Blue Lotus to Rise 19-Stories at 100 4th Ave N in Downtown St. Pete

Blue Lotus to Rise 19-Stories at 100 4th Ave N in Downtown St. Pete

Downtown St. Pete’s urban core continues to expand with the introduction of the Blue Lotus condominiums at the southwest corner of 4th Avenue North and 1st Street North. Arclight Development Group is proposing a 19-story boutique high-rise which will feature 18 residential units including a three level penthouse. 

The project is proposed for the site of a 24-story condominium concept which was shot down by the Development Review Commission and City Council earlier this year. Since that setback, developer Michel Regignano has worked to envision a project that is more compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

Read More

Downtown St Pete is in for a Treat at Valhalla Bakery

Downtown St Pete is in for a Treat at Valhalla Bakery

A few weeks ago, Celine Duvoisin walked down Central Avenue with a handful of flyers and a box filled with decadent desserts. As she handed out cookies, cakes, and other sweets to unsuspecting businesses, she let them in on an another exciting surprise: Valhalla Bakery has arrived in Downtown St. Pete.

You can find St. Pete’s newest bakery at 1113 Central Avenue inside Baum Avenue Market, which also houses two other food concepts — Serene and Avocado Valley. Serene is a wellness bar featuring smoothies, smoothie bowls, and wellness lattes. Avocado Valley is a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-influenced eatery that utilizes fresh healthful ingredients.

This is the second location for Valhalla Bakery, which debuted in Orlando in 2015. Over the past three years, Valhalla has evolved from selling out at farmers markets to opening up two storefronts and twice being crowned Orlando’s Best Bakery

Read More

21-Story Residential Building Proposed Near Mirror Lake in Downtown St. Pete

21-Story Residential Building Proposed Near Mirror Lake in Downtown St. Pete

A 21-story residential tower has been proposed for the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue North and 5th Street North across from the Mirror Lake Community Library. According to site plan review documents submitted to the city, the proposed building will be 250 feet in height with 270 residential units and nearly 11,000 square feet of office space. 

Currently, the site is home to 100 apartments which are scattered across six buildings. The documents submitted to the city note that the existing buildings were previously analyzed for consideration to be added to the List of Eligible Properties for potential historic designation. However after review it was determined by the city that the existing buildings did not meet the criteria for historic designation.

Read More

‘Tru by Hilton’ Hotel Coming to St. Pete’s Grand Central District

‘Tru by Hilton’ Hotel Coming to St. Pete’s Grand Central District

When visiting Downtown St. Pete,  whether it be for business or pleasure, odds are that travelers will choose stay either in a hotel in the downtown core, such as the Hyatt Place, or in a hotel along Beach Drive, like the Vinoy or Hampton Inn. While these hotels vary in size and style, they have one thing in common: they are relatively close to the waterfront. 

For years, tourism in downtown has revolved around the waterfront with draws such as our world-class waterfront park system, picturesque cafes along Beach Drive, and nationally-recognized museums. These draws have led to new hotels, like the under construction Galaxy Hotel, in addition to numerous hotel renovation projects. 

But with the growth of Downtown St. Pete and the western expansion of shops and restaurants along Central Avenue, more of downtown is becoming the destination. 

Read More

Icon Central Fills Missing Retail Link on Central Avenue

Icon Central Fills Missing Retail Link on Central Avenue

People often point to the western creep of shops and restaurants down Central Avenue as an indicator of downtown’s growth — a symbol of pride that shows just how far the area has come. After all, the biggest draw to downtown 15 years ago was Beach Drive, a restaurant row that fronts numerous city parks and the famous St. Pete Pier. Today, not only is Beach Drive still bustling with activity, but you can meander down Central Avenue and experience nearly two and a half miles of continuous retail all the way to 31st Street. Arguably the longest stretch of walkable retail in Florida, stores along Central Avenue range from local coffee shops to art galleries and even a wig shop. 

But there are a few exceptions along this stretch, most notably, the 800 block of Central Avenue. For years the area of Central between 8th Street and 9th Street had been a dead zone with no retail or street level interaction on either side of the street. The 800 block is ideally flanked between two booming neighborhoods, the core of Downtown St. Pete with the thriving 600 block and Central Arts District, and the trendy EDGE District. The dead zone between these two areas has served as a psychological barrier that deters people from venturing to the other side. 

Read More

Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Spirit at Serene in Downtown St. Pete

Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Spirit at Serene in Downtown St. Pete

Having spent her childhood in Cuba, Jen Miranda was always accustomed to locally grown products. When she was seven, her family moved to Tampa, and that’s when the American diet started to have a negative effect on her health. Ever since, Jen has had a fascination with health and wellness.

Her journey through nutrition is what inspired her to develop Serene, a wellness bar which quietly opened last month at 1113 Central Avenue in the EDGE District, formerly home to the Openhouse event space that has recently hosted a variety of pop-up concepts. Luckily for us all, Serene is NOT a pop-up!

Serene encompasses nutrition in every single way with a menu that features smoothies, smoothie bowls, and wellness lattes. “I want Serene to be a space where you can have a healthy, guilt-free meal,” says Jen. “I don’t want you to come here and have to count calories because I’ve already done that for you.”

Read More