Advocacy Update: An Unknown Future for Landmarks and Developers Alike

October 11, 2022

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.

Union Trust Building
February 7, 2023
Local media was abuzz last week with news that the historic Union Trust building at 895 Central Avenue has been leased, with local entrepreneur Jim Fiore announcing plans for a high-end restaurant in the nearly 100-year-old building. While it may have taken a while, that the property is still there to be developed, that its unique architectural details and irreplaceable features such as a basement vault containing original safe deposit boxes, will be reimagined for a new generation, is proof that historic preservation works.
Virtual Reality of Proposed Development at Mirror Lake
January 5, 2023
The City’s Development Review Commission unanimously denied a developer’s application for a 200-foot condo tower planned for the Mirror Lake waterfront.
Map of project location on 4th street between 28th and 29th Avenue North
December 12, 2022
PTB, along with the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association (HONNA) and supported by a strong resident turnout, successfully convinced the city’s Development Review Commission (DRC) to deny special exceptions sought for a drive-thru restaurant and the demolition of a home to create a parking lot on residentially-zoned property.