Billionaire John Catsimatidis broke ground on the tallest tower on Florida’s Gulf Coast this week.
The 46-story condominium tower in St. Petersburg is also the first residential project outside New York and the first condo project for the developer and businessman’s Red Apple Real Estate. The project totals 1.3 million square feet.
The Residences at 400 Central is slated to rise on a full city block in the city’s downtown. Plans call for 301 condo units and a handful of penthouse units. They are a mix of one- to four-bedroom units with pre-construction pricing starting at $800,000.
Some 35,000 square feet of amenities are planned for the tower, including a gym, lounge and a theater. Residents will have access to an observatory on the 46th floor and a seventh-floor deck is to include a pool and spa, putting green and outdoor kitchen.
Sarasota-based Michael Saunders & Company is handling leasing for the project.
Catsimatidis, a developer who made his $3 billion-plus fortune in oil refineries, gas stations with convenience stores and Gristedes supermarkets, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal he expects some interest from his fellow Northeasterners.
“I think Northerners are tired of Covid, tired of the cold, they’re tired of criminals, and they’re moving on down,” he said.
The Greece-born New Yorker himself has recently signaled a preference for Florida over his hometown, at least in terms of their potential for investment.
Catsimatidis has been pushing to build three apartment towers in Coney Island as a complement to his 450-unit Ocean Drive project. He said he’d take his money south if the city didn’t approve his new plans.
“You’ve got to get the best for your investment,” he told the New York Post. “Why spend in New York when you can build in Florida?”
Still, the occasional New York City mayoral candidate appears to be a New Yorker at heart. Earlier this year, he was reportedly weighing a switch to the Democratic Party to give himself more of a chance at Gracie Mansion, but ultimately decided against it and said if he did run again, he would do so as a Republican or Liberal.