“In an urban environment, one of the biggest deterrents of pedestrian traffic is a vacant lot,” says Jonathan Daou, owner of Eastman Equity, a commercial real estate investment firm. Daou was able to recognize the EDGE District’s potential before its recent explosion in popularity.
In 2014, he purchased a 1.5 acre plot of land at 930 Central Avenue for $1.7 million with the desire to renovate the vacant, dilapidated parcels and fill the empty lots that permeated the district. Since then, Daou has amassed a significant portfolio of properties in the EDGE District with plans of turning the area into the most vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in Downtown St. Pete.
Daou’s vision became one step closer to reality on August 26th when he sold the property at 930 Central Avenue to Bainbridge Companies for $5 million. Daou will use the proceeds from the sale to fund future hospitality amenities and a nearby hotel.
Bainbridge’s plan is to build a $35 million 6-story apartment building called Bainbridge 930 Central Flats. With this proposal, Daou will get his wish — 330 feet of empty space along Central Avenue will soon be activated by 3,578 sqft of retail tenant space, four townhouse units, an exercise room, and a lobby/leasing office. The development includes 218 apartments that will start at $1,250/month for a studio and go up to $1,850/month for a 2 bed/2 bath unit. The project also includes a 258-space parking garage. Construction will begin on October 1st and is expected to be complete 18 months later in April 2018.