Two major projects poised to change St. Pete skyline

- A ceremonial groundbreaking Friday morning signaled the start of two major projects in downtown St. Petersburg. 

ONE St. Petersburg will fill an entire city block, with a 41-story condominium tower that will be Pinellas County's tallest structure. 

Another developer plans to build a 35-story high rise apartment tower across the street from northwest corner of the ONE's block.

"To have a hotel, which we really need here in St. Pete in the downtown, it's a dream come true for me," Mayor Rick Kriseman said, referring to a 13-story hotel that will share the block with the tower.

Across Central Avenue, Native American art collector Tom James has purchased the lower floors of a parking garage to house a very large art museum. James has not commented on his plans since purchasing the private floors of the public parking garage last year. 

Kriseman told FOX 13 News, "he's working with his architects and designers, what the physical footprint inside is going to be and what's going to be on the ground floor..."

The mayor said he is not certain, but expects to see a restaurant and possibly some retail space on the ground floor of the museum.

The other three projects all include street-level retail space, which can accommodate shopping and/or dining. 

ONE project manager Brian Van Slyke told FOX 13 News the combination will help connect the waterfront's Beach Drive area to the Central Avenue business district. 

"The continued growth and connection of the city from Beach to Central is definitely on people's minds when they come in [to the condo sales office]," Van Slyke said. "It truly makes St. Pete a walkable city... It really does enhance the lifestyle and it's one of the big reasons that draws people to want to live here."

The new hotel should be finished next year and the condo tower in 2018. The FAA is reviewing the height of the proposed apartment tower across the street, and James has not commented publicly on when his museum might open.

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