Another major residential development could be coming to South Palafox Street in downtown Pensacola, with developer Ray Russenberger seeking city council approval on conceptual plans for the project next week.
The 30-unit, nine-story building would be located just north of Plaza de Luna, on what’s currently a city-owned parking lot between Palafox and Jefferson Streets, leased by Russenberger’s Marina Management Corp. If built, it would be the tallest building built in downtown Pensacola in more than three decades.
No stranger to Pensacola development, Russenberger also spearheaded construction of the nearby mixed-use Palafox Pier development, as well as the 701 South Palafox condominiums, where construction is nearly complete. Russenberger is also credited with restoring the historic 1901 Thiesen Building, which he purchased in 1992 as the headquarters of his company Network USA.
The ground floor of the proposed building would be occupied by parking, an elevator lobby, and storage space. The second through eighth floors would each include four condo units, while the ninth floor would feature two penthouse units. The site is located in the city’s Waterfront Review District, which limits building heights to a maximum of 100 feet; Russenberger has said he plans to seek a variance to exceed that limit.
In addition to conceptual approval for the project, Russenberger is also asking the city to begin negotiations with his company on a long-term lease of the property. City ordinance forbids the sale of city-owned property south of Main Street.
Russenberger’s company currently leases the parking lot’s 124 spaces between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., with the spaces available free to the public between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Russenberger is asking the city to relocate the spaces to other city-owned property within 1000 feet.