Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

17 projects, $500 million set to transform St. Pete’s skyline

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Franklin Street's Darron Kattan analyzes the market for new apartments being built in downtown St. Petersburg.

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Online story.

Those five projects will add more than 1,500 rental units to the 1,340 finished in the last three years. And while they reflect the huge interest in downtown St. Petersburg —- “rated among the best in the South,’’ Wikipedia says — they again raise the question:

Can even a trendy downtown support so many high-end apartments?

“I do think that we are getting a little bit of push back on the development side as far as new stuff getting going,” said Darron Kattan, managing director of Tampa’s Franklin Street brokerage. “Lenders are pulling back the reins but in the long term I think all these apartments will do very well.”

With hundreds of new apartments hitting the market at the same time, Kattan acknowledges there could be some short-term challenges in filing them — Avaniti already is offering one month’s free rent. But the total number of units being built in Tampa Bay is not “significantly” higher than it should be based on the formation of new households, Kattan says. And while many millennials will move to the suburbs as they start families, others will see advantages to renting in a vibrant urban area.

“Downtown St. Pete is so dynamic that in long run it will support thousands more units,” Kattan said. “There’s been a fundamental kind of shift of people wanting to live in the core that we have not seen since the ‘60s.”

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