05/18/17 Real Estate
PLANT CITY — Every Sunday morning, members of the New Testament Outreach Holiness Church #2 gather for services in a strip shopping center on the outskirts of town. They sit in neat rows, facing a raised dais and a pulpit bedecked with flowers.
It looks like a church, but it is not a real church building, the kind that Pastors Minnie and Sam Wright have long dreamed of having in order to spread their ministry and help more of the needy. ...
05/17/17 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — When a developer announced plans for the 18-story Bliss condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg in 2014, some owners in nearby Parkshore Plaza weren't happy about it.
Bliss would block their superb water views, they grumbled.
Now Bliss is finished, and some of its residents are about to lose their water views.
Peter Rudy Wallace, former Speaker of the Florida House, plans a five story, four-unit condo building on a parcel he bought four years ago just east of where Bliss now stands at 176 4th Ave. NE. The project could start construction this year....
05/12/17 Real Estate
For first- time homebuyers, you can't beat the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas.
Despite steadily rising prices, both are relatively affordable compared to the West Coast and Northeast at a time when nearly half of all buyers are first-timers, a new Zillow report says.
As millennials — those in the 18-34 age group — "reach the typical home buying age, they are coming into a tough housing market with low inventory and lots of competition," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow's chief economist. "More challenging metro areas aren't out of reach for new buyers, but they should be prepared to face a more competitive buying environment." ...
05/11/17 Real Estate
When Brian Davison announced plans to build up to 78 new condos in downtown St. Petersburg, he revealed another surprise: His company, EquiAlt, plans to "self-finance'' the project.
That could be a smart move. Both nationally and in the Tampa Bay area, businesses are finding it harder to get money from banks these days.
No one is saying that bay area's building boom is about to screech to a halt. But borrowers for many types of projects — especially new hotels, apartments and retail outlets — can expect to pay higher interest rates, put more of their own money into the project, or both. ...
05/08/17 Real Estate
TAMPA — Gritty industrial activity could give way to more condos, apartments and townhomes as yet another prime waterfront tract in Tampa hits the market.
Tampa-based Viper Ventures is selling Rattlesnake Point, nearly 31 acres on a peninsula that lies south of Gandy Boulevard and close to the Westshore Marina District master planned community.
With unobstructed views of Old Tampa Bay, the property most likely would be redeveloped for multi-family housing with space for a restaurant, shops and a hotel....
05/05/17 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — A Tampa company that got its start in the arcane business of bidding on tax deeds is embarking on its first condo project — two buildings in downtown St. Petersburg with a total of up to 78 units.
The condos will replace several old houses at Third Avenue S and Fifth Street in an area that has seen an explosion of apartment construction in the past few years. Brian Davison, CEO of EquiAlt, said all of the condos will have three bedrooms because there are relatively few new rentals with that many....
05/05/17 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — More than 75,000 times, viewers in China have clicked on the website of a company touting investment opportunities overseas. And one of the best places Chinese citizens can put their money, the company says, is St. Petersburg, Florida.
Beijing-based Meiaoju lauds St. Petersburg as "A Gourmet Paradise by the Sea" — several Beach Drive restaurants are prominently featured — and calls it a seller's market where multiple buyers compete for available homes....
05/03/17 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — If mortgage fraud had a face during Tampa Bay's last housing boom, it could have been that of Victor Thomas Clavizzao.
A loan broker with a felony rap sheet, Clavizzao drew attention not only because of his hard-to-forget name but also for the brazen way in which he conned banks, Realtors and even some of his own relatives. In 2009, a federal judge sentenced Clavizzao to five years in prison for conspiring to fraudulently obtain nearly $6 million in mortgage loans. ...
05/03/17 Real Estate
Despite a robust real estate market, only 10 percent of Tampa Bay homes have rebounded to their pre-recession peak value, a new report says.
The findings by Trulia, an online real estate database, reinforce those of another recent study. That one found that while Tampa Bay home sellers are enjoying the largest price gains in 10 years, the gains are less than half of what they were in the bubble days of the mid 2000s....
Worried that Tampa Bay’s housing market is getting overheated again? Consider this — the average gain on a home sale today is less than half of what it was during the boom.
That’s the finding of a new analysis out today that shows just how frothy the real estate market got in the mid 2000s and how much sellers lost when it crashed.
Tampa Bay homeowners who sold in the first three months of this year realized an average gain of $30,100 over what they originally paid, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, the parent company of RealtyTrac. ...
04/24/17 Real Estate
Asked for the key to a successful home-building career, Gale J. "Jack'' Apple liked to say: Be honest and never build something you wouldn't live in yourself.
It was a philosophy that served Apple well as his Apple Homes built thousands of houses — many of them waterfront — throughout the Tampa Bay area including in Apollo Beach, Venetian Isles, Shores Acres, Maximo Moorings, Yacht Club Estates, Vina del Mar Island and Isle of Capri. ...
04/21/17 Real Estate
With the peak selling season in full swing, Tampa home sales didn't disappoint in March — prices in all four bay area counties jumped again by double digits compared to the same time a year earlier.
And once again, Tampa Bay outpaced every other major metro area in Florida and most of the smaller ones as well.
"We certainly have a great, healthy market right now,'' Charles Richardson, senior regional vice president of Coldwell Banker, said Friday. "I don't see any adverse influences to cause it to slow down." ...
04/20/17 Real Estate
At first blush, the new Wyndham Grand Resort on Clearwater Beach wouldn't seem to have much in common with an office plaza in Haines City.
Nor would a senior care facility in Tampa tend to be mentioned in the same sentence as a Crunch Fitness center or the University of Miami's life sciences building.
Yet all of these were funded in part by the same source — foreigners hoping to become legal permanent residents of the United States. ...
04/19/17 Real Estate
CLEARWATER — Century Oaks, a landmark estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor, has sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area
No other residential property has been even close to that price except for a Belleair estate that sold for $10.25 million in 2008. The top price paid for any bay area home last year was $6.9 million for a condo on St. Petersburg's Beach Drive. ...
04/19/17 Real Estate
Just a day after Tampa Bay's first tiny apartments went up for grabs, about 40 of the 120 already had been reserved. "That's not bad in 24 hours,'' Omar Garcia, manager of Urban Core Holdings, said Tuesday.
The company, under contract to buy a downtown Tampa office building and convert it into micro apartments, began taking reservations Monday at www.220madisontampa.com. The $50 reservation fee is refundable but the first people to reserve will have their choice of units if they end up renting. ...