than a traditional parking garage. The carousel parking is a rotary parking system that allows people to park their vehicle on a platform that then lifts the vehicle. The driver can then retrieve the vehicle with a press of a button, Sherman explained, stating how it will eliminate noise and fumes – a concern many nearby residents stressed when the project was initially announced. 

The team hopes to start construction by the end of the year with an 18-month construction timeline. 

There will not be any groundfloor retail, but Sharman said there is space for a potential small art gallery. 


Noble Crust and Fat Beet Farm team up for a new concept 

The team behind Noble Crust and Fat Beet Farm will debut a new concept in downtown St. Pete. 

Noble Crust announced on Facebook this week that it, alongside longtime partner Fat Beet Farm, will open its new concept – Noble Tavern Off The Farm – in the Tru by Hilton Downtown hotel on Central Avenue. 

This will add to the Off The Cuff Concepts restaurant portfolio, which includes the existing Noble Crust and Fat Beet Farm Kitchen & Bakery. 

Noble Tavern will blend the atmosphere of a traditional old-world tavern into a modern design. 

The new sister concept is expected to open in 2023.  


20-acre Tarpon Springs residential compound lists for $12 million 

Six parcels of land in Tarpon Springs spanning 20 acres have hit the market. 

The property, located along the Anclote River at 741 Anclote Road, is listed for $12 million. 

Owned by The Carol Martin Estate, the property is a large residential compound boasting a combined water frontage of over 1,200 feet, and is surrounded by tropical landscaping. The multiple parcels range between .97 to 6.89 acres. 

The residential compound at 741 Anclote Road. Photo: Smith and Associates Real Estate.

The property is co-listed by a residential and a commercial real estate agent at Smith and Associates Real Estate, Dina Sierra-Smith and Pat Calhoon, respectively.

The parcels in the non-contiguous 20-acre property house multiple residential buildings.  

“It can remain a family compound or the local zoning, which allows for five units per acre, means a developer could create a waterside community,” Calhoon said in a news release about the listing.

There are two sets of three parcels that are both gated. The first set includes the main house and two vacant lots. The second set includes two residential parcels and one vacant lot.

The main property has a 5,031-square-foot, three-bedroom home and a two-story guest house with two bedrooms. There is also a pool house and a three-car garage. 

The next largest property, at 575 Anclote Road, is a residential home with a dock with two deepwater slips.  

The listing also describes the parcel at 713 Anclote Road, which is a three-bedroom home that is currently leased. 


Clearwater Beach home lists at $18 million 

An 11,875-square-foot Clearwater Beach estate is now listed on the market for $18 million – if sold at the asking price, it would become the largest residential sale in Pinellas County. 

1170 Mandalay Point Rd, Clearwater. Photo courtesy of Tony Sica and Compass.

Real estate agent Heidi Odio of Compass, who has the listing with Kerry Lather, said an $18-million sale for the property at 1170 Mandalay Point Road would be the highest sale within the county, at least stretching back as far as 24 years. 

The last home record-breaking sale in the county was for the estate at 1700 Gulf Blvd. in Bellaire Shore, which real estate mogul Ben Mallah bought in 2019 from former Phillies All-Star Ryan Howard in a $16.5 million deal.  

The seven-bedroom Clearwater Beach estate is nestled behind the gates of a 12-lot community that overlooks the Clearwater Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. If the property fetches the full asking price, the sale would break down to $1,516 per square foot. 

Carlos Odio, the founder of TicoFruit, a Costa Rican-based citrus company, and his wife Cecilia are the owners of the property. 

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  1. Avatar

    Taarou Bell

    April 30, 2022at12:04 pm

    I live on the next street from this area. And I just wonder how in the hell they going build another big a** luxury apartment/ condo in that small area? Do you guys think about how the Resident feel about this? Or The environment in that area? But I forgot money is power.

  2. Avatar


    April 30, 2022at1:56 pm

    I have lived in this area all of my life and I am feeling very smothered by this so-called progress, all of these people moving here from other places big cities and they’re trying to turn this into a big city. I feel as if I’m being pushed out of my home (florida). Thinking I may pack my bags and leave soon. This is too much.

  3. Avatar

    Staci Lucas

    April 30, 2022at4:04 pm

    Oh joy more unaffordable housing for the people who ALREADY live here and are being pushed out. Way to go Pinellas County !

  4. Avatar


    May 1, 2022at1:01 pm

    Smothered by so-called progress is right, and 3500-5000 is more expensive than downtown. The work from homers are the new conquistdors driving the Seminoles from there homes. Someone has to figure something out to stop driving out natives/long standing residents who just aren’t millionaires. Rent isn’t suppose to double in one year; there are laws against things like this in places like Washington DC because they made a system that is fair in that regard. Thank goodness for the people still only raising rent at reasonable rates like $50 a year. The aroma of selfishness in the air is thicker than humidity in a swamp on the hottest summer day. Keep Saint Pete Local or at least don’t drive us out our homes at an unreasonable rate.

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