A city-owned Central Avenue block may soon be sold for redevelopment. Yesterday, the City of St. Pete released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purchase and development of a property located at 1300 1st Avenue North. The site is currently home to the St. Pete Police Department headquarters, which was originally built in the 1950’s and expanded in the 1970’s. A new 170,000 square foot headquarters is currently under construction across the street at 1301 1st Avenue North and will open later this year.
The two-acre site recently appraised for $6.6 million and sits in the middle of the EDGE District, one of Downtown St. Pete’s fastest growing neighborhoods. According to the EDGE District Master Plan, which was released in December 2016, this parcel has the potential to be a catalyst project — attracting additional development and serving as an end cap for a future Baum Avenue pedestrian streetscape.
In the RFP, the City of St. Petersburg, FL outlines a list of items that all submitted proposals are required to include and a second list of items that are preferred, but not required. The ultimate goal of the RFP is to attract development proposals that are mixed-use in nature with retail, office, mixed-income housing, civic/park space and possibly a hotel.
Among the requests is a requirement for ground floor retail along Central Avenue, specifically space for small locally-owned businesses. The City is currently working to implement a Storefront Conservation Corridor Plan, which hopes achieve a similar goal — to promote and preserve independently-owned businesses.
The City also requests a minimum of 50,000 square feet of office or entrepreneurial space on the site along with 300 public parking spaces. Given the growth of the EDGE District, the creation of a public parking garage within the neighborhood has been a priority for the city. Last year, the City expressed a desire to incorporate public parking in another project within the EDGE District, however a deal between the City and the land owners never materialized.
The addition of office space and new jobs within the EDGE District would be a boon to an area that is currently seeing the development of many new residential and retail projects.
Additionally, if a proposal includes a housing component, the City would like to see the units be a mix of market rate and workforce housing.
The City would also prefer proposals to include rooftop activation and additional retail space along 13th Street and 1st Avenue North.
Of course, the winning submission may not incorporate all of the desired components, but it is likely the proposal will include as many as possible. Given the prime location of this piece of land, whichever proposal is ultimately chosen, this project could be a game-changer for the EDGE District. RFP submissions are due on May 10th.
A link to the full RFP can be found here. And to get an idea of the type of project the City is looking for, take a peak at the conceptual ideas that were included in the EDGE District Master Plan that was released in December 2016.