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Skyway Marina development moves closer to completion

Margie Manning



Pictured is an older construction photo of the project.

Phillips Development and Realty is a little bit closer to getting a $1 million incentive offered by the City of St. Petersburg for the first mixed-use project in the Skyway Marina District.

The Sur Club project, which will include apartments, restaurant and possibly retail space, will qualify for reimbursement from the city for public infrastructure improvements, based on meeting benchmarks for completing different parts of the development.

The St. Petersburg Community Planning and Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved a revised agreement with Philips Development, extending the timeline for completion on the project to September 2023. The original agreement, signed in 2017, had expired in April, Gary Jones, economic development officer for the city of St. Petersburg, told the commission on Tuesday.

“We were very ambitious in our timeline for the expiration date when this agreement was first approved,” Jones said. “Seeing that, we want to extend it for another three years with market conditions the way they are today.”

Sur Club, at 30th Avenue South and 34th Street South, was the first investment in the Skyway Marina District in several years, putting it in line for the $1 million incentive, although several developers have since unveiled other projects in the area.

Related: Realtor who helped transform the Skyway Marina District has his sights set on another part of St. Pete

A 100,000-square-foot self-storage facility on the east side of the Sur Club property, adjacent to Interstate 275, was completed a couple of years ago.

The 296 apartments that are part of the project are under construction and expected to be completed next summer, Jones said.  Construction has begun on a parking deck as well, said Kevin Johnston, chief operating officer of Phillips Development.

Phillips also plans two commercial buildings on the site — a 4,500-square-foot restaurant facility and a 3,500-square-foot restaurant or retail space. They will be on the west side of the property, facing 34th Street.

The $1 million reimbursement to Phillips is divided into four parts:

• $250,000 for work to extend the Pinellas Trail to the project.

• $400,000 for a new traffic signal and crosswalk at the intersection of 34th Street South and 30th Avenue South. The city will manage the project, working with the Florida Department of Transportation.

• $250,000 to reconfigure 32nd Avenue South, adding sidewalks, lighting and angled parking.

• $100,000 for public art on the self-storage building and parking deck’s facades.

Gwen Reese, a member of the commission who lives in the neighborhood, said the project’s progress is welcome.

“For many years we’ve driven by this property and it’s been vacant with nothing happening there,” Reese said. “It’s wonderful to see activity on that 34th Street corridor.”

Many Skyway Marina District residents have to leave the area for services and products other than the basic goods offered at Walmart or fast-food restaurants, Jones told commissioners, and a sit-down restaurant was a top priority of the community.

“We were very pleased with Philips Development when they said they would like to see two sit-down restaurants on this site. The development agreement only requires one,” Jones said.

Neither Johnston nor Jones said if Phillips Development has any tenants for the restaurant or retail space, and a request to the company for clarification on that issue was pending return.

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