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Local developers to bring mixed-use project to west St. Pete
By Breanne Williams
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Published: Nov 14, 2023

Two St. Petersburg developers are bringing a mixed-use project to west St. Petersburg.

J Square Developers and Backstreets Capital are bringing the first new mixed-use project near the western portion of the SunRunner route. The development, which will be anchored by a townhome project called Strum Place, is planned for the corner of Central Avenue and 64th Street. It will also include office space.

Will Conroy of Backstreets Capital told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that west St. Pete is a part of town their group has paid attention to for the last few years.

“As we talked to people who lived in that area, it became apparent to us that the cultural and retail and food vibe was happening — whether it was Craft Kafe or The Blend or Red Mesa or Freefall Theater, which has been there for the last decade — but there was an absence of new housing,” Conroy said. “That was really one of the drivers as we thought about it.”

The project is roughly eight minutes from downtown St. Pete, eight minutes from the beach and two blocks from the SunRunner stop at 66th Street. Jay Miller of J Square Developers said the residents who live and work there have “more of a beach orientation” than those who live downtown.

Miller said many residents are looking to sell their larger homes and transition into a low-maintenance townhome product, but there haven’t been “many offerings” in St. Pete for them.

“The SunRunner has raised the profile of that connection between downtown and St. Pete Beach and how close they are,” Miller told the Business Journal. “The additional attention of the SunRunner made timing appropriate; there are a lot of well-established neighborhoods on that side of town.”

The townhome is named after the Strum family, one of the pioneering families in west St. Pete. The group purchased the 0.84-acre property in December 2022 for $1.45 million, according to a deed filed in Pinellas County.

The project will have nine 2,040-square-foot townhome units in three buildings. Each townhome will have three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage. The townhomes will have an expansive great room on the second floor and kitchens with stainless steel appliances. The open living and dining area will have “collapsible sliding doors” that lead to a private balcony.

Three townhomes will have private fenced yards, and the developers are preserving four mature oak trees along 64th Street to “create privacy and protect the neighborhood’s tree canopy.”

The group is also preserving the adjacent Strum House, which will be converted to office space. The Strums built the two-story home in 1924, and it is approximately 4,800 square feet.

The area has long had a lot of garden office product, according to Miller. Whether it’s professional firms, accountants or insurance, many buyers in the area seek more unique office buildings. The home has played a “historical role” in the city’s history but is not designated as historic. Conroy said it was important to them to do what they could to preserve the structure.

“Jay and I have a commitment to preserving the fabric of what makes St. Pete, St. Pete,” Conroy said. “We’re from here, we love it here, and it’s important to us to preserve the things that make this city unique.”

Marketing is now underway for the project. Construction is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2024 with completion expected within 12 months. The townhomes will start in the $700,000s.

BSB Design is the project architect for Strum Place, and Space Interiors is the interior designer. Smith and Associates is marketing the townhomes; Wendy Giffin of Cushman and Wakefield is marketing the office building.



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