At the corner of Central Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Street lies the now 90-year-old Union Trust Bank. The building was constructed in 1926 and subsequently expanded in 1938 and 1967. Although it has sat vacant since 1996, the building has stood the test of time as Downtown St. Pete has redeveloped around it. On a neighboring block to the east, The Chihuly Collection opened earlier this month and a Publix is slated to open in early 2017. One block to the west, the Bainbridge 930 Central Flats have just broken ground.
In December of 2015, a proposal for the block at 801 Central Avenue was announced, which revealed an 8-story building that blended the original 1926 portion of the masonry bank into a modern apartment complex with retail along Central Avenue and MLK Jr Street. However, that proposal appears to have been scrapped in exchange for a new proposal.
Submitted to the city for site plan review in September, the new proposal calls for an $80 million 15-story building with a 7-story base to be designed by Humphries & Partners Architects and developed by The Related Group, who is also developing the Tampa Tribune site in Downtown Tampa.
The proposal features 377 apartments and 34,272 square feet of commercial space, which will front Central Avenue and Dr. MLK Jr. Street. The plan continues to preserve the 1926 portion of the Union Trust bank building, which occupies 15,272 square feet of commercial space. The remaining 19,000 square feet of commercial space will be ground-level retail, including a restaurant on the corner of Central Ave and 8th St.
The apartments will range in size from a 678 square foot 1br/1ba unit to a 1,448 square foot 3br/2ba unit. There will also be three 1,600 square foot townhouse units facing 1st Avenue N. The proposal also contains a 625-space parking garage and storage for 402 bicycles.
A courtyard and pool will be located on the first floor and an amenity deck and clubhouse will be located on the 8th floor, above the 7-story building.
If this plan becomes a reality, it will finally activate a portion of Central Avenue that has been dormant for over 20 years. In addition, it will join an ever-growing list of apartment projects currently under construction in Downtown St. Pete, including The Hermitage, Bainbridge 930 Central Flats, and the “Times” Apartments.