Urban Development News
Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
Last week, St. Petersburg’s Development Review Commission approved plans for a 28-story development slated for the site of the Exchange Hotel, formerly known as Hotel Indigo, located at 234 3rd Avenue North.
The plans were filed by Ally MW, LLC, an entity controlled by Ally Capital Group, a Tampa-based investment firm, which is led by Andrew Wright, the founder of Franklin Street.
Ally acquired the Hotel Indigo in 2020 at bankruptcy court for $7.4 million. The property was subsequently renovated into the Exchange Hotel
Designed by St. Pete-based Behar + Peteranecz, the proposed residential tower will boast 327 units and a 325-space parking garage.
The former Indigo Hotel was acquired in 2020 at bankruptcy court for $7.4 million.  The property was subsequently renovated into the Exchange Hotel | Exchange Hotel
The architecture showcases a modern design, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and glass railings. 7,890 square feet of commercial space including retail space, a residential lobby, and lounge area will occupy the ground floor.
Along 3rd Avenue North, a row of residential units will front the garage façade on floors two through seven. Amenity space and an outdoor deck will be located on the eighth floor, while the 28th floor will house a rooftop pool and additional amenity space.
This new plan marks a change from the previous plan proposed in June 2022. Ally’s original plan was to partner with Kolter Urban, who purchased the property to the east in September 2021 for $7.5 million, on a hotel and apartment tower. The two groups ultimately decided to develop independently. Kolter is now planning a Tempo by Hilton hotel on the property to the east.
To accommodate the construction of the tower, all existing structures on the site, including the Exchange Hotel, will need to be demolished.
A NW aerial view of the proposed 28-story 327-unit apartment tower at 234 3rd Avenue North | Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
The Exchange Hotel originally opened its doors in 1928 as the Martha Washington Hotel. Although it was included on a list of potentially eligible properties for local landmark designation, it is not currently designated as such.
According to the previous site plan review application, the developer believes that the structure does not qualify for local or national landmark designation and, therefore, is not considered a historic resource in need of protection.
Dozens of residents were encouraged to attend the Development Review Commission meeting to oppose the development by local preservation group Preserve the Burg.
But Commissioner Michael Kiernan argued that, despite being listed on the City’s list of Properties Potentially Eligible for Local Landmark Designation, “No application [for historic preservation] was ever made. There are reasons for that, I understand, but that’s just the fact. It wasn’t done. The evidence before us, that’s all I can judge, is uncontroverted. This building was significantly changed.”
Site plan for a 28-story development proposed for 234 3rd Avenue North in downtown St. Pete | Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
However, Commissioner Flynt disagreed, “I think buildings morph over time. The fact that the building has had alterations done to it, from 1928 and 1930 doesn’t necessarily take away the history or the historic character of a building.”
After over two hours of discussion, the Development Review Commission approved the project in a 5-2 vote with Stowe and Flynt being the two ‘no’ votes.
With site plan approval in hand, the residential development can now move forward.
A construction timeline has not been announced.
Alongside Ally MW, LLC as the developer and Behar + Peteranecz as the architectural firm, George F. Young Inc. is handling the civil engineering work, while law firm Hill Ward Henderson is representing the developer.

St. Pete Rising is an online urban development publication covering retail, restaurants, and real estate news in St. Petersburg, FL
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