A vacant four-acre waterfront property that has been unused for years will now become the site of a new $100 million, mixed-use development.
Last week, St. Pete Beach commissioners unanimously approved the final reading of South Florida-based Ram Realty Advisors’ proposed Corey Landing development. The project entails building a seven-story, 243-unit residential building with 2,000 square feet of retail, office and commercial shops, along with a 5,000-square-foot restaurant at the east end of Corey Avenue.
The waterfront property was the site of the former Leverock’s restaurant, Bay Winds motel and Bay View Heights Apartment. It’s adjacent to The Blue Parrot restaurant.
“I think this is a good project I appreciate the due diligence of the applicant. It meets the comprehensive plan, it meets the land development regulations,” Commissioner Ward Friszolowski said. “This is what the city has envisioned for that end of Corey Avenue for a long, long time — allowing public access to the waterfront, having nice green waterfront access, being an anchor at the east end of Corey Avenue. We always wanted an east end anchor for sunrise and a west end anchor for sunset.”
The property is zoned as TC-2, which allows for retail, restaurant and multifamily uses. It also allows the property to be used for a grocer although, Ram’s plans do not currently indicate a grocer for the site.
The developer has hosted multiple public meetings on Corey Landing and issued more than 40 notices to surrounding residents.
Commissioners noted how they’ve received feedback from residents voicing concerns about the potential traffic, noise and lighting issues. However, the commissioners said the majority of the public feedback has been positive and that the developers are addressing those concerns by providing more parking spaces than required. In addressing the noise concerns, the commissioners agreed that the outdoor music emitting from the planned restaurant would have to cease by 11 p.m.
The city commission previously approved conditional use approval for commercial docks and plans for the waterfront, dock-up restaurant. The majority of the 30-plus dock slips will be on the east side of the property. The eight Class A transient slips will be used for the restaurant. Plans and renderings also show a potential kayak launch area.
Another major component of Corey Landing is a 0.7-acre linear public park that would create a vibrant meeting place and connect to the proposed docks that would surround the waterfront property. The city would retain the entitlements to the park while the developer would be responsible for redeveloping it. The park would feature bike racks and a waterfront overlook.
Ram, a vertically-integrated real estate manager, intends to use capital from a discretionary closed-end fund for the Corey Landing project. Therefore, Ram would fund all equity required for the project from the fund and would not require any outside capital partners, according to Ram’s filed documents.
The project was initially expected to cost $90 million, but due to the market, the price tag has increased to a projected $100 million.
Ram was worked on numerous projects in South Florida and in North Carolina, where it also has an office.
Its portfolio includes the mixed-use CURV building in Fort Lauderdale. The $106 million development, completed in late 2020, is an eight-story building with 243 luxury apartments and a Whole Foods on a 3.2-acre site.
Ram’s documents also highlighted its work on the $195 million Mareas at Botanica development in South Florida. The project consists of 600 apartments and 290,000 square feet of retail, including a Walmart and a LA Fitness. The first phase was completed in 2020.