The group behind the proposed Moxy Hotel-anchored project in the Edge District is making progress.
The topping off for the hotel at 1234-1246 Central Ave. was completed in less than seven months from the completion date, according to Miami-based PTM Partners, one of the leading opportunity zone-focused development firms in the country, that is developing The Edge Collective in collaboration with DoveHill. The 163-key Moxy Hotel by Marriott on the 1.6-acre parcel will be the heart of the mixed-use development.
“Throughout the process, we have fine-tuned the design a bit so this will be a higher-end Moxy Hotel product compared to the existing ones. We will have Sparrow, a rooftop bar with a retro theme, and a rooftop pool,” said Michael Tillman, co-founder and CEO of PTM Partners.
PTM Partners shared new renderings of the project with the St. Pete Catalyst.
Today, 30 to 75 construction workers can be seen hammering away and lifting a crane for the hotel, and more workers are expected to come once work starts on the interior buildout. Due to the setback, it brought forth some challenges with the layout of the rooms, but the plan was adjusted to accommodate the various suites.
“Inside, there will be very large lobby with high ceilings and an open floorplan, and a bar will be located at the entryway that will face Central, keeping the avenue active,” he said. “When we started planning this project in 2018, all the traffic was on Beach Drive, and now we are seeing more activity in the Edge District.”
The Moxy Hotel by Marriott would be the first lifestyle hotel for downtown St. Petersburg’s Edge District, along with other mixed-use developments, according to PTM Partners. It was expected to be completed in 2022; however, the pandemic disrupted the construction timeline and the hotel is now slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024. The general contractor is Sarasota-based Kellogg and Kimsey Inc.
“We wanted something that interacts and complements the street life while also elevating the area with what’s considered a lifestyle hotel,” said Nick Pantuliano, co-founder and COO of PTM Partners. He is spearheading the design process with Everald Colas and Jose Miranda from the St. Petersburg-based Storyn Studio for Architecture and Grace Escano-Maniatis from the New York-based firm GEM et AL, which are serving as the interior designers.
The boutique hotel, which will be managed by Philadelphia-based Wurzak Hotel Group, will feature open gathering spaces at its outdoor garden.
“Everything will spill out to green space between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue that will be used by the public to host events and gatherings with live music and we will have rotating art installations,” Tillman added about the project, explaining the open space will be utilized in a similar fashion in how St. Pete’s Green Bench Brewing Co. hosts movie nights in its beer garden.
The project will also include 5,000 square feet of retail and the three-story, 30,000-square-foot adjacent building at 1246 Central Ave. may become a food hall, although those plans were previously reconsidered.
Pantuliano said the group is exploring other functional uses for the building as well, but will be moving forward on restoring the windows, upkeep to breathe new life into it.
“Some people have said we should remove the building and build something new, but it was important for us to keep something of character there,” he said.
As the construction enters the next phase, PTM Partners has made the move to purchase the nearby Dr. BBQ The Restaurant and Burnt Ends Tiki Bar at 1101 Central Ave. S., across from Tropicana Field, which was owned by The Datz Group and operated by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe.
“We envision the ability to create a collective (hence the name The Edge Collective) between the 1100 and 1300 Block. We think this street, given the proximity to the Trop, could be enhanced with a mix of experiences and create a gateway leading to the development of the Gas Plant,” he said. “For the Dr. BBQ site, we plan on bringing in a new operator to keep the space running with the Dr. BBQ name. We are talking with several potential restaurant operators.”
The acquisition of the Dr. BBQ building includes the side parking.