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Downtown St Petersburg

There are neighborhoods beyond these boundaries that are within walking distance of downtown, but here I’m defining “downtown” St Petersburg as the area between 5th Avenue North and 5th Avenue South, and from 4th Street to Tampa Bay. Unlike the city officials, I’m including both sides of the boundary streets – how can you really say that one side of the street is downtown and the other isn’t? Regardless of where you live in the Tampa Bay area, you can claim Downtown St Pete as yours, if you like – and this is the place to find out about the area and what’s going on there.

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More planned construction for 4th Avenue N in downtown St Petersburg

Buildings to be cleared for Regents Lane.

The “Before” of Regents Lane

Regents Lane is the latest condo project planned for Fourth Avenue North. It’s been a busy block from Beach Drive to 1st Street N.  This appears to be on the same land as the previously announced O.N.E project (not to be confused with the ONE project).

Between Beach Drive and 1st Street North, Rowland Place, a 17 unit condo developer by JMC, was completed and began closings in March. Bliss, with 29 units, is under construction. Three units remain available at Bliss, from $846,900 to $2,915,900.  The former P. Buckley Moss museum is being transformed into a single family residence.

Between 1st Street North and 2nd Street North, Frank Menna and Steve Gianfilippo announced The Brownstones, a row of five 4,000 sq ft homes with space for professional offices below and with roof decks. Preconstruction prices are expected to be between $1.3 million and $1.8 million.

Newly announced by NJR Property Investments on that same block is Regents Lane at 141 Fourth Avenue N. These townhomes will be 2,335 sq ft in four stories. Each will have a 2 car garage, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a private elevator and a rooftop deck. Prices are expected to range from $848,500 to $928,000. Older buildings now on the property will be torn down to make room for Regents Lane.

You can contact The Simms Team at Coastal Properties Group International, Christie’s International for representation in purchasing a preconstruction or existing property.

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Time to convert apartments to condos in downtown St Pete?

Construction progress on 330 Third

330 Third

Soon after the end of the pile driving, we find that American Land Ventures has hired a real estate company to arrange the sale of 330 Third, their planned 358 unit apartment building, as a possible condo conversion.  The building, south of the downtown Publix and north of The Madison, is scheduled to be completed in 2016, with units ranging from studios to 3 bedroom units.  Some of the units in this 17 story building will have water views. Learn more in a recent article on 330 Third by Susan Taylor Martin.

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Kahwa Coffee opens new location at Bob Lee’s

Kahwa Coffee at Bob Lee's Tire

Kahwa opens at Bob Lee’s

Kahwa has just opened its fourth retail coffee shop in St Pete (and has four in Tampa) at Bob Lee’s Tire on 4th Street.  I like getting gas at Bob Lee’s because it’s full service. They used to just give ladies full service, but changed some time ago so they give everyone full service.  I like not having to pump my own gas, especially when it’s cold or rainy, and it’s nice to have my windshield washed and my tires checked. For some years they’ve had some sort of food operation there, but I think they’ve picked a winner by bringing in Kahwa.  After having my usual morning coffee at Kahwa North, I drove to Bob Lee’s to fill up with gas, and there was Sarah Perrier, one of the Kahwa owners, holding her familiar yellow and brown cup of Kahwa coffee and letting everyone know that they can have a free cup of coffee today (and yesterday and tomorrow). I went in for mine and discovered a unique blend of Kahwa coffee shop with vintage gas station.

Congratulations, Rafael and Sarah!  You’ve been a fabulous addition to St Pete and surrounds, so it’s good to see you expanding successfully.

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Making parking easier in downtown St Petersburg

Parkmobile service for parking meters

Parkmobile meters

Many St Pete residents still don’t know about the Parkmobile service in downtown St Petersburg. Parkmobile is an app for your smart phone that offers many benefits:

      • No need to carry lots of quarters around with you
      • No need to overpay the meter just in case you’re gone longer than expected
      • No need to worry about when your meter is going to run out
      • No need to keep scraps of paper to expense your parking

You can register for free at www.parkmobile.com, fill in your license plate number and put a credit card on file. Recently they added the option of using Paypal. A service fee of 35¢ is added to the amount you want to put in the meter.

When you pull in to a parking space, take out your phone, click on the Parkmobile app. You’ll be asked for the parking zone (in the photo here, it’s 2007) and  the amount of time you want to buy. That’s it.

You can request a text message to alert you 15 minutes before the meter expires and you can add time remotely – no need to go out in the rain to add quarters or interrupt your meeting or cocktail. You can also set up Find My Car so that you’ll remember where you parked it.

Both St Petersburg and St Pete Beach now have Parkmobile meters. Many other cities use the same vendor so you can use your account from Boston to Los Angeles,  from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale.  You can register up to 5 vehicles on an account, and you can set up separate personal and business accounts for the same license plate.

Remember – if you DO get a parking ticket, your first one can be waived if you show a receipt for merchandise or food that’s $25 or more.



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Birchwood Inn in downtown St Petersburg

Birchwood Inn, the newest old hotel in downtown St Petersburg is getting close to opening. Articles have said it will open in May – when I drove by last week and saw mattresses outside for the rooms, I knew it was close.

Chuck and Kathy Prather have been “renovating” the hotel since they bought it in 2011. They gutted it to its shell, have been rebuilding it to historic dimensions and then adding 2 stories. The boutique hotel will have 18 rooms, a restaurant and a rooftop lounge. I can’t wait to see the views from there.

The hotel was built in1924 as Lantern Lane apartment hotel. In the 1960s the Grayls purchased it and changed the name to Grayl’s Hotel. Grayl’s was given a historic designation by the city of St Pete.

We look forward to welcoming our new neighbor, Birchwood Inn.

Birchwood Inn progressing in downtown St Petersburg  11/13/12

 Hotels find rooftop bars are very popular – Birchwood Inn in St Petersburg  7/16/12

From Grayl’s to Birchwood Inn 5/14/12






Posted with BlogsyPosted with Blogsy

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Cranes reappearing in downtown St Pete

Construction cranes are back in downtown St Petersburg

Construction Cranes are Back

Cranes are reappearing in downtown St Petersburg as hundreds of rental apartments are planned for downtown St Pete.  After a few years of stopped high-rise condo projects, it’s refreshing to see activity on some of the cleared, empty lots.  It’s a sign of spring and birds as we watch the construction.

This crane is at the corner of 6th St S and 4th Ave S  where Campbell Landings are going up. Plans are for this to be a 4 story building with 96 units of senior housing. The 1 and 2 Read the rest of this entry »

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Birchwood Inn progressing in downtown St Petersburg

Birchwood Inn coming out of Grayl's in downtown St Petersburg

Birchwood Inn progress



Construction is continuing on the Birchwood Inn in downtown St. Petersburg. No, it won’t be done by November 15th, or even by Christmas. Predictions now are for a 2013 completion.



See previous posts for more information and earlier photos:

From Grayl’s to The Birchwood Inn  5-14-12

Rooftop bars – Birchwood Inn in St Petersburg  7-16-12

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Savory Spice Shop now delivers in downtown St Petersburg

Savory Spice Shop delivers by tricycle in downtown St Pete

Paul Bailey - the Spice Pedaler

The Savory Spice Shop now delivers in downtown St Petersburg. Have you seen Paul Bailey delivering spices on his new tricycle? Perhaps you’ve seen it in front of the Savory Spice Shop just Off Beach at 400 Beach Drive NE. Paul and his wife, Joan, own the Savory Spice Shop which is a great place to shop for spices, recipes and advice. Yelp has several Savory Spice reviews from people who’ve been there. You can also check out the Savory Spice facebook page.

Sometimes Paul is delivering spices to some of his restaurant clients, like Tryst, Crowleys and Z-Grille. Other times he’s delivering to guests at the Vinoy who shopped but didn’t want to carry their purchases back. So – if you live or work downtown, consider using Savory’s unique and complimentary delivery service.

Looking for the perfect gift? Savory has several gift sets already prepared or can customize one for you. Just think – you don’t even have to go out to get your gifts – have Paul deliver them for you. Now that’s easy and personalized  gift giving.  And for easy and personalized house hunting – contact The Simms Team at ALVA International, 237 Beach Drive NE.

Search Downtown St Petersburg Condos for Sale

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Beach Drive restaurants in downtown St Petersburg


Cassis American Brasserie


It’s time to update my post 2 years ago on Beach Drive restaurants in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. In addition to Parkshore Grill, Moon Under Water, Cassis, Hooker Tea, Marketplace Express, Paciugo Gelato and 400 Beach, all of which offer “sidewalk cafes” as well as inside dining, we now have Tryst and Bella Brava, also offering dining inside or out. What a great selection of places to sit and enjoy something to eat or drink.  Bookmark this post and you’ll have a handy guide to the Beach Drive restaurant sites: get the phone numbers, the hours and menus for you to look over.

Gatsby’s Restaurant is gone: Grayl’s Hotel is being renovated and will reopen as Birchwood Inn with a rooftop lounge on the 4th floor. NOLA at Parkshore Plaza is now AnnaStella Cajun Bistro.

Come enjoy Beach Drive in downtown St Petersburg. Enjoy a stroll along the park and waterfront, enjoy the shops, restaurants and museums. And, yes, dogs are welcome. Downtown St Pete is definitely dog friendly with water bowls along the way – Cassis even has a doggie menu!

And if you have real estate needs, stop in to see The Simms Team at ALVA International, at 238 Beach Drive NE – look for the red awning that says REAL ESTATE.

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Downtown St Pete Sunrise Sale 2012

Sunrise Sale in St Petersburg brings out the pajamas

Christy from Sweet Divas visiting the Gift Box


Flags, balloons and music on the downtown St Pete sidewalks for sunrise sale

Beach Drive welcomes you to the Sunrise Sale in downtown St Petersburg

6:43 am  Downtown St Petersburg Florida.  Today was the 39th annual Sunrise Sale in downtown St Pete. Super sales awaited the early birds, with extra discounts if you were wearing pajamas! Plan your first stop for your favorite shop and get the best bargains there. For me, Stop #1 was The Gift Box. Next door was new Cerulean Blue on one side and Savory spice shop on the other. Then I stopped at Sweet Divas for a Black and White Coffee (coffee with both dark chocolate and white chocolate). Umm.  Yumm.

Then I stopped at the Museum of Fine Arts store that had a variety of interesting things on sale – and free mimosas to drink while shopping.  There was lots to see and do, from a $4 breakfast at 400 Beach to big sales at Bruce Watters, Jewelers.

There are usually about 30 shops open, with bargains up to 80% off!  Before too long, I just sat outside of ALVA International and watched the passers-by. Ladies in pajamas, men in pajamas, even dogs in pajamas. And of course, some preferring “street” clothes, even though it meant a bit less of a bargain.

Some of us remember the old days. You’d mark the Sunrise Sale on your calendar months in advance, always a weekday morning in July. Some stores would have crowds outside the door, waiting …   Remember the Straw Goat? B. Chandler’s? John Baldwin’s?

Even if you’re not a normal Early Riser – have some fun and join the Sunrise Sale in downtown St Petersburg!

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