ST. PETE BEACH — The developer of the proposed Corey Landing, a mixed-use project that could bring 243 residential units along with retail and restaurants to the east end of Corey Avenue, will unveil preliminary details about the project at a community meeting June 24.
The 5:30 p.m. meeting at the St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, is one of the initial steps developer Ram Realty Advisors must complete prior to engineering and site plan design.
The developer’s representative, attorney Kevin Reali of Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff and Sitterson, initially said he could only confirm the project at 10 Corey Ave. includes a 243-unit mixed-use apartment complex, 3,000 square feet of retail along Corey Avenue, a courtyard and pool area.
However, a conceptual building design submitted to the city by Ram Realty Advisors, which Tampa Bay Newspapers obtained from the city through a public records request, revealed a six-story apartment complex wrapping around a five-level residential parking garage.
Reali cautioned the conceptual building design and placement is just a concept that could change, since engineering and design plans have yet to be completed.
He said project specifics have not been announced because the developer wants to unveil the project to the community in order to address questions.
Ram Realty Advisors later provided Tampa Bay Newspapers with a statement through Reali explaining more details of the project design.
The statement said “developer Ram Realty Advisors plans approximately 243 luxury apartment residences within a vertically integrated mixed-use development — meaning retail and multi-family residential.
“The multifamily building is contemplated at six stories, and although that may change slightly, per city code the maximum permissible height is 85 feet, which would be about seven stories,” according to the statement. “The building includes a structured parking deck and ground-floor retail along Corey Avenue, as well as 31 boat slips.
“Ram Realty Advisors is known for its highly amenitized developments featuring, among other things, well-executed green spaces,” the statement from Reali said.
“The smaller north parcel improvements include a waterfront restaurant nearest its northwest border, as well as eight boat slips, though this layout is less certain. In the space between the two areas, we are working with the city on open space improvements in the existing right-of-way, as well as right-of-way improvements along Corey Avenue adjacent to our project,” the statement said.
Ram Realty Advisors “is a Florida-headquartered firm known for staying with the properties it develops,” the statement reads. “It has a reputation for health-oriented choices in its mixed-use commercial spaces and its landscape planning and design, as well as respect for our waterways and the protected plant species often bordering them.”
Mayor Al Johnson said the developer has been working with the city Planning Department for some time now. The project has been scaled back, after the developer initially requested to borrow “a significant amount” from the city’s parking bank density pool, which addresses the amount of parking spaces that must be provided for each apartment unit.
The mayor noted the project has to meet all the height, setback and density requirements in the city’s Land Development Code, and be approved by several boards, before the site plan comes before the City Commission.
An apartment complex with that many residents in walking distance to neighborhood shops and restaurants would probably be good for business in the area, he noted. People won’t have to leave the area to shop or dine.
The mayor added recent improvements and upgrades to the city’s wastewater collection system has made new hotel and apartment projects like as Corey Landing possible. The city was under a building moratorium for six years after the state found its wastewater system inadequate. It has already made required sewer collection system improvements to the north end of the island that includes Corey Avenue.
Since 2006 the property, which includes the site of a former Leverocks Restaurant, has gone through several attempts at development. One failed development included a plan to build a 200-room hotel, 135-slip marina and dry dock storage along with 60,000 square feet of retail space. At that time a group formed to oppose high-rise hotel development in the area and the project failed to materialize.
Johnson noted a previous attempt at development failed when voters rejected a former developer’s request for the city to sell it a portion of Corey Circle and connect two parcels necessary for the project to come to fruition.