A pillar of the Tampa real estate community is expanding his footprint across the bay.
Bob Glaser, owner of Smith & Associates Real Estate, recently paid $625,000 for a 10,139 square-foot office near downtown St. Petersburg at 1100 Fourth Street N.
About 50 agents will fill the three-story building by the end of March and will target luxury buyers and sellers from Gandy Boulevard to Tierra Verde. Glaser sees growth near downtown neighborhoods.
"It's a good opportunity," he said. "This is near the urban core."
The proponent of urban living splits time between his condos in downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa. A large office near downtown is crucial with growth at University of South Florida St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg College, he added.
"St. Petersburg's walkability and wide range of entertainment and services is driving buyer demand — people in a wide range of ages want to live there," Glaser said.
Smith & Associates is the third largest real estate brokerage in Tampa Bay and sold 1,330 homes worth $542 million in 2011. The new office, Glaser said, will help agents lure even more business executives across the bridges to St. Petersburg.
A small walk-in office that Glaser opened on Beach Drive will remain open. The firm also opened an office in Belleair last April.
The move comes at a time when the housing market could climb from the basement as home prices are predicted to rise slightly this year.
Mark Puente can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.