A building that once served as a shopping arcade in the 1920s has been redesigned as office space for today's modern workers.
Owner Steve Gianfilippo
, who also owns the Station House
, bought the historic Green-Richman Arcade
at 689 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg for $1.2 million. Now, he is transforming it into the Station House Arcade, expanding his company's inventory of cutting-edge office suites and co-working space.
"Our goal is to create convenience, affordability, and add creativity and fun to the workplace environment," Gianfilippo says. "We are a lifestyle company, so we strive to make the live/work/play experience the best it can be. Gone are the 9-to-5 jobs, so if people need to work around the clock or at night, they can do it in a super cool, fun, creative space."
, senior associate of Retail and Office Services with Colliers International Tampa Bay
, represented the seller in the transaction. He says office building owners and landlords are beginning to accommodate modern office needs by offering innovative co-working spaces for start-ups and small businesses.
"There is a big need for a lot of the older buildings to be redesigned and redeveloped into newer office space," he says.
Millennials and new technology companies are looking for this type of space because "it enables people to use the space a lot more functionally than they have in the past," he explains. Older spaces don't see much of the tenant activity that newer spaces are generating right now.
Yeager says he recently visited California, where the trend is driving the commercial sales market. It's slowly making its way to Tampa.
"Landlords are really starting to take into account the lifestyle of the tenants in the building," he says, adding many landlords are offering coffee shops or other amenities.
The 7,296-square-foot Station House Arcade will have collaborative office space upstairs and in the back downstairs of the building. The front downstairs will serve as space for retailer Urban Creamery
and one other retail tenant.
"The front retail space is move-in ready for the right retail tenant," Gianfilippo says. "It is 900 square feet right on Central Avenue. It is a great spot, and we are talking to many different groups about it."
He says he expects tenants to begin moving in by the end of the year.
"There are already tenants in place in some of the spots, and we have a waiting list for the office suites we are building," he says.
The Green-Richman Arcade was built in 1925 and was one of 11 shopping arcades in St. Petersburg's downtown core through the 1940s. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and it was most recently office space for Hands On!, a company that designs science centers and museums around the world.
Gianfilippo says he's looking forward to creating an innovation hub for St. Pete’s large and small businesses.
"Our ecosystem provides contacts and networking, a social environment, community, and all the arts to create a sense of identity for existing and newcomers to St. Pete," he says. "Our next step is to build the funding community to keep these businesses here."