St. Petersburg's skyline might rise if FAA agrees to Albert Whitted change
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12 / 28 / 14
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But the Kolter Group wants its proposed One St. Petersburg 41-story tower at First Avenue and First Street N to grab the altitude crown at 450 ft.

ST. PETERSBURG — If a developer and the city get their way, high-rises topping out at 500 feet might one day reshape the city's skyline.

One Progress Plaza holds the title as the city's highest at 386 feet, 5 feet taller than Signature Place, and a little under the Federal Aviation Administration's height limit of 400 feet.

But the Kolter Group wants its proposed One St. Petersburg 41-story tower at First Avenue and First Street N to grab the altitude crown at 450 ft.

To do that, Kolter hired a consulting firm to figure out a way to persuade the federal agency to raise the ceiling, possibly to 500 feet. The proposed solution? Divert air traffic approaching Albert Whitted Airport over downtown east over the water of Tampa Bay. Recent advances in aeronautical navigation — replacing land-based beacons with GPS satellite technology — would make the shift safer by reducing the risk of a downtown plane crash and more friendly for building skyscrapers, said Richard Lesniak, the airport's manager.

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