The redevelopment of the former St. Pete Police Department headquarters site at 1301 1st Avenue North has been revised to increase the number of residential units and adjust the amount of the planned office space.
Located in the EDGE District, Orange Station at the Edge 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.
The initial plans for the Orange Station called for 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.
In the retooled plans, which were approved in May, the number of market-rate condominium units has increased to 61 while the number of workforce housing units has increased to 42 for a total of 103 residential units. The market-rate units will front Central Avenue while the workforce housing units will front 1st Avenue North. Sales for the market rate condominiums will be led by Smith & Associates.
Most strikingly, the building’s height will now be 16 stories compared to nine in the initial plans. The increase in height is largely the result of four floors of office space being added to the market rate condominium portion of the building. The floors will create 50,000+ square feet of Class A office space. Additionally, 14,000 square feet of retail space will front Central Avenue and 1st Avenue North.
Under the initial plans, a freestanding 100,000 square foot Class A office building was expected to be constructed on the northeast corner of the site. However, concerns over post-pandemic office demand caused the developers to scale back the amount of speculative office space included in the project. The former office building site will now be available as a pad site for future development — likely a future office building, medical office building, or a hotel.
A 600-space parking garage will also be included with 400 of those spaces open to the public. The plaza area at the southeast corner of the development will honor the “Courageous 12” St. Petersburg police officers responsible for forcing integration of the police department.
“The EDGE is one of the most vibrant districts in all of Tampa Bay but the area doesn’t currently have a marquee destination. We think Orange Station will fill that role,” says Bowen Arnold, Principal at DDA Development, which is leading the residential portion of the project.
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; Kyle Parks of B2 Communications and Amber Brinkley of Kippen Communications, who are handling marketing and public relations; and Clear ph Design, who is responsible for the website and branding for the development. The EDGE Business District Association also worked with the developers in understanding the history of the site.
Demolition of the former police station will occur late this year and construction is expected to begin on Orange Station in the first quarter of 2022. Completion of the project is expected by the beginning of 2024.
For more information on Orange Station at the Edge, visit their website.