Demolition of St. Pete's Cheese Grater Building begins

Dan Matics reports

- The demolition of one historic downtown building attracted crowds Wednesday. Crews started using a wrecking ball crane to demolish what’s known as the Cheese Grater Building in the 400 block of Central Avenue.

Demolition crews first removed the mid-century metal facade. Behind it – the original brick, offering a glimpse into St. Petersburg’s first boom in the 1920’s when the building was built as a hotel. Throughout the years, it’s been home to a theater, and most recently a bank.

There's much speculation in the realtor community over the future of the property. Many have said Tampa Bay's tallest sky scraper will be built in it's place.

Mark Stroud brokered the deal to the Red Apple Group out of New York. Stroud says they are still finalizing plans for the property.

“The ground level will more than likely be retail,” Stroud said. “There will be parking incorporated into it and I know the city needs more parking, so it’s possible there will be parking available for others. Certainly they are discussing luxury apartments, they are looking at condos and they [Red Apple Group] are very interested in looking at a hotel.”

There is no time table for when plans will be finalized.

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