Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

Sales center opens for Tampa's newest condo tower, with a sky-high penthouse price

TAMPA — On Saturday, a glitzy sales center opens for Tampa's newest condo tower, the 24-story Virage on Bayshore Boulevard.

It may not be a hard sell. Months before the first shovel of dirt is turned, more than half of the 71 units are reserved including one of its $5 million penthouses. If that sale goes through, it would be the top price paid for a Tampa condo in a decade.

"We started last summer to meet with potential buyers and there was a lot of excitement about something new," said Dave Traynor of Smith &Associates, which is marketing the Virage.

Exactly a year ago today, Sarasota-based Ascentia Development Group purchased the bayfront site of the beloved Colonnade restaurant and two nearby parcels for $6 million. In the Colonnade's place now stands a sales center designed to resemble an actual unit, including kitchen with glass tile backsplash, open floor plan, large patio and 10-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Hillsborough Bay and downtown Tampa.

Previous Coverage: Virage Bayshore takes shape at former Colonnade site on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard

"We're trying to replicate as many features as we can for our buyers' benefit," aid Steve Barber, Ascentia's vice president. To give them a better idea of what the finished product will look like, the sales center also offers a virtual fly-by tour and has a stunningly exact architectural model, complete with tiny trees, people and cars.

Construction of the Virage, at 3401 Bayshore Blvd., is due to start by fall and take 22 months. It and the 15-story Aquatica already rising a half mile away on Bayshore are the first new condo towers to be built in Tampa in a decade.

The Virage's units, which will incorporate high-tech and design features not available in older Bayshore condos, will range from 2,400 to 6,900 square feet. Prices run from $1 million to $5 million for the two penthouses, each of which will cover an entire floor.

Although one of the penthouses has been reserved at that price, the test will come at the time of contract and closing. No condo in Tampa has sold for more than $2.655 million in the last 10 years, Multiple Listing Service records show. By comparison, a Beach Drive condo in St. Petersburg went for nearly $7 million last year, and several others have sold for more than $3 million.

Previous Coverage: Downtown St. Petersburg's condo boom shows no signs of slowing

"It is ambitious," Traynor said of the Virage's pricing," but the potential buyers we've talked to were more concerned about quality and an unsurpassed location, less about price."

In Aquatica, where prices range from $978,000 to $2.15 million, most of the 32 units have been sold although that project won't be finished until next March. Broker Toni Everett, whose firm markets Aquatica, said she wouldn't be surprised if the Virage penthouses actually sold for $5 million.

"There's a pent-up demand for penthouses," she said.

Traynor said most of the buyers who have reserved Virage units are from South Tampa, including some who live in other condos. Of the reservations so far, "every bit was unsolicited, we didn't even have a sales gallery," he said. "That exceeded all expectations."

Previous Coverage: Condo developers buy Tampa's historic Colonnade Restaurant on Bayshore Boulevard for $6.2 million

Virage's name comes from the French word for "curve,'' and curve it will — around a century-old oak.

"It was obvious to us that the community was very enamored of that tree," said Barber, noting that it was a familiar sight to generations of Tampa residents who dined at the Colonnade. "People got married under the tree, had a first kiss under the tree, so we decided to design the building around the tree."

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

     
   
Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Published: 06/22/18
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Published: 06/22/18
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Published: 06/22/18
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Published: 06/22/18
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18