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St. Pete City Council approves revised development plan for Orange Station

St. Petersburg City Council voted to approve revised plans for the Orange Station mixed-use development planned for St. Pete’s EDGE District.

Orange Station was announced by Edge Central Development Partners in late 2019 as a response to a request for proposal (RFP) process spearheaded by the City of St. Petersburg.

The project is a joint venture of J Square Developers, DDA Development, and Backstreets Capital, LLC, who have previously worked on other St. Petersburg developments like The Salvador, St. James Townhomes, and The Nolen.

The team was selected to redevelop a two-acre city-owned parcel at 1300 1st Avenue North that was once occupied by the St. Pete Police Department headquarters building, which moved into a new building at 1301 1st Avenue North in 2019.

The project has gone through several iterations over the years but most recently was redesigned to remove the luxury condominium component and replace it with more office space.

The revised plan for the development calls for the construction of a 115,000-square-foot 11-story Class A office building, which will front Central Avenue with ground floor retail. The proposed office building represents the first major office development for downtown St. Pete in decades.

“We expect this location to be a major draw for office users, with new, customizable space in a walkable downtown location that has plenty of parking,” said Wendy Giffin of Cushman & Wakefield, who is heading up office leasing for the project. “We consistently hear from companies wanting to be in newer space in downtown St. Petersburg, and it just isn’t available.”

The development will also include an Autograph Collection Hotel slated for the northeast corner of the site. The pad was once slated for an office building but is being swapped for a boutique hotel that will be developed by Tampa-based Ellison Development.

The proposed Autograph Collection Hotel would be the second in downtown St. Pete. Last month, The Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club rebranded as an Autograph Collection Hotel. Other Autograph Collection Hotels in Tampa Bay include the Fenway Hotel in Dunedin as well as The CURRENT Hotel and The Epicurean Hotel in Tampa.

“We are pleased to get the City’s support for the changes to the Orange Station plan,” said Will Conroy of Backstreets Capital, one of the partners in Orange Station. “The downtown area and the EDGE District will be well-served with more quality hotel rooms for visitors and more best-in-class office space for companies looking to locate here.”

The development team is not making changes to the project’s 42-unit workforce housing component, named The Wye, which will front 1st Avenue North.

Also not changing is a proposed public plaza with outdoor cafes and a public art tribute designed by Ya La’Ford to honor “The Courageous 12,” the 12 Black St. Petersburg police officers who successfully sued the city in the 1960s to gain the same rights as their white counterparts.

In total, the revised project calls for 115,000 square feet of office space, 42 workforce apartments, 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail along Central Avenue and 1st Avenue North, a 660-space parking garage with at least 400 public parking spaces, and an Autograph Collection Hotel.

With City Council approving the revised plans, construction could begin as soon as the fourth quarter of 2023. Expected completion is in 2027.


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