07/28/15 Real Estate
TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other city officials were thrilled last week when Feldman Equities submitted preliminary plans for what would be the tallest building on Florida's west coast — a 52-story mixed-use tower on the riverfront site where Donald Trump in 2005 announced an extravagant condo project that never got off the ground.
Like Trump, Larry Feldman is a native New Yorker; unlike Trump, Feldman now lives in Tampa and has a proven track record in the bay area. He is co-owner of the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Tampa and three office buildings in downtown St. Petersburg. Raised in a family that started in real estate by building enclosures around plumbing equipment, Feldman successfully marketed projects in Manhattan — including a 40-story midtown office tower — before investing in the Orlando area. But for the past few years his focus has been on Tampa Bay's increasingly vibrant downtowns....
07/28/15 Real Estate
When it came time to list a certain foreclosed home in Tampa's Town 'N Country area in April, Realtor Irwin Wilensky figured $79,500 would be about the right price given its dilapidated condition.
He was wrong. Multiple offers poured in, and the house sold for $117,000 last month — $37,500 more than the asking price.
"It kind of tells you how crazy the market got,'' Wilensky said. ...
07/22/15 Real Estate
Tampa Bay home sales skyrocketed in June, making it the strongest month in the past year.
Year-over-year sales of single-family homes — which make up the bulk of the residential real estate market — soared 31.7 percent in Pasco County, 29.5 percent in Pinellas and 27.4 percent in Hillsborough.
Prices in all three counties also rose, though less dramatically, while the median number of days homes sat on the market shrank — evidence that buyers are snapping up realistically priced homes. ...
07/21/15 Real Estate
TAMPA — Ten years after Donald Trump announced plans for a 52-story tower on the Hillsborough River, a developer has filed preliminary plans for a 52-story tower on the same site.
Trump Tower Tampa never was built, a victim of overambition, foundation problems and the real estate bust. But now Feldman Equities wants to erect an office/retail/residential tower that would be the tallest building in the Tampa Bay area. ...
And you thought Florida already had too many lawyers?
A proposal to let lawyers from other states practice in the Sunshine State without taking the Florida Bar exam has ignited a firestorm in Florida's already crowded legal community.
"It's a ridiculous proposal," John Fitzgibbons, a Tampa attorney and former federal prosecutor, said Monday. "Every lawyer in a cold-weather climate who has a condo in Florida will join the Florida Bar and make that condo his or her Florida office." ...
07/10/15 Real Estate
MIAMI — Could Nashville be a major competitor to Tampa Bay? Will America's "historical" rent crisis affect bay area home sales? Will fewer Canadians be buying?
And does Tampa Bay have an identity crisis?
Those were among the questions that popped to mind when I and other journalists recently attended the annual conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, or NAREE, in Miami. We heard from dozens of real estate experts who offered opinions, forecasts and titillating tidbits about "uber-wealthy" home buyers. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — If you're gonna get ripped, here's the ZIP.
ZIP code 33701 — which includes St. Petersburg's bustling downtown — has the most bars of any ZIP code in the entire Tampa Bay area.
According to the online real estate service RealtyTrac, there are 24 bars with a 33701 ZIP code, or one for every 590 residents. Throw in the 27 restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages and it's one drinking establishment for every 277 people. ...
07/07/15 Real Estate
TAMPA — The Baymont Inn and Suites — so close to Busch Gardens that all rooms have roller coaster views — has been sold to a Latin American investor.
The purchase price was $6.95 million, showing a hefty profit for the seller, Mallah Investments of Tampa.
"We bought it for about $4 million, put a million into it and sold it for almost $7 million," Benjamin Mallah said Tuesday of the 150-room hotel he owned for barely two years....
ST. PETERSBURG — The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has placed liens on all property owned by Times Publishing Co. and its parent organization, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, for failing to make required contributions to their pension plan.
The liens are for $30,476,992 — the difference between the pension plan's current assets and the calculation of all future benefits. The liens were recorded last week in Pinellas County official records....
07/06/15 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — Robert Adams, one of three lawyers accused of participating in a drunken driving setup, has put his St. Petersburg home on the market for $2.9 million.
Adams, who could lose his license to practice law, said Monday that the decision to sell had nothing to do with a bruising battle to clear his name.
"The sale of my home is absolutely not related to legal fees incurred in the Bar proceedings," Adams said in an email. Instead, he and his wife have found the 7,000-square-foot house on Snell Isle "simply too much for two people with our boys becoming of high school and college age."...
07/05/15 Real Estate
MIAMI — Peter Zalewski talks so fast that listeners wonder when he has time to breathe. But his rat-a-tat speech is appropriate for a man who makes his living tracking a condo market growing at breakneck pace.
"Here, the $1.8 billion first phase of Miami Worldcenter, 482 units,'' Zalewski says during a sweltering tour of downtown Miami. "Over there, new building, Centro condos, 352 units. Brickell Centre, four condo complexes, 1,400 units.''...
06/29/15 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — Less than six months after paying $1.8 million for a waterfront St. Petersburg house and demolishing it, the head of C1 Bank and his husband have sold the vacant lot for a $150,000 profit.
Records show that Long Drive Properties LLC paid Trevor Burgess, the bank's CEO, and Gary Hess $1.95 million for the large corner lot on North Shore Drive near downtown St. Petersburg. ...
06/26/15 Real Estate
MIAMI — A mid-rise residential project planned for the Tampa Tribune's riverfront headquarters will be rental apartments and not condos, its developer says, and likely will eliminate the paper's printing plant operations on the site.
"It's all gone," Jorge Perez, founder and CEO of the Related Group, said Thursday when asked what would happen to the Tribune's printing operations there....
06/22/15 Economic Development
One of Tampa Bay's oldest — and dreariest — malls is getting a major facelift.
University Mall near the University of South Florida will get three new anchor tenants and two new free-standing restaurants as part of a renovation that could start early next year, the commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE announced Monday.
The transformation of the 41-year-old mall will include the addition of "lush landscaping, water features and seating areas offering visitors a comfortable place to enjoy the Florida weather,'' a news release said. ...
06/22/15 Real Estate
Tampa Bay home sales slowed slightly in May with year-over-year gains not as dramatic as in recent months.
For the metro area, which includes Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, the number of single family homes sold in May rose 11.4 percent from a year ago, but was less than the number changing owners in April. Most of the decline came in Pinellas.
After climbing several months, "home sales have leveled out a bit,'' a statement from the Pinellas Realtor Organization said Monday. "Partnered with the recent slight increase in interest rates and decreasing inventory, that's enough to burst anyone's bubble talk.'' ...