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 downtownโ€™s growth โ€” 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. 

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Downtown St. Pete Development Update - Fourth Quarter 2016

Downtown St. Pete Development Update - Fourth Quarter 2016

The fourth quarter of 2016 saw an enormous amount of progress on many of Downtown St. Pete's active developments.  The demolition of the "cheese grater" building at 400 Central Ave concluded.  The Rowdies launched an official campaign to join the MLS, which included an expanded Al Lang Stadium.  A new site plan was approved for 801 Central, which now includes a 15 and 7-story apartment building and ground-level retail.

Also, a few projects broke ground including Bainbridge 930 Central Flats, and retail along 1st Ave S that will house an Orangetheory Fitness and a yet-to-be-determined restaurant.  

Additionally, AER Apartments and The Hermitage Apartment Homes started leasing, which helped to relieve the extremely low apartment occupancy rates that Downtown St. Pete has grown accustomed to over the past few years. 

Looking to the future, we should see the groundbreaking of a few notable projects this coming quarter including The Brownstones, 801 Conway, The District on 9th, and the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

Lastly, be sure to check out Downtown St. Pete's first, second, and third quarter development updates of 2016 to see how your favorite projects have progressed!

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801 Central Ave Reimagined with 15-story Apartment Building

801 Central Ave Reimagined with 15-story Apartment Building

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.

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