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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Work progresses at Shops at St. Pete, with no news of tenants

ST. PETERSBURG — Crews have been hard at work for the last several weeks building out the shell of the new $30-million Shops at St. Pete downtown, having gutted what was the BayWalk retail plaza.

The overhaul of the 80,000-square-foot plaza on Second Avenue North is expected to be finished by next spring, according to The Edwards Group, which bought the property in 2011.

Still a mystery is what tenants will open in the revamped shopping destination. No new tenants have yet been announced, though owner Bill Edwards has promised that the Shops at St. Pete would become a hub for signature restaurants and retail shops. Tuesday, a spokeswoman for The Edwards Group said the Shops at St. Pete is still expected to open in the spring.

Tenants were expected to start applying for building permits in July in August, with construction of individual spaces happening from September to January, according to the project website.

The city, though, has yet to receive any permit applications from tenants.

“We’re waiting for them,” St. Petersburg Economic Development Director Dave Goodwin said.

Work on the interior spaces won’t begin until the exterior shell is completed, Goodwin said.

The frame of that new exterior is starting to emerge out of the rubble of the old Mediterranean revival-style BayWalk plaza. Plans call for the Shops at St. Pete to have a more modern look, including Jumbotron screens housed in two of the four towers proposed for the complex.

The ground floor would serve as a venue for fashion shows, wine tastings, food shows and other events, while the terrace would offer balconies for shops and outdoor dining.

The shops will be anchored by the existing Muvico movie theater, which has remained open since construction began last spring.

Edwards bought the floundering BayWalk complex, built in 2000, for about $5 million in 2011.

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