Historic St. Pete home kept intact and moved 10 blocks overnight in downtown

Historic St. Pete home kept intact and moved 10 blocks overnight in downtown

A home being moved down the street

If you were driving down 4th Street this weekend and thought you were hallucinating, don’t worry – that really was an entire house in the middle of the road. Downtown St. Pete’s Watergarden Inn was housed in a 120-year-old home – constructed circa 1912 – and this weekend, the historic structure was relocated in an impressive group effort.

While the move was only 10 blocks, it was of course not so simple as renting a U-Haul. The overnight move, literally putting the entire intact structure on wheels, was a spectacle for those fortunate enough to witness it as the house was rolled up 4th Street to its new home by Historic Round Lake.


The home had been designated as a local historic landmark, so when developers purchased the site for a new construction, they pledged to help retain the history and move the building to a new home, rather than demolish it. The now-former location of the house, just off Beach Drive on 4th Avenue NE, is set to become The Nolen, a 23-story residential tower overlooking Tampa Bay.

With this final piece of the puzzle put into place, construction on the luxury tower has now begun, according to DDA Development, who is overseeing the project.

“The relocation of this historic home was a significant operation coordinating six major utility companies as well as the City of St. Petersburg and Florida Department of Transportation,” said DDA Development principal Bowen Arnold. “We’re tremendously impressed with the professionalism of everyone involved in this project. There was exceptional care put into preservation of the house, as well as avoiding disruption to the neighborhood. It was an impressive effort.”


The Nolen will open in less than two years

Split shot of white high rise building and inside bedroom with bay views

Construction of The Nolen is expected to take 20 months. Grounded by dramatic 21-foot archways in the grand entrance, the soaring high rise and its classic façade will be an almost-literal shining light in downtown St. Pete, its clean and bright white exterior rising straight out of the heart of the city.

Being christened ‘The Nolen,’ Smith and Associates says it is an “homage to Sunshine City urban planner John Nolen, whose plan for downtown’s waterfront parks shaped the architectural essence of St. Petersburg. The Nolen is a tribute to his legacy and a nod to his philosophy that lifestyle should lead design.”

David Moyer of Smith & Associates Real Estate remarked on the construction start and sales momentum saying, “The Nolen has garnered strong interest due to its exclusivity with only 2 residences per floor, high end finishes, and robust amenity features. We are over 65% sold in advance of the commencement of construction, and only 2 full floor residences remain.”

The Nolen project team includes DDA Development, Backstreets Capital, PLACE Architecture, Melissa Kelly Design Studio and Smith & Associates Real Estate as the exclusive broker, all of whom are based in Tampa Bay. For more information visit

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