Following a series of approvals from city commissioners, a mixed-use development at the end of Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach is one step closer to reality.
Corey Landing will contain 243 Class-A residential apartments, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, a public park, and 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, according to the project.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal quoted Jim Stine, president of Ram Realty Advisors, as saying, “If you look at the way this site is positioned, most of the units have these lengthy views going south along the Bay.” “The views of the wide lake are simply breathtaking. Nothing has been constructed, and there is no new product on the market. It’s been perhaps 30 years since there’s been any genuine progress there.”
Commissioners took the first steps toward allocating 150 units from St. Pete Beach’s residential pool reserve to the Corey Landing project on Jan. 11, approving a conditional use application for commercial docks and a restaurant along the waterfront, which Commissioner Mark Grill pointed out was 77 percent of the city’s residential pool.
The 3.9-acre site, which is split into two portions at the end of Corey Avenue, is located in the city’s Downtown Redevelopment District.
based in South Florida Corey Landing was built by Ram Realty Advisors. A 5,000-square-foot waterfront restaurant with parking, a public boardwalk, and eight transient boat berths will make up half of the project. 3,500 square feet of the restaurant area would be set aside for indoor eating, while 1,500 square feet would be set aside for a patio. This portion will feature a restaurant, live music, and rooftop activities.
The second section comprises proposals for a seven-story mixed-use complex with multifamily residential and commercial components. According to the conditional use proposal, a seven-story parking garage will be coupled with the structure and “wrapped around the periphery by commercial and residential uses,” thus hiding the garage from view. The bottom floor will be divided into commercial and retail areas, with 8,264 square feet dedicated to retail and 2,959 square feet for commercial and coworking spaces.
Despite the fact that the company is still in the design phase, Stine estimates that development expenditures will exceed $100 million.
Based in North Carolina The project also includes Kimley-Horn and Memphis-based Looney Ricks Kiss Architects. For pre-construction pricing, Stine said they’re working with Atlanta-based Juneau Construction, but they haven’t decided on a general contractor yet.
Ram Realty Advisors’ desire to collaborate with the city to establish a public park between the two neighborhoods is one of the development’s distinctive features. According to the application, this will “transform an ugly part of Corey Avenue into a dynamic public destination for the neighborhood with open space and increased access and utilization of the coastline.”
The city uses approximately 0.7 acres of the Corey Landing site for storage. More than a half-acre of green area would replace the existing asphalt and concrete in the public park. The design also asks for significant improvements to the streetscape along Corey Avenue, which connects to the Boca Ciega Bay beachfront. There would be new paving, sidewalks, benches, and bike racks installed. The proposed docks would extend from the waterfront area.
The developer must also upgrade the site’s stormwater infrastructure and construct a number of new drainage structures, according to the proposal.
According to a Kimley-Horn transportation report from November 2021, the routes that would be “seriously impacted” have sufficient capacity for this development.
Grill questioned if the commission’s investment of such a large amount of their residential pool reserve was worthwhile.
“Basically, we’re saying this is the site we want for the largest residential across the community redevelopment area because it’s only leaving us 45… but we know we don’t have very large lots anywhere else in the community redevelopment district,” Grill said during the hearing. “Does it make sense for us, for the city, to invest in this initiative, in this section of the city?” Because it determines the course of events.”
Some homeowners expressed worries about the density of the site, but Sterns Weaver Miller attorney Elise Batsel reminded commissioners that similar-sized projects have been allowed in the past when the location was appropriate.
“Putting together a project of this scale, assembling property, and attempting to come up with a lot of additional public benefit all takes money,” Batsel added. “In order to sustain all of those extra benefits, there has to be a particular density.” We started with 325 units and have whittled it down to 243… there just has to be a particular economic mass in order to build a catalytic project, and your overall plan asks for effort in this area.”
Vice Mayor Ward Friszolowski also reminded the rest of the commission that, in all the years they’ve had the reserve pool, Corey Landing is the first major project to draw on it in a substantial way.
According to Stine, when the project is finished, the units available will be high-quality dwellings that combine low-density living with lavish public areas and commercial. Those who wish to live in a peaceful neighborhood with beach access while still being 10 to 15 minutes from downtown St. Petersburg are expected to flock to the development, according to him.
“It’ll completely alter the region, and it’ll be the greatest thing that’s been done in that area in a long time,” Stine said.
Over the years, Ram Realty Advisors has built residential and commercial projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including The Curv in Fort Lauderdale, Palmetto Park in Boca Raton, The District Boynton in Boynton Beach, and Alexander Living in West Palm Beach.
The second Corey Landing hearing will take place in February.