With Hurricane Idalia threatening Florida’s Gulf Coast, developers and contractors’ all too familiar drill of securing buildings and construction sites kicked into high gear in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
Over the past few days, Colliers’ Greg Main-Bailie has been in constant contact with members of his team overseeing eight buildings and construction projects along the Gulf Coast within the path of Idalia’s trajectory. As the representative for the homeowner associations and developers of those sites, Colliers is tasked with nudging contractors into action to minimize any storm-related mishaps such as unfastened construction materials turning into projectiles, Main-Bailie told The Real Deal.
“We have contractors with hurricane plans in place,” Main-Baillie said. “As the owner-representative, we make sure the contractors are enacting those protocols to make project sites safe, or at least be in the best possible position of preparedness.”
In recent years, the sense of urgency to prepare for an oncoming hurricane has become more intense in Tampa, St. Petersburg and surrounding neighborhoods. Fueled by population growth, the region has experienced a development boom that has attracted big name developers, including Red Apple Real Estate, a New York-based development firm led by billionaire John Catsimatidis, and the Related Group, the Coconut Grove-based developer led by the Pérez family.
In January, Red Apple landed a $252 million construction loan for The Residences at 400 Central, a 46-story condominium in St. Petersburg that is expected to be the tallest tower on the Gulf Coast.
In a brief phone call, Catsimatidis said he has “zero concerns” about the probability that the Tampa region could sustain storm surge or wind damage. He noted the region has avoided a direct hit by a hurricane for more than a century. “Our contractors are prepared,” Catsimatidis said. “They have secured the site.”
Construction at The Residences