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TCR to develop 1700 Central block, preserve businesses

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of 1700 Alexan. Image provided by TCR.

Dallas-based Trammell Crow Residential is planning to purchase the entire 1700 block of Central Avenue to build a seven-story mixed-use apartment building. 

Trammell Crow Residential, a subsidiary of Crow Holdings, has filed an application with the city to build a 267-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail at the site for the project named Alexan 1700. The complex would include 18,000 square feet of commercial space with 75% of the retail fronting Central Avenue.

The site currently houses multiple local businesses such as Dirty Laundry, The Burg Bar and Grill, Lolita’s Wine Market and others.

Melissa Rutland of the Rutland Commercial Florida Property Group assembled the site and is currently working to relocate the leaseholders of the locally owned businesses to nearby spaces. Once the building is completed, the majority of the current owners of the existing retailers will remain as owners of the new retail space, Rutland said. 

“This project was very carefully thought out and preserving the retail is the top priority,” Rutland said. “We want to maintain the energy and the vibe of the community in that part of Central Avenue.”

The development team behind the $105 million mixed-use building has reached out to the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance in hopes of creating a plan to replace the existing murals that were painted on the structures during St. Petersburg’s SHINE Mural Festivals. The developer has programmed areas throughout the exterior into the design for murals.

“We’re excited to join the vibrant community in St. Petersburg, offering luxury apartments as well as attainable housing options to the residents here. Alexan 1700’s prime location within the Grand Central District and on Central Avenue provides a unique opportunity to develop a live-work-play community within walkable distance to the area’s highly desirable amenities and employment,” said Steven Epps, vice president of development for TCR. “We also appreciate the incredible local art in the area, which we intend to incorporate throughout the exterior with murals and also in the interior. This project seeks to preserve the lower-density characteristic of the neighborhood, especially compared to others in the immediate vicinity that have been proposed.” 

The apartments will include studios, one- and two-bedroom units and a pool courtyard.

TCR is working with Dwell Design Studio as the architect and engineering firm Kimley-Horn Associates. 

The developer will be seeking a 0.86 FAR (floor area ratio) bonus and will be paying into the city’s housing capital improvements program fund.

While the units the Alexan 1700 will be market-rate, Epps said TCR is planning to bring more affordable housing projects to St. Petersburg. 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Corbin Supak

    August 16, 2022at11:59 am

    for god’s sake no – how to kill an area: make all the buildings similar age, in this case, all new, meaning expensive, meaning only one type of people are there, meaning all the routines are similar, meaning the streets are not always alive, meaning safety plummets, and culture stagnates – just build nearby, wherever it’s vacant – don’t replace older cheaper buildings, cities work when they provide for a diversity of use cases, and that starts with diversity in the ages of buildings – someone please read the basic texts on the subject!

  2. Avatar

    James F Mack

    August 16, 2022at3:11 pm

    Amen to that!

  3. Avatar

    David Johnson

    August 16, 2022at4:19 pm

    Totally agree Corbin! I love to see developments in St Pete but not at the expense of well-established local businesses. There are plenty of sites nearby that are vacant and ripe to be developed that would work well.

  4. Avatar

    Andrew Bundschuh

    August 16, 2022at6:31 pm

    This is sad. The ongoing destruction of Central is killing the goose that’s laying the golden eggs. I’m glad folks want to live here, but without the small shops and restaurants, why bother.

  5. Avatar

    Bev

    August 17, 2022at4:28 pm

    You cannot tear down places with history and character, plop a new building on top of it, and expect to recreate what was there. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. The burg bar is one of the few restaurants in town that hasn’t used inflation as an excuse to raise their prices exorbitantly. This article makes it sound like businesses are being “preserved”, but what local customer is going to want to return after this?

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