Fred Hemmer has lived in St. Petersburg for most of his life, and while he wasn’t born here, he calls St. Pete his home. After graduating from Boca Ciega High School he went on to study at St. Petersburg College and then the University of South Florida. Over the past few decades he has worked in banking and in real estate throughout Florida, and has witnessed Downtown St. Pete’s transformation firsthand. After selling his Tierra Verde home, Hemmer and his wife moved into Camden Pier District, and although they traded their waterfront home for an urban high-rise, they viewed the move as an upgrade. “Downtown has so much entertainment to offer,” Hemmer says. “We were tired of always driving downtown and figured, ‘why not just move there?’”
Now, Hemmer is looking to use his decades of experience in banking and real estate to further transform Downtown St. Pete. A group of locals, led by Hemmer, are proposing an 18-story condominium tower for the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue North and 8th Street North. The project, named Reflection, will be located a block from Mirror Lake and will offer 77 units in a modern building with a glass facade. The building was designed by SMP Architecture.
The first six stories of Reflection will consist of parking along with approximately 5,300 square feet of ground floor retail space. The condominium’s residences will be located on floors seven through seventeen. Unlike other condominium buildings in Downtown St. Petersburg, the top floor won’t contain penthouse units. Instead, drawing on his experience living at Camden Pier District, Hemmer’s plans call for a rooftop amenity deck featuring a resort-style pool that will offer 360 degree views of the city.
The land is currently owned by BridgePoint Church, which operates out of the adjacent Mirror Lake Lyceum, and serves as a parking lot for the church and during events. The lot is under contract to be sold to make way for the new condominium tower. The transaction was brokered by KW Commercial’s Jon Wittner and Jake Wollman who represent BridgePoint Church, the Seller, and Jon Reno LaBudde representing the Hemmer Group, the Buyer. To replace the Church’s parking, Reflection will contain 60 parking spaces for the church as well as two spaces for each of the condominium unit owners.
“We are confident this project will help BridgePoint Church continue growing the vibrancy of both our ministry and the Mirror Lake area,” said Tim Whipple, Lead Pastor, Bridgepoint Church, Inc.
Jon Wittner said, “This project is key to the Mirror Lake area. Along with the other planned projects surrounding the Lake, we believe this will be a tipping point to a more integrated, activated and enhanced Mirror Lake Park and be a catalyst for future investment in the immediately surrounding area with great walking access to the Arts and EDGE Districts and Central Avenue.”
Units at Reflection will range from 1,300 square feet to over 2,300 square feet with between one and three bedrooms. Pricing is set to begin in the $600,000s. Hemmer recognizes the project may attract a different buyer than other areas of downtown. He thinks Reflection will appeal to more primary homeowners and potentially to young professionals who want to be located more inland, closer to hip neighborhoods like the EDGE District.
A sales center for Reflection is expected to open in March in the ground floor of The Sage building at 600 1st Avenue North. Sales are being led by KW Development Services and reservations will likely begin in two weeks.
St. Petersburg-based luxury real estate design firm, Clear ph Design, is spearheading the conception and execution of the all-encompassing brand, as well as the design and development of the website, print and sales collateral, and marketing initiatives.
Construction is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020 or first quarter of 2021. Total construction costs are expected to be around $50 million and the building is expected to be 200 feet tall.
Reflection will be located in the growing area around Mirror Lake which is seeing increased development interest. Nearby projects which are recently completed or under construction include Skye333 townhomes, Burlington townhomes, and The Mirror. As development continues to spread west, there will likely be continued interest in higher density projects outside of the downtown core.
For more information about Reflection, please contact Fred Hemmer at email@example.com or (727) 201-5484.
This article is an adaption of the January 28, 2020, St. Pete Rising story.