Progress Energy Florida, The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. Unveil Designs for New Downtown Complex

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 12 /PRNewswire/ — Progress Energy Florida and The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. today unveiled designs for their new downtown development. The mixed-use project will be built on the site currently occupied by the Florida International Museum. It will include a new headquarters for Progress Energy Florida, a Kessler Collection four-diamond luxury Grand Bohemian business hotel, condominiums, retail space and parking.

The Progress Energy Florida headquarters building — the first new downtown St. Petersburg office complex in more than 15 years — will be owned by a subsidiary of SunTrust Bank and occupied by Progress Energy under a 40- year lease. The new building will allow the company to bring 670 employees from its other Pinellas County locations into one headquarters complex — providing a significant annual savings on facilities costs. The Progress Energy building will be built adjacent to the new Kessler hotel property, the new St. Petersburg College, and the new home of the Florida International Museum.

“Downtown St. Petersburg has experienced a resurgence in recent years, and our new headquarters represents Progress Energy’s commitment to the revitalization of our city’s core,” said Bill Habermeyer, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. “Through our partnership with Richard Kessler, we’re developing a project that will make a significant and lasting impact on the vitality of downtown as a business, entertainment and residential center.”

The Progress Energy office complex will be developed by Carter & Associates of Atlanta, and designed by Cooper Carry of Atlanta (base building architect) and St. Petersburg’s Wannemacher Russell (interior architect).

The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. developed The Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando — named the No. 1 Westin in Guest Satisfaction in North America for the past three years and worldwide in 2003. Kessler has also developed a number of other similar luxury destination resorts and hotels across the country and will build downtown St. Petersburg’s first four-diamond luxury business traveler’s hotel. It will include 205 guest rooms, 62 high-end residential units, art gallery with a substantial art collection, lounge, restaurant, 16,000-square-feet of meeting, banquet and pre-function space; pool, spa, fitness and business center.

“This is a world-class, mixed-use development project that will be recognized by the international community,” stated Richard C. Kessler, president and CEO, The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. “We both share a vision for St. Petersburg, a city with charm, beauty and culture. St. Petersburg is well on its way to becoming an outstanding commercial, business, meeting and leisure destination in the United States.”

The new 16-story Progress Energy office complex will include:
– Nine stories and 200,000 square feet of office space
– A six-level parking deck with more than 340 spaces
– A plaza level with 5,000 square feet of retail space

The Grand Bohemian hotel complex will include:
– 28-story hotel/condo
– 205 luxury hotel rooms
– 62 upscale residential condominiums
– 5,000-square-foot spa
– 16,000-square-feet of meeting, banquet and pre-function space
– Restaurant, lounge and art gallery
– Pool and fitness center

Demolition on the existing structure is expected to begin in July. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in September. The Progress Energy building is expected to be occupied in November 2006, and the Kessler hotel ready for use in 2007. The development will occupy the entire 80,000- square-foot block, which is bordered by Second Street North, First Avenue North, Second Avenue North and Sunshine Alley.

About The Kessler Enterprise, Inc.

The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. is a dynamic real estate development, ownership, and management company that specializes in luxury hotel properties and commercial real estate, including nine hotels in Florida, Georgia and Colorado. Most notable in the collection are the AAA Four-Diamond Celebration Hotel in Celebration, Florida; the AAA Four-Diamond Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida; the AAA Four-Diamond Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando, Florida; the historic Kehoe House in Savannah, Georgia, the chic and luxurious Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia; Beaver Creek Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colorado; the Sheraton Studio City in Orlando, Florida; and the DoubleTree Castle in Orlando, Florida. Visit the company’s Web site at http://www.kesslercollection.com/ .

About Progress Energy

Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN) , provides electricity and related services to more than 1.5 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company’s Web site at: http://www.progress-energy.com/ .

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