“The office space, at more than 125,000 sq ft, is certainly the most unique aspect of the Orange Station development, since there has not been a new office building built in St. Petersburg in almost 30 years. As an economic driver, as an exemplar for the City, as a job creator, that office building is going to be special.”
- Will Conroy, President and Founder, Backstreets Capital
What was it that encouraged you to bid on the Orange Station project originally?
We are a local development team – from St. Pete and Tampa – and for us, being a part of a transformative project in the heart of the Edge District was an opportunity that we could not look past.
What are the factors that you think prompted the city to choose you for this site?
We think that there were a couple of factors, but the primary two were 1) our local ties, and 2) the mix of uses that we proposed. Our development plan calls for office, public parking, workforce housing, a hotel, retail and a public plaza, which is a diverse and unique set of uses. We believe that the City found that mix intriguing and in-line with the long-term goals for the Edge District. Regarding our local ties, our development team has done dozens and dozens of projects right here in the Tampa Bay area–from high rises to single family homes and everything in between. We live here, are from here, and at the end of the day, are committed to making this project a resounding success.
Can you share some highlights about what is to come with this project?
The office space, at more than 125,000 sq ft, is certainly the most unique aspect of the Orange Station development, since there has not been a new office building built in St. Petersburg in almost 30 years. As an economic driver, as an exemplar for the City, as a job creator, that office building is going to be special. However, the fact that Orange Station is going to have a Marriott Autograph hotel – only the second in St. Pete after the Vinoy – is clearly going to be a highlight, coupled with the fact that we have special designs for the interior of this boutique asset. Finally, and perhaps the most culturally significant, is that Orange Station is going to feature a commemorative sculpture, designed by world-renowned artist Ya La’Ford, which pays tribute to the Courageous 12. Because Orange Station is located on the site of the former St. Petersburg Police Station, we are thrilled to have Ya pay tribute to these brave police officers.
While our neighbors across the bridge in Tampa have gained 1M sq ft in new office space since 2021, your development will be the first new office space for Downtown St. Pete in decades. What does your project mean for future office development in Downtown St. Pete?
We hope that this is a catalyst for further office development in St. Pete, which we think will naturally follow. Clearly, the Gas Plant redevelopment is going to bring with it some additional office capacity, and there will presumably be an office building somewhere in the downtown core in the coming years, but we believe that, notwithstanding the future capacity enhancements, Orange Station is the best located of them all because of the cultural amenities that are immediately surrounding the building. There are myriad restaurants, several hotels, public spaces, all within a several block walk. Where else can you get that level of amenity for your company employees? Orange Station is truly a one-of-a-kind office destination.