Coquina Key Plaza project could bring housing and a new grocer • St Pete Catalyst
The dilapidated Coquina Key Plaza, a strip mall in St. Petersburg near the corner of S. 6th Street and 45th Avenue, will be redeveloped into housing and could potentially introduce a new grocer to the neighborhood’s food wasteland.
Stoneweg US, a St. Petersburg real estate investment firm that bought the 110,500 square foot mall in a $7.23 million deal, previously announced plans to convert the property into a mixed-use development with retail and workforce housing.
The development group is now applying to the City Community Planning and Preservation Commission (CPPC) to rezone the property from Corridor Commercial Suburban (CCS-1) to Corridor Commercial Traditional (CCT-1). This zoning change would allow a developer to build up to 150 feet high or 15 stories on this site. However, buildings in this area are limited to a maximum of 45 feet, so in a proposed development agreement with the city, Stoneweg agreed to limit buildings on the site to 75 feet.
The 14.3-acre mall’s redevelopment plan comes at a time when the neighborhood is in desperate need of housing and a grocery store.
The proposed development agreement requires Stoneweg to build a minimum of 20,000 square feet of retail space in hopes of attracting a fresh produce store, as well as other retailers.
Residents on the Coquina Key Neighborhood Association Facebook page expressed concern about the height of the proposed building and that 20,000 square feet might not be big enough for a grocer; however, niche grocers such as Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and Fresh Market operate stores in this footprint.
“Here’s a developer ready to clean up the blight that is 4th St/6th St South,” ShaQuille Lashley, realtor and real estate consultant at Barkett Realty, wrote on the page. “This development will breathe life into neighborhoods within a 1 mile radius of it. If a grocery store is needed (which it is), then come together as a neighborhood and head to that meeting to defend it, but try to reject this proposal because of your feelings about the “size” that doesn’t affect you in any way…”
The city (CPPC) will meet on the zoning waiver for the project on July 12. If he receives approval, he will then go before the Saint Petersburg City Council.
Stoneweg is the same group developing Lake Maggiore Apartments, which will be a 330-apartment housing community located between 6th Street S and ML King Jr. Street S. Ten years ago, the vacant 14-acre property was the site of a mobile home park.
Of the 330 housing units planned, 100 will be dedicated to housing the workforce.
“Between the Coquina Key development which includes 465 apartments and the Lac Maggiore project just up the street with 330 apartments, Stoneweg will add over 1,800 new residents to the area. According to the last census, the town of St Pete has a population density of 4,179 people per square mile. With this measure, these two projects will increase population density in the area by 44%,” the Coquina Key Neighborhood Association wrote in its development Facebook post.
“This Stoneweg plan will dramatically increase the population and simultaneously eliminate most retail space that would serve these residents,” the post continued, sparking debate.
Stoneweg declined to comment on the project at this time.
A campaign has also been started by an individual to stop the attempt to rezone the square.