45-story tower planned for ‘cheese grater’ site in downtown St. Pete

400 Central Avenue Rendering 9-5-2019
The building would feature luxury condos, a hotel, office space and ground floor retail.

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.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


2 comments

  • Barbara posnack

    September 6, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Are there any buildings coming up that will offer space for a low income resident???

  • Connie Kuhn

    September 6, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Evidently they only want rich people living in Florida. St. Pete and Gulfport are pricing the middle class out of any affordable housing. I checked out one place that advertised affordable housing only to find out a 1 bedroom with approx 700 sq ft was $1100.00 That is NOT affordable for the working class or the retired living on a fixed income!! Please quit lining your pockets at our expense, thank you.

Comments are closed.


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