A new ultra high-end 25-story condominium tower, with a mix of short-term rental and permanent residential units, will rise on 4th Street South.
Clearwater-based real estate firm Valor Capital plans to build a 152-unit upscale condo development at 332, 340, and 344 4th Street South. The property is located at the intersection of 4th Street South and 4th Avenue South and was assembled in a series of purchases that closed in 2022 for $5.2 million.
In an exclusive interview with St. Pete Rising, Valor Capital CEO Moises Agami said the $55 million project will be named Roche Bobois Residences as the team is working with the Paris, France-based luxury furniture designer Roche Bobois.
Gomez Vazquez International is the building’s architect.
“St. Pete is ready for top luxury urban projects. We looked at beachfront condos and the downtown core and there’s nothing like this,” Valor Capital Executive Development Manager Mauricio Lan said.
Valor Capital previously developed several condos in Clearwater, including The 36-unit SkyView condominiums and the 80-unit Serena by the Sea project.
The Roche Bobois Residences’ hybrid model will allow owners to offer their units for short-term rentals, according to city documents.
“The rentals will attract outside high-end clientele to the city,” Lan said. “This is going to have a decent mix. We are working on getting entitlements for the maximum flexibility.”
City planner Corey Malyszka compared the project to Mint House.
Mint House, located at 77 11th Street North in St. Petersburg’s EDGE District, was previously approved as an apartment project but was later converted to a hotel use. Mint House allows both short-term and long-term stays.
“In this use [from Valor Capital], a condo is sold to a private individual who can decide to do a short-term rental, and the only way to do that is by definition of a hotel …,” St. Pete zoning official Corey Malyszka said. “You have to have onsite staff 24-7. It cannot be an Airbnb or bed-and-breakfast.”
While clarifying the definitions of hotel and rental uses, a debate ensued regarding the existing structures at the site that would meet the wrecking ball.
Today, the half-acre property is home to a two-story and a three-story apartment building constructed in the 1920s, and a four-unit condo constructed in 2003.
The buildings are not designated as historic structures.
Citing language in the Intown West Redevelopment Plan, Manny Leto, Executive Director of Preserve the ‘Burg, argued that the city is still obligated to maintain the historic and cultural integrity of resources.
Resident Bill Herrmann, listed as the Advocacy Co-chair of Preserve the ‘Burg, raised similar concerns about razing the structures.
“We also want to raise the issue of affordability,” Leto said.
He explained that monthly housing costs for owners and renters of historic properties are significantly lower in comparison to newer housing stock.
“The more of these [historic multi-family properties] that you demolish, the less affordable things are going to become,” Leto said, highlighting how more than half of the residential buildings in St. Petersburg, FL were built before 1960.
“We demolish many buildings that are 50 years old and not historic for redevelopment,” Mastry contested, on behalf of the developer.
Arguments from preservationists contrast those from housing advocates who argue more supply will ultimately alleviate pricing pressure.
Despite the opposition from preservationists, city councilmembers, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), unanimously approved the project, finding it consistent with the Intown Redevelopment Plan (IRP) and surrounding developments.
The Roche Bobois Residences will have 4,893 square feet of commercial ground-floor space and a 130-space parking garage.
Floors five through 24 of the Roche Bobois Residences will have residential units and any amenity space. The residential component will range from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
Fifty-seven units will be above 750 square feet, and 95 will be at or below the same size; however, there will be several penthouses.
The condo pricing has not been finalized.
The 25th floor will feature an amenity area, referred to as the Sky Lounge, which will feature a bar.
The property is zoned Downtown Center-2 (DC-2) which allows for a base Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 3.0 and a maximum 7.0 FAR. The project is utilizing bonuses of 4.0 FAR. As part of these bonuses, Valor Capital will contribute $550,000 to the Housing and Capital Improvement Trust Fund for workforce housing.
The project will go before the St. Petersburg Development Review Commission (DRC) on Wednesday, January 10th.
Pending final approval from the DRC, Valor Capital expects to commence construction in 2025.