ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Changes are coming to St. Petersburg’s EDGE district, construction crews began chipping away at the old Police Department headquarters Tuesday.
The City and the developer, Edge Central Development Partners, are welcoming the future home of Orange Station at the EDGE.
The project’s scope entails five new buildings that will include a total of 103 residential units, up to 106,000 square feet of office space, 21,400 square feet of commercial space, and a 590-space parking garage for public and private use.
St. Petersburg’s Mayor Rick Kriseman says office space is badly needed.
“There’s nothing worse than having businesses that want to relocate here and we don’t have a place to put them,” Kriseman said. “One of things you hate to see is gaps. A business area, district works best when you can walk along and visit businesses, shops, galleries and it’s a flow.”
The location is across the street from the current police headquarters. The developer realized the area has turned into a hot spot, and it was important to find new uses for the space.
“The edge has become a melting pot of independent and eclectic locally-owned restaurants and boutiques,” Jay Miller of Orange Station at the EDGE said. “Because it’s walking to the center of a central business district it provides a unique opportunity to add this mix of uses all on one site.”
For business owners in the area, it’s a welcome sign. Ronicca Whaley, who owns Shiso Crispy, says the city is growing, and that’s a plus.
“Isn’t this the number one city to move to right now?” Whaley said. “It’s just going to bring a lot more business to my business.”
But not everyone agrees. Julie Sanchez has lived in St. Petersburg for almost 20 years. She says change and growth isn’t always a good thing.
“We’re sacrificing our hometown feel for commercialism, and that’s a shame,” Sanchez said. “It’s been at the expense of our staple businesses. Instead of seeing another condo, or high rise, I would love to see more affordable housing for our hospitality community.”
It’ll take three to four months to demolish the building. Groundbreaking for the new building will happen next June and developers expect to have the project finished in late 2023.