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Penthouse sales heat up at 400 Central

John Catsimatidis Sr., founder of Red Apple Real Estate, announced Wednesday that four penthouses in the Residences at 400 Central have gone under contract since the start of 2024. Buyers signed three contracts totaling over $15 million in the last 30 days. What will soon become St. Petersburg’s tallest condo tower will feature roughly 20 penthouses. 

USF to receive $3 million gift for College of Arts and Sciences

The University of South Florida recently announced a $3 million gift to the USF Foundation that will support programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. The gift from Honey Rand, a USF alumna and local public relations practitioner and author, will establish a creative writing retreat in the college’s Humanities Institute, and support students who are studying writing and communication. Read more about the $3M gift here.

Tampa Downtown Partnership announces new CEO

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has named Kenyetta Bridges as its new president and CEO following her successful efforts to revitalize Detroit. Bridges will succeed interim CEO Shaun Drinkard, who will remain with the organization, July 1. Bridges, chief operating officer of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, helped oversee a $3.8 billion revitalization initiative throughout the city’s downtown. The Partnership provides marketing, business development, planning and beautification services in Tampa’s Special Services District. 

Daystar Life Center collects 1,000 lbs of food

Daystar Life Center, a nonprofit organization in South St. Petersburg that offers a healthy food pantry and financial assistance, recently held the inaugural event of its newest initiative, "Fill A Truck, Feed A Family." Volunteers collected more than 1,000 lbs. of non-perishable food items at the April 29 event. Daystar leaders say they plan to host more in St. Pete in the near future.

City, Rays officials select design-build team for stadium garages

An evaluation committee comprised of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay Rays officials selected Apopka-based Finrock to design and build two parking garages for a new $1.3 billion ballpark. According to the request for qualifications, the five-to-seven-story garages must provide between 500 and 1,500 parking spaces for baseball games and other events. The city council and Pinellas County Commissioners must still approve a development agreement; however, Monday’s selection - the latest of several related to the proposed project - will ensure construction can begin later this year.

Tampa Bay is nation’s fifth ‘best’ summer travel destination

WalletHub analyzed 100 of the largest metropolitan areas across 41 metrics ranging from travel costs to number of attractions to determine its “Best Places to Visit in Summer” list. The personal finance platform ranked Tampa Bay fifth due to its low travel costs, safety and available activities. WalletHub placed the metro area just below Honolulu and above Austin. 

Mayor announces two new Equity Office positions

Mayor Ken Welch announced Tuesday that Rev. Kenneth Irby, senior pastor at the Historic Beth AME Church, will serve as St. Petersburg’s new faith and community justice liaison. Former City Councilmember Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, who lost a child to gun violence, will serve as the new community impact and safety liaison. Both will work underneath Carl Lavender, interim chief equity officer, to promote neighborhood health and security. 

Pitch Night applications close soon

Innovative entrepreneurs have until Friday, May 17, to submit applications for St. Pete Pitch Night. The biannual event sponsored by The Greenhouse and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is June 11 at Coastal Creative, and five selected participants will compete for $5,000 in prize money. For more information, visit the website here

Hines sells Tampa industrial park for $94.5 million

Houston-based Hines, the global development firm working with the Tampa Bay Rays to redevelop St. Petersburg’s Historic Gas Plant District, has sold the Tampa Commerce Center for $94.5 million. A corporate entity linked to New York-based Blackstone, an investment management company, acquired the property in an all-cash deal. Hines leased the industrial park to the Ball Corporation, an aluminum packaging manufacturer. 

Bucs give safety a record-setting contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and safety Antoine Winfield have agreed to a four-year deal worth $84.1 million, with $45 million fully guaranteed. Winfield, 25, is now the NFL’s highest-paid defensive back. He was named a first-team All-Pro in 2023, his third year in the league, after recording 122 total tackles, three interceptions, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and six sacks. 

Leasing begins for Class A office tower in St. Pete

Ellison Development announced Monday that it is now leasing space in St. Petersburg’s first Class A office tower to break ground since the 1980s. Halycon, a 12-story building in The Central - formerly known as Orange Station - development, features 130,000 square feet of speculative office space. St. Petersburg-based Ellison hired Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial real estate firm, to oversee leasing at Halycon. 

City to host urban forestry town hall

The City of St. Petersburg is launching a series of Citizen Forestry town hall meetings to gather public feedback on environmental concerns related to trees. The first event begins Wednesday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bay Vista Recreation Center. The town halls will utilize live polling and a collaborative approach to engage residents on various tree-related issues, including the heat island effect, community resilience and preserving the city’s canopy. For more information, visit the website here

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