A New York developer with several properties in St. Petersburg is proposing a 45-story luxury condo tower in downtown St. Pete that would go up on the 400 block of Central Avenue where the old “cheese grater” building used to sit.
The property has sat vacant since the building was razed in late 2016. Since then it has been fenced in and the grassed over block has been shuttered to the public.
John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Real Estate is planning a tower that will include residential condominiums, a full-service hotel, ‘class A’ office space and ground-floor retail space.
Catsimatidis submitted a site plan application to the city Thursday.
“For much of my life I have been visiting my family in St. Petersburg and have watched it become one of America’s most exciting cities,” Catsimatidis said. “This project will make both St. Petersburg and Red Apple proud by further enhancing what already is a vibrant downtown.”
The tower would serve as “an iconic centerpiece” between St. Pete’s downtown waterfront and its eclectic arts and retail districts to the west.
“This will be a destination where people can live, visit, work, and play,” Catsimatidis said.
The tower would include about 300 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes with luxury interior finishes and wrap-around balconies with waterfront views. There would also be a landscaped sundeck with a pool, outdoor kitchen, dining space and a dog park as well as a fitness center, spa and lounge.
The tower would also include a 225-room luxury hotel with more than 15,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space as well as a rooftop pool and casual dining area.
Another 25,000 square feet of retail space would sit at ground level along Central Avenue and Fourth Street.
The Florida-based architecture firm Arquitectonica is designing the building.
New high-rise development has been a risky endeavor in downtown St. Pete as some residents look to maintain the quaint feel of a midsized city without adding the pizzazz of big city towers. But developers don’t anticipate problems. The development is not seeking any zoning variances and Catsimatidis says he “listened to city leaders who were eager for more office and event space.”
If the city approves the project, Red Apple plans to break ground sometime next year.
The local real estate firm Smith & Associates Real Estate will be the exclusive listing agent for the residential condominium units.