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Sundial deal finalized; here’s what the buyer plans to do next

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the Sundial. Image: City of St. Petersburg.

The 85,357-square-foot Sundial retail and dining center in St. Petersburg officially has a new owner. 

The Florida-based Paradise Ventures group closed on the Sundial property Tuesday in a $21.13 million deal. Paradise CEO Mike Connor told the St. Pete Catalyst there was additional consideration for intangible property and goodwill.

Local businessman Bill Edwards, who has owned the property since 2011, transformed the once-dilapidated BayWalk complex into an upscale retail destination. There have been multiple negotiations over the years on selling the property. 

Initially, Connor was not planning on purchasing the center until he got a call. 

“I knew Bill attempted to sell it before and I wasn’t contemplating buying it until I got a call on a Thursday night,” Connor said. The call came several months ago from KW Commercial broker Jon Reno La Budde, who informed Connor that Edwards was ready to sell. 

Today, the shopping center’s tenants include Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Chico’s, White House Black Market, Tommy Bahama, Diamonds Direct and the Man Cave barbershop, according to the Sundial’s website. The sale was for one parcel and doesn’t include the AMC Sundial 12 movie theater. 

Paradise Ventures has strong ties in Pinellas County as the group is involved in a variety of retail and commercial developments across Tampa Bay, and owns the 695 Central building in St. Pete. 

“I do retail development and there’s not a great central location in downtown St. Pete. This [Sundial] could be the beginning of that, and we could hopefully get the pieces around it and create more of a central destination,” Connor previously said. “There’s more density coming in and we want to create a magnet.” 

There are several large vacancies, including the spaces formerly occupied by FarmTable Kitchen and Locale Market. 

Connor said now that the deal has closed, the goal is to create spec office space on the second level and add new tenants, which Connor said he hopes to announce within the next 30 days. 

Connor said Paradise Ventures took out a mortgage with Valley Bank for the Sundial shopping center. 

Earlier this month, the city council unanimously approved amending the city’s parking agreement with Edwards’ company, Loan Ranger Management, and transferring the employee parking and the pedestrian corridor to the new owner. Since September, the city staff has been working on the terms of the amendments with the involved parties. 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Joseph Trapolsi

    February 24, 2022at11:14 am

    Is Sea Salt in Sundial St.Pete?

    • Veronica Brezina

      Veronica Brezina

      February 24, 2022at12:11 pm

      Yes, it is. We mentioned them in previous stories on the Sundial.

  2. Avatar

    Danny E White

    February 24, 2022at5:28 pm

    Is Sea Salt leaving?

    • Veronica Brezina

      Veronica Brezina

      February 24, 2022at11:47 pm

      The buyers have only said they will be adding office space and filling the vacancies with new tenants.

  3. Avatar

    Kathryn

    February 25, 2022at8:02 am

    This is the perfect location for an Apple store!!

  4. Avatar

    Linda Knox McConnell

    February 27, 2022at12:05 am

    Please please
    Apple store!!!!

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