A grassy parcel of land which has stood vacant in the center of Downtown St. Pete for more than a decade could soon see activity with a proposed mixed-use project. Global real estate developer and operator Greystar Real Estate Partners is proposing a 36-story, 357-foot tall development on the northwest corner of 1st Avenue North and 2nd Street North, across from the popular Jannus Block.
The $117 million project, called Ascent St. Petersburg, is designed around a marquee luxury apartment tower which will feature 354 rental units and an adjacent 172-key hotel.
The residential tower fronts 1st Avenue North and sits atop a six-story parking pedestal. Resident amenities include a sixth floor indoor/outdoor amenity deck with a pool and fitness center. The 35th floor of the building will have additional amenity space on an outdoor rooftop deck — likely to be the highest semi-public space in the city.
The hotel component of the project will occupy most of the eastern side of the block with four floors of hotel rooms fronting 2nd Street North and an additional three floors atop the parking podium. A one-way covered porte cochere would be accessible from 2nd Street, allowing guests to be dropped off and picked up without disrupting traffic on surrounding streets.
The hotel’s lobby will have a standard reception area along with a lounge, bar area, and breakfast nook on the first floor. An eighth floor hotel amenity area will feature a 1,700 square foot rooftop terrace and bar and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
Site plan documents, which have been submitted to the City, indicate the hotel could be flagged as an AC Hotel by Marriott, although that remains unconfirmed. Representatives for Marriott could not be reached for comment.
The entire project will be complimented by nearly 8,300 square feet of ground-level retail space. The parking podium will have a total of 508 parking spaces, which is above the 415 spaces required by the City, along with a total of 372 long-term bicycle parking spaces and 21 spaces in short-term bicycle racks.
The project’s location at 225 1st Avenue North is the site of two previous development proposals. Most recently, in 2016, developer David A. Mack proposed the 35-story Halcyon residential project and back in 2005, developer Richard C. Kessler proposed the 29-story Grand Bohemian Hotel & Residences project, which would have featured a boutique hotel and condominium units. Both of those projects were ultimately scrapped, but this proposal has a good chance of being built.
Why? Because Greystar has deep pockets and an even deeper experience developing projects of this size. Greystar is a global player in real estate development. The Ascent line of properties is one of Greystar’s premier high-rise apartment brands and Ascent St. Petersburg will be the company’s latest offering.
There are already Ascent properties in Seattle, Charlotte, Denver, and Dallas, among others. Similar to Ascent St. Petersburg, Greystar recently developed Ascent Midtown in Atlanta which features 328 apartments and a 176-key Canopy by Hilton hotel.
Once complete, Ascent St. Petersburg will tie the Ovation condominium building at 180 Beach Drive as the city’s fourth tallest building. At 357-feet, only ONE St. Petersburg, 200 Central Avenue (f/k/a Priatek Plaza), and Signature Place would be taller.
However, there are a few projects in the pipeline that would likely be taller than Ascent St. Petersburg. Saltaire, which has been proposed for 333 1st Street South, is expected to be 35-stories and 400-feet tall, and Red Apple Group’s proposed condominium project at 400 Central Avenue is expected to be around 450-feet tall.
Site plan review documents for Ascent St. Petersburg were submitted to the City in early June and the project is moving forward in the streamline approval process. While the design is likely complete, it is not yet in permitting and a ground breaking date remains unknown.
Greystar could not be reached for comment on this article.