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Catsimatidis may double office space for 400 Central


New York billionaire John Catsimatidis Sr. and his son, John Jr., fastened their hard hats as they set foot on 400 Central Ave. – the site that will soon be home to their mixed-use, 46-story tower.

The Red Apple Real Estate group, Catsimatidis’ company, is developing The Residences at 400 Central. The 1.3 million-square-foot project will include 301 luxury condominiums with views of downtown and the Gulf of Mexico, and will feature retail, restaurants, a rooftop terrace and up to roughly 40,000 square feet of office space.

However, inside Red Apple’s sales office with select media members on Jan. 28, Catsimatidis Sr., answering a question from the St. Pete Catalyst, said that he may double the amount of the Class A office space for the live-work-play destination.

“I’m trying to make it 80,000 [square feet],” Catsimatidis Sr. said. “Because it [the currently planned space] might be rented. I can’t tell you who.”

Catsimatidis Sr. previously told the Catalyst his team was talking with a few New York-based firms.

If the office space is doubled, this would be the second time the office component would be expanded for this project. He didn’t provide further details on the interested company/companies pursuing the currently planned office space.

Construction site at 400 Central Ave. as of January 2023.

The development team, with Suffolk Construction Company Inc. serving as the general contractor, has finished drilling in the pilings for the tower. The next step: Pouring 6,500 cubic yards of concrete for the foundation at the 2.3-acre site, which will take place over the next several weeks.

John Jr. said they are incorporating some elements from the former Pheil Hotel, nicknamed the “cheese-grater” building, such as restoring a historic clock that’s been on the corner of Central and 5th Street for almost 100 years. Once restored, the clock will be reinstalled.

Catsimatidis Sr. also shared that buyers are quickly claiming the condo units, which start at the $800,000 price point, and how he purchased a penthouse for himself in the 515-foot-tall tower.

Red Apple recently secured $252 million in financing from Bank OZK for the $400 million project; however, Catsimatidis Sr. said Red Apple was already financially equipped to fund the project from their own pockets but ultimately decided to work with a bank.

Additionally, he shared that a statue of his wife’s mother will be installed in the lobby of the building, and the building may also feature art from local artists.

While the Greece-born New Yorker is widely known for his projects in Coney Island and downtown Brooklyn, he has strong ties to St. Petersburg with visiting family members and friends in the area over the past 40-plus years.

“We’ve spent a couple billion in Brooklyn. I tell New Yorkers that my next billion is definitely going to be spent in Florida,” Catsimatidis Sr. said, stating he is eyeing two or three other sites within the state for investment opportunities.

Read More at the St. Pete Catalyst