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 featuring 18 residential units including a three level penthouse.
The project is slated to replace Bezu, a previously planned 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.
The new proposal is significantly less dense than the Bezu proposal with a height of 180 feet compared to 300 feet. As a result, the number of condominium units has decreased from 28 to 18. The Blue Lotus design better reflects the density of neighboring buildings, including the 12-story Galaxy Hotel project, which is under construction on the same block, and the 19-story Bliss project, which is down the street and was completed in 2017.
According to Regignano, the vision for Blue Lotus is to seamlessly blend practicality with nature to create residences which provide a sense of tranquility and being in the spirt of the blue lotus flower. Historically, especially in Buddhist and Egyptian mythology, the blue lotus flower has been symbolic of the victory of the spirit over the senses and as a symbol of the universe itself.
This spirit of balance and mindfulness was considered when designing the interiors of the residential units, which will feature floor to ceiling windows offering skyline views that connect residents to the surrounding city. “When creating living environments, we bring technology and function to a human scale with desires and needs fully met,” Huda Ben-Ghuzzi, interior designer for Blue Lotus said. “We balance logic and passion as they intertwine and connect in a delicate balance.”
Apparent in the released renderings of Blue Lotus is a distinct international flair, a byproduct of the international backgrounds of the team behind the project. These global influences can be seen in the zen-inspired garden which adjoins the project to the nearby Flori de Leon building or the Moorish-influenced rooftop horseshoe arches. These influences continue into the residences with finishes that include waterfall quartz kitchen countertops, Italian-style porcelain tiles, and German-made bathroom fixtures, among others.
The team behind the project was brought together by a love of St. Pete and the belief that its best days are ahead of it. “St. Petersburg has the developmental potential to be another Austin, Texas with all of its positive economic attributes,” Regignano said. “The St. Petersburg City Planning Department possesses a vision for developing this favorable and viable future, which is reflective in their plans for tomorrow and beyond.”
The project is expected to be complete in early 2020. However, before construction can begin it must go before the St. Pete City Council to determine if the proposal is consistent with the Intown Redevelopment Plan. The project was originally expected to go before City Council on December 6th but was pushed back to December 13th. Administration from the Community Redevelopment Agency recommends approval of the plan.
You can find more information about all of the active projects in Downtown St. Pete on the St. Pete Rising active projects page. For more information on the Blue Lotus condos, visit their website or Facebook page.