Thursday, July 19, 2018

Writers

Susan Taylor Martin

Susan Taylor Martin

For someone who doesn't particularly care to fly, Tampa Bay Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin has logged a lot of hours in the air — in the past decade she has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China. She covered the invasion of Iraq, the war in Kosovo and the war against terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On 9/11, she and two other Times staffers got in Martin's aging car and drove 24 hours nonstop from Tampa Bay to New York City, her hometown. Among the other breaking stories Susan has covered were the death and funeral of Princess Diana, the funeral of Jordan's King Hussein and the handover of Hong Kong to China. There have been lighter moments, too. Martin has written about a restaurant in Jerusalem dedicated to Elvis Presley's memory; a Scottish hamlet that finally got TV and hated it; and the gay and transvestite scene in Turkey, a conservative Muslim country. Her hobbies include figure skating, antiquing, flea-marketing, and rooting for the Blue Devils basketball team of Duke University (her alma mater). Martin has won numerous state and national journalism awards, including the 2007 Paul Hansell Award presented by the Florida Society of News Editors for distinguished writing and reporting.



Tampa-based Mercury Advisors plans to break ground in early 2019 on Elevé, a 35-story condo tower in Tampa's Channelside area. [Courtesy of Mercury Advisors]

New 35-story condo tower to rise in Tampa’s Channelside area

TAMPA — A 35-story condo tower with just two units per floor is expected to start construction in the booming Channelside area early next year.Tampa-based Mercury Advisors announced Wednesday that it had obtained construction financing for the...
Published: 07/18/18
With all the new-home communities springing up in the Tampa Bay area, developers find it challenging to come up with street names that don't duplicated existing ones. These are streets in Bexley in southern  Pasco County. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN  | Times]

Want to live on Beeswax Lane? Tampa Bay developers strain to create new street names

When Newland Communities began developing FishHawk Ranch in Hillsborough County two decades ago, naming streets wasn’t much of a problem."Literally, we would get out our list of Florida native bird names every time a new section came online,"...
Published: 07/17/18
Updated: 07/18/18
Black and Latino residents of the Tampa Bay area can afford far fewer rentals than Asians and whites can, according to a new analysis.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times file
, 2016]

Blacks can afford far fewer rentals than Asians and whites, study shows

Black and Latino residents of the Tampa Bay area can afford far fewer rentals than Asians and whites can. According to Zillow, blacks can afford just 19 percent of available rentals and Latinos 20.7 percent. That compares to whites being able to...
Published: 07/17/18
This former retirement hotel owned by Michael Andoniades, who also owns the Hollander and Avalon hotels, sits in the Historic Uptown area of St. Petersburg, on Seventh Avenue N. Neighbors say they like the idea of a hip hotel like Andoniados' other properties, but they also worry it could make the parking situation worse. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE   |   Times]

Another hip hotel in St. Pete? Uptown residents like the idea, but fret about parking.

ST. PETERSBURG — In the past few years, Michael Andoniades has turned two faded hotels — the Hollander and the Avalon — into two of St. Petersburg’s trendiest, most popular lodgings. So it is with mixed feelings that residents of the city’s...
Published: 07/17/18
Tampa ranks second best in nation for first-time homebuyers

Tampa ranks second best in nation for first-time homebuyers

Despite rising prices, Tampa has been deemed the second best city in the nation for first-time homebuyers. That’s according to the website WalletHub, which compared 300 cities using 27 metrics including home prices, property tax rates and...
Published: 07/16/18
Photos courtesy of Pedro Medina 
These computer-generated images show the interior of the six tiny houses planned for the Midtown area of St. Petersburg. Each would be about 700 square feet and have two bedrooms and a porch. (Courtesy of Pedro Medina)

St. Petersburg panel approves tiny-house community

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay’s first tiny-house community won unanimous approval Wednesday from St. Petersburg’s Development Review Commission.
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
Waterfront homes in the Tampa Bay area sell for 39 percent more than homes not on the water, a new analysis shows. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
 file, 2017]

Waterfront homes in Tampa Bay cost nearly 40 percent more

Waterfront homes in the Tampa Bay area sell for 39 percent more than homes not on the water, a new analysis shows. Despite that hefty premium, however, waterfront prices in the bay area and many other parts of the country aren’t quite as...
Published: 07/10/18
Updated: 07/11/18
These computer-generated images show the interior of the six tiny houses planned for the Midtown area of St. Petersburg. Each would be about 700 square feet and have two bedrooms and a porch. (Courtesy of Pedro Medina)

Tiny houses might be coming to a St. Petersburg neighborhood

ST. PETERSBURG — In the past few years, the Tampa Bay area has seen a blockbuster number of big new houses.Now, it could get its first tiny-house community.St. Petersburg’s Development Review Commission will consider plans Wednesday for...
Published: 07/09/18
This 2,035-square-foot house in Spring Hill sold in May for $188,000, close to the median price for all single-family homes sold in Hernando County in May. [Courtesy of Andrew Dickinson]

Here’s what middle-of-the-pack prices can get you in a Tampa Bay house now

The house in Gulfport was just 1,100 square feet and needed major updating. The house in St. Petersburg had been remodeled and was near a waterfront park. The house in Seminole had a pool and a fireplace. Although dissimilar in many ways, each...
Published: 07/06/18
Want to escape from the heat? Homebuyers are paying a premium in Florida, and elsewhere, for air conditioned houses. 
[AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File, 2018]

No kidding! Tampa Bay buyers and renters pay more for air conditioning.

Times Staff WriterIn the no-brainer category, we have this from Zillow: Buyers and renters in the Tampa Bay area and other sweltering climes are willing to pay a premium for central air conditioning.In the bay area, the typical home with...
Published: 07/05/18