A five-story, 40-unit residential condominium building in downtown St. Petersburg has won approval from the St. Petersburg City Council.
The project, planned by NJR Investment and Development Co., was one of several developments that Council members considered Thursday afternoon. Council members also backed measures to advance a 25-story mixed-use development planned by DeNunzio Group at 1st Avenue and 5th Street North, as well as a mixed-use project under construction by Phillips Development and Realty in the Skyway Marina District.
The NJR condo project, named Domus Urban, is located at 644 3rd Ave. S. The condos will be 1,100 square feet to 1,600 square feet, with prices ranging from $370,000 to $599,000, developers said.
The City Council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, voted five-to-one to approve the NJR condo project, with Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman casting the only no vote after raising questions about affordable housing in the area.
“I’m not against development. Not at all. But we have development coming into the CRA areas, which are blighted areas, and charging market rate prices that nobody in those areas can afford. We need to start looking at that and be mindful of that because no one in the CRA can afford those prices,” Wheeler-Bowman said.
The condo is being built on vacant land, but Council Vice Chairman Gina Driscoll said that’s because an older 18-unit apartment building with affordable apartments was torn down to make room for the NJR development.
“We had 18 units in that old building and those are folks who were displaced and who knows where they found a place where they could afford to live, much less in downtown St. Petersburg,” Driscoll said.
In voting in favor of the project, Council members found that the project was consistent with the Intown Redevelopment Plan, which is designed to encourage and reinforce development.
Two council members —Ed Montanari, who is chairman, and Robert Blackmon — were absent and did not vote.
The other projects the Council advanced had previously won backing from city commissions.
The Development Review Commission in July agreed to DeNunzio Group’s request to vacate some of the air rights in an alley bordering the planned development, in order to build a parking garage. The City Council Thursday voted to approve an ordinance vacating those rights.
Council members also approved two agreements related to Phillips Development’s Sur Club project, at 30th Avenue South and 34th Street South. The Community Planning and Preservation Commission last month approved a revised agreement with Phillips, extending the timeline for completion on the project to September 2023. The city also will provide $400,000 to the Florida Department of Transportation to build a traffic signal at 30th Avenue and 34th Street South.