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Revamped St. Pete development plan approved: Condos out, offices in

Orange Station will now have more than 100,000 square feet of office space and a luxury hotel after the St. Petersburg City Council approved a revised plan for the highly anticipated development.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 p.m. August 3, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The revised plans for Orange Station in St. Petersburg include more than double the amount of office space and an upscale hotel.
The revised plans for Orange Station in St. Petersburg include more than double the amount of office space and an upscale hotel.
Courtesy photo
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The developers behind Orange Station in St. Petersburg have won approval for a revised plan for the site of the city’s former police headquarters that eliminates condominiums but adds a hotel and more office space.

The St. Pete City Council voted 6-1 Thursday to approve the plan. The lone dissenting vote was cast by Richie Floyd, who represents District 8. Lisset Hanewicz, who represents District 4, was absent.

Floyd did not respond to a request for comment on why he voted against the revised plan.

With the go ahead in place, construction on the project could begin later this year.

The revised plan more than doubles the amount of office space in the development from 50,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet. According to a statement from the development group, the proposed additional square footage is meant to address an “acute shortage” in the area and “marks the first construction of significant new Class A multi-tenant downtown office space in over 30 years.”

“We consistently hear from companies wanting to be in newer space in downtown St. Petersburg, and it just isn’t available,” says Wendy Giffin of Cushman & Wakefield who is heading leasing for Orange Station.

While the condo component is gone, the project will have 42 workforce apartments as originally planned. The apartment portion of Orange Station will be called The Wye.

The revised plan also calls for an Autograph Collection Hotel that will be developed by Tampa-based Ellison Development.

While detailed plans for the Autograph weren’t released, it is being “conceived as an urban lifestyle hotel” and will include a bar and restaurant, meeting and conference rooms, event spaces, fitness facilities, a multi-level theater and a rooftop pool.

Connoisseurs, however, will know the Marriott flagged hotel chain.  

There are only 149 hotels in North America that carry the Autograph Collection flag and 140 in the rest of the world, including 76 in Europe, 24 in Asia and four in Africa. Of the North American properties, 21 are in Florida, including the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, the Art Ovation in Sarasota, the Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers and the Fenway Hotel in Dunedin.

Along with developing the hotel, Ellison will join J Square Developers, Backstreets Capital and DDA Development on the project and will also work on the other components.

In addition to the hotel and offices, the project will also include 14,000 square feet of street front retail along Central Avenue and First Avenue North and a parking garage with about 660 spaces.

The price for the project was originally set at $80 million. A spokesperson was unable to provide information on how or if the changes affected that.

Orange Station is being built on the site of the city’s former police headquarter building, which was demolished in 2021, about a year-and-a-half after the department’s new headquarters opened across the street.

The project, in the city’s Edge District, will border a public plaza with an art installation honoring the “Courageous 12” police officers whose efforts led to the integration of the St. Petersburg Police Department on Aug. 1, 1968.

It got its the name from the Orange Belt Railway depot that brought St. Petersburg’s first settlers to the city in the late 1880s.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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