Downtown. Photo Credit: City of St Petersburg.

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It seems like each time we take a stroll through downtown there are new restaurants and galleries opening and more apartment complexes and condo towers being built. We realize it’s difficult to keep track of everything. Luckily, we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Each month we will feature a few of the most exciting new downtown developments that are on the horizon for the Sunshine City.

An 11-story apartment tower was recently proposed for the corner of 16th Street and 1st Avenue North, currently home to a small car wash and a large piece of vacant land. First North Lofts will include 18,500 square feet of ground-level retail space to be populated with tenants that will benefit residents, such as co-working spaces and cafes. Of the 214 total residential units, over half will be 445- to 505-square-foot studios priced at under $1,000. A 280-space parking garage will also be built. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2018, and move-ins are expected in the summer of 2019. Read more…

Sweet Charlie's
Sweet Charlie’s, a hand-rolled ice cream shop, has started the buildout process at 1010 Central Avenue, #102, in the EDGE District. The rolled ice cream trend began last year in larger cities, such as New York and Boston, and has since made its way to St. Pete. Ice cream is made to order on a cold surface, where ingredients are chopped and mixed into the ice cream before being rolled up and placed into a cup. Sweet Charlie’s is known for the Tall Charley, rolled ice cream in between a glazed donut bun. Expected opening date is end of this summer. Read more…

The Crafty Squirrel: Pizzeria + Taphouse will be replacing Fortunato’s Italian Market, located at 259 Central Avenue. The new pizza bar will offer a twist on traditional pizza— individual-sized pies with exotic ingredients, such as slow-cooked Moroccan lamb with sweet potatoes, arugula and tzatziki. The pizza oven will also be used to cook items like vegetable lasagna, oven-baked wings and braised ribs. Over 35 beers will be available on tap, with a focus on locally made brews. A complete renovation will help to make the space much more social by including 70 feet of bar space and communal tables. Construction will begin in the next few months. The Crafty Squirrel is expected to open this winter.

Last month, USF St. Pete announced plans to construct a new ten-story student housing complex. Located at the corner of 5th Avenue South and 3rd Street South, the tower will double the amount of on-campus housing by adding an additional 550 beds. A dining hall will be situated on the first floor. The project is still pending state approval, but once approved has a construction timeline of 20 months. University officials hope to start moving in students by August 2019.

New Mexican cuisine is coming soon to the Grand Central District courtesy of NuMex. Dishes will center around the New Mexican Hatch chile, which is colored either red or green depending on ripeness. A mural by Sarah Sheppard was recently painted on the exterior of the building and bundles of red chiles, known as ristras, will adorn the interior of the restaurant. Look for menu items such as blue corn pancakes and green chile cheeseburgers when NuMex opens at 2710 Central Avenue this July.

An eight-unit townhome community, The Sabal, recently broke ground at 532 4th Avenue South. Each four-floor unit will have three bedrooms, options for two or three full baths, two half baths and a one-car garage. Additionally, each home will be built with smart- capable technology from Sonos, Nest, Lutron, and more. Pricing begins at $680,000.

St. Pete Rising is an urban development blog covering future retail, restaurants, and real estate in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL. Stay up-to-date, visit

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