Advocacy Update: An Unknown Future for Landmarks and Developers Alike

Date
October 11, 2022
Category

As our city continues to change, we continue to monitor and advocate for St. Petersburg’s historic resources. A growing city can accommodate thoughtful new development while celebrating the city’s historic character.  

A 600 Block Flashback?

Touted as “a rare opportunity to acquire a fully occupied retail asset in a truly unbeatable location,” local real estate broker Franklin Street recently announced that the south side of Central Avenue’s 600 Block is up for sale.

You may recall that Preserve the ‘Burg led the effort to save the north side of the 600 Block back in 2010, working with the owners of the Crislip Arcade to avoid demolition of the building and re-energize the historic icon, one of just a few arcade-style commercial buildings in the city. The block became a catalyst for the revitalization of Central Avenue and a signature downtown destination. 

While we don’t know what the future will hold, we do know there are no historic protections for Central Avenue, so we’re keeping an eye on this property.

200 Mirror Lake

We wrote about the proposed Lake House condo development a few months back. The proposal was pulled from the Development Review Commission Agenda but is scheduled to be heard on Nov. 2. Earlier drawings depicted an 18-story tower, necessitating the demolition of several historic properties in the Mirror Lake neighborhood, three of which are listed as "contributing structures'' within the Downtown National Historic District. We continue to believe that high rise development should be concentrated in the downtown core and should “step down” in historic areas like Mirror Lake, and we remain concerned about the demolition of historic properties in the historic district.

Julia Rejected

After the DRC’s unanimous denial of revised plans for the Julia Apartments back in August, during which commissioners labeled the project “dysfunctional” and “too much,” the developer’s appeal to City Council failed to achieve the super majority vote needed to override the DRC’s decision. The developer faces a tight deadline (extended due to Hurricane Ian) to file plans with the city to construct an earlier iteration of the project.

Tomlinson Education Center photo
November 22, 2022
Pinellas County opens RFP for historic Tomlinson Adult Learning Center, a early 20th century William Ittner building
Historic Bay Gables House
August 1, 2022
It’s not every day that you see a 100-year-old mansion being driven down the street. But that’s exactly what downtown residents encountered in the early morning hours this past Sunday as the Historic Bay Gables home at 136 4th Avenue NE was loaded onto a massive flatbed truck, destined to make history in a new neighborhood ten blocks away.
Group photo of the Black Boy Scout troop and the local NAACP.
December 16, 2021
In the 1960s, the Polish American Society of St. Petersburg, anchored in their clubhouse at 1343 Beach Dr. SE, welcomed Polish-American baseball players in town for Spring Training. Over on 13th Avenue South, the Melrose Clubhouse was home to the “Colored YMCA,” a meeting place for the first Black Boy Scout troop and the local NAACP.