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Halcyon, downtown St. Pete's first spec office tower in 30 years, begins preleasing
By Breanne Williams
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Published: May 13, 2024

Marketing efforts are underway for the first speculative office tower to break ground in downtown St. Petersburg in over 30 years.

Tampa-based Ellison Development said Monday it has retained Cushman & Wakefield Inc. to market Halcyon, a 12-story, 130,000-square-foot office tower, for lease. The Central, previously known as Orange Station, will also include a 15-story Autograph Collection Hotel, 15,900 square feet of retail space, workforce housing and more than 500 public parking spaces.

Building speculative office space — breaking ground without a tenant in place — is a gamble few are willing or able to take in the current real estate market. But St. Petersburg, especially in and around the downtown core, is an anomaly: Downtown’s newest multitenant office tower, 200 Central, opened in the early 1990s. The office vacancy rate in St. Pete’s central business district is just over 7%, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.’s first-quarter data. Nationally, office real estate faces a vacancy rate of over 20%.

Business and political leaders have long bemoaned St. Pete’s lack of available, modern office space as a hurdle to building a larger corporate base in the urban core. If Halcyon is successful, it will set a new high watermark for office rents in the urban core.

The tower’s developers think that will be the case: The name is “an appellation derived from the Latin term signifying prosperity and unparalleled success,” according to a release.

“Halcyon’s location and visionary design will attract forward-thinking businesses to downtown Saint Petersburg, fulfilling the need for Class A office space,” Casey Ellison, CEO of Ellison Development, said in a statement.

Ellison Development broke ground on The Central in February. Philanthropist and entrepreneur Sidd Pagidipati of Ayon Capital, who recently made headlines with a $50 million donation to BayCare Health System, is a partner in Ellison Development. Ellison is also behind the redevelopment of Central City YMCA in Tampa Heights.

The Central is being built on 2.1 acres previously home to St. Pete police headquarters. The project is a joint venture of J Square Developers, DDA Development, Backstreets Capital and Ellison Development.

Each office space in Halcyon will feature a private balcony and access to a suite of shared amenities within the Autograph Collection Hotel at The Central. Ellison Development will be building the tower for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2026.

“Halcyon will not only offer high-end finishes and the latest technology, but include highly sought after amenities driven by the lessons we’ve learned in the hospitality space,” Ellison said in a statement. “Halcyon is poised to redefine the office experience and offer an ideal environment for employers aiming to reinvigorate their workforce in a collaborative setting.”



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