More details have been released about a mixed-use project proposed for the former St. Pete Police Department headquarters site at 1301 1st Avenue North in the EDGE District.
A year ago, the City of St. Petersburg selected Edge Central Development Partners to redevelop the site after a new police station was completed across the street in early 2019.
Named Orange Station at the Edge, the development is expected to include 100,000 square feet Class A office space, 56 urban condominiums, 30 workforce housing apartments, and over 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.
The project is a joint-venture between Jay Miller, of J Square Developers, along with Bowen Arnold and John Schilling, of DDA Development, all of whom have experience developing in downtown St. Pete. Craig Sher and Will Conroy of Backstreets Capital LLC are also partners in the project.
Orange Station is a reference to the Orange Belt Railway, which brought the first train to St. Petersburg in 1888. According to local historian Ray Arsenault, author of “St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream — 1888-1950,” the arrival of the Orange Belt Railway spurred the initial development of the City of St. Petersburg.
“We were surprised and excited to learn about the historical significance of this part of downtown St. Pete,” said Jay Miller. “Orange Station perfectly captures what this project will bring to downtown and the Edge District.”
The building will wrap a 560-space parking garage, 400 of which will be available to the public.
At the corner of Central Avenue and 13th Street will be a new public plaza with a 1,500 square foot signature “jewel box” retail space, which the developers hope will attract a coffee shop or upscale cocktail bar. In addition to retail space along Central Avenue and in the plaza, there is also 2,400 square feet of retail on 1st Avenue North.
Along Central Avenue and 1st Avenue North will be the building’s 86 residential units. 50 condominium units will front Central Avenue with pricing starting in the $400,000s and rising to over $1 million. The building’s 30 workforce housing apartments are slated to front 1st Avenue North and will be income restricted for families making between 80% and 120% of the Area Median Income.
Arguably one of the most important components of the project is the building’s 100,000 square feet of Class A office space, which is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to the area. The building is currently one of the only new multi-tenant office buildings being marketed in downtown St. Pete. The office portion of the building features 12,000 square foot floor plates and large floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views to the north, east, and south.
While zoning would have permitted a taller building, the team behind the project thought a mid-rise building would be more appropriate for the area. As a result, the office building is only nine stories while the residential portions are eight and six stories.
The developers also considered the neighborhood when selecting the materials to use in the design. The eastern side of the building is wrapped in a burnt orange metallic skin, paying homage to the district’s industrial past. There will also be a six-story green wall with foliage cascading down the building.
Orange Station at the Edge is a true mixed-use building that will help anchor the EDGE District. It will provide more condominium units on the west side of downtown St. Pete as well as much needed workforce housing and office space.
With retail on three sides of the building and a signature public plaza, the building has excellent street-level interaction and the design’s mix of materials will help differentiate the building from other new developments in the area.
This project is a great example of how the City of St. Petersburg, FL can work with private developers to advance the goals of making downtown St. Pete among the most livable downtowns in the nation.
Site preparation on Orange Station at the Edge will begin in 2021 and completion is expected in 2023.
In addition to J Square Developers, DDA Development, and Backstreets Capital, LLC, other partners in the project include Tim Clemmons of Place Architecture, who designed the building; Wendy Giffin of Cushman and Wakefield, who is leasing the building’s office space; Michael Marini of SiteWorks Commercial Real Estate, who is leasing the building’s retail space; and Kyle Parks of B2 Communications and Amber Brinkley of Kippen Communications, who are handling the project’s public relations. The EDGE Business District Association also worked with the developers in understanding the history of the site.