ST PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Pete eyesore and troubled club is now demolished and making way for a new high-rise building downtown.
The former Onyx Nightclub closed its doors in 2015. The building, which sits at the corner of 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue, has sat empty ever since, but soon, a 24-story high-rise will take its place.
Demolition of the former Onyx Nightclub was a pleasant surprise for some, including lifelong St. Pete resident Fawn Rogers who works across the street.
“There’s nothing but trouble there and we’d find all kinds of drugs and stuff in our parking garage,” said Rogers.
For others, the now bulldozed lot brings back old memories of what Downtown St. Pete used to be.
“Even before it was a nightclub it was a theater so, like a lot of people are saying like ‘oh I remember being there,’” said Johnny Washington, lifelong St. Pete resident.
City officials tell ABC Action News the new building being constructed at the corner of 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue will be 24 stories high, with 203 dwelling units, none of which will be on the ground floor. The building will be a total 278,874 square feet, of which 13,887 square feet will be commercial space.
“We have almost doubled the number of units in our downtown over the last 5 years, going from a little more than 5-thousand to almost 11-hundred,” said Elizabeth Abernethy, Director of Planning and Development Services for the City of St. Petersburg.
Abernethy says while the number of units in the downtown area may have doubled, the city doesn’t plan to stop at that.
“This is the area that was planned for high density residential development 20 years ago, we’re now in the process of our 2050 visioning,” said Abernethy.
Abernethy is urging St. Pete residents to give their input in upcoming city planning.
The city has no timeframe on when the high-rise project is expected to be complete.
Abernethy says, “building plans are not yet approved by all disciplines.”