Date ArticleType
6/17/2016 Member News
City Of St. Petersburg And St. Petersburg Preservation Reach Agreement On Pheil Hotel And Central National Bank Building


Today, St. Petersburg Preservation, Inc. agreed to withdraw their petition against the city of St. Petersburg, allowing for the proposed demolition of the Pheil Hotel and Central National Bank buildings to proceed pending a final designation decision by the City Council on June 16. The non-profit organization and the City of St. Petersburg have also agreed to work together in pursuing shared goals related to historic preservation in St. Petersburg. One example relates to the procedures for demolition of historic resources that are both located within the downtown center and included on the list of potentially eligible properties for designation. The City is committed to initiating an ordinance change within 90 days that will disallow demolition exemptions for these properties, prior to site plan approval and submission of a complete application for building permits. In addition to the amendment, the City will provide an analysis on the appropriateness of including additional buildings for protection within the DC zoning districts.

The City will also continue its promotion of heritage tourism through expansion of the City’s heritage trail program, a valuable cultural resource that brings life and adds value to the surrounding physical environment.

Said Mayor Rick Kriseman: “It is time to move forward, allow for the restoration or demolition of the buildings on the 400 block, and work with St. Petersburg Preservation to protect what makes the Sunshine City special.”

Said St. Petersburg Preservation Vice President Peter Belmont: “We have worked hard to reach a resolution with both the City and the block property owners to bring our community a long-term benefit that will include moving preservation forward. It is difficult to accept the loss of buildings that represent an important piece of St Petersburg's history but we are convinced the result will be a positive. As a result of today's settlement, St. Petersburg Preservation will be in a better position to partner with the City and others to preserve and to have reused the unique buildings and community pieces that make St. Petersburg so special.”

Said Derek Kilborn, the City’s Manager of Urban Planning and Historic Preservation: “The City is committed to supporting historic preservation and heritage tourism. This agreement identifies collaborative opportunities that will help expand our current programming and successes.”

This agreement marks the end of the uncertainty related to the Pheil Hotel and Central National Bank buildings and allows for the sun to shine on a pivotal block in St. Petersburg’s thriving downtown.