Plans to reinvent the long-shuttered YMCA in downtown St. Petersburg have begun.
Owner Nick Ekonomou announced his purchase of the Mediterranean revival-style building in November and is working on the building’s exterior to prevent further damage to the historic structure. The Y is set to become a boutique hotel and event space.
Now Ekonomou is making plans to erect another building in between it and the Tampa Bay Times building. He plans a nine-story luxury apartment building complete with a parking garage, rooftop bar and lap pool.
The Tampa Bay Times reports the renovated YMCA and new building will be called “The Edward” after Ekonomou’s father and grandfather.
Ekonomou told the Times the two projects should cost about $10 million: $6 million for the renovated Y and $4 million for the new building. He expects to have plans to City Council by June.
The basement pool at the old Y will be reinvigorated. A room at the entryway will be a daytime lounge and nighttime piano bar and cigar lounge for hotel guests. The hotel will boast three penthouse suites, two with staircases leading to its own tower.
Other units will serve as short- and long-term stay rooms about the size of studio-size apartments.
What once was a large gym will be turned into a wedding and event space. He also plans a private membership facility with more high-end bars.
Ekonomou plans to keep the structure’s historic appeal intact. That should relieve some in historic preservation.
Ekonomou has also acquired the historic Acheson-Mackey house built by famed developer Cade Allen in the Allendale Terrace neighborhood.
A third-party group has petitioned City Council to designate the home and its property a historic landmark, fearful Ekonomou would raze the home in favor of more lucrative development. However, he later took over the petition himself promising his own commitment to ensure historic preservation.
Ekonomou is a high-profile South Florida developer. He’s a former football player for Florida State University with various stints in pro sports including a brief period with the Miami Dolphins.