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Residences at 400 Central developer ups Florida commitment to $2 billion

By Breanne Williams – Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan 24, 2024

The developer of St. Petersburg luxury condo tower The Residences at 400 Central says his firm wants to invest $2 billion in Florida real estate in the coming years — doubling a commitment his father made in 2022.

John Catsimatidis Jr., who took the helm at Red Apple Group on Jan. 3, said the company is “actively searching” for their next project in St. Petersburg and hopes to spend the company’s next $2 billion in development in Florida.

Red Apple Group is the parent company of Red Apple Real Estate. It is the developer of The Residences at 400 Central, a 46-story luxury condominium tower in downtown St. Pete. Catsimatidis Jr. is the son of Red Apple Group founder and CEO John Catsimatidis Sr.

Catsimatidis Jr. was executive vice president and chief investment officer before his promotion in January when he was named president and chief operating officer.

“We would love to do more projects this size,” Catsimatidis Jr. said of 400 Central, which has 301 units. “If we can find the right projects, I’d love to spend the next $2 billion in development in Florida.”

Red Apple develops residential multifamily projects — apartments and condominiums — and Catsimatidis Jr. said Florida was one of the strongest markets in the country for development.

“This is going to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” Catsimatidis Jr. said. “We’re looking mostly on the west coast of Florida, though we are looking at some of the east coast as well. We’re open to anything and are waiting for the right opportunity to come along.”

Despite the shifting market nationally, Catsimatidis Jr. said the demographics in Florida continue to give them confidence in prioritizing development in the state. St. Pete’s Kevin King was promoted to the director of Florida operations in September as the company prepares to rapidly expand its footprint in the area.

While he did not disclose current sales figures, Catsimatidis Jr. said sales have been terrific, and they continue to see high demand for the remaining units. In the first 90 days of sales, the development received more than $150 million in reservations. In October, the tower had surpassed $250 million in sales. Catsimatidis Sr. will be among those purchasing a penthouse in the tower.

The Catsimatidis family spent time with children at the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg on Friday discussing The Residences at 400 Central. They were joined by Bernard Fort-Brescia, the tower’s architect.

“I am currently the chairman of the Police Athletic League of New York City and have been involved with PAL for over 40 years, and I am thrilled to learn more about St. Pete PAL’s efforts and see the children’s drawings,” Catsimatidis Sr. said in a statement

The gathered children had drawn their own renderings of the 46-story tower, and those pictures were hung along the walls of the gym for the developer to review. Some of the drawings were colorful; others included helicopter pads, massive storefronts and large trees. Some of the young artists gave a peek into the lives of the residents of the tower, showing families trying to connect to Wi-Fi or going for a swim in the pool.

Some of the children’s art will be featured at the sales gallery for the tower in downtown St. Pete.

Tampa Bay Business Journal