01/16/17 Real Estate
ST. PETE BEACH -- U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has sold his beach house for $1.030 million.
According to the Multiple Listing Service, the sale closed Friday for $260,000 less than what Crist, Florida's former governor, and his wife, Carole, asked in July when the house first hit the market. Yet, they still made a $123,750 gross profit on a small, 77-year-old house they owned for barely a year and a half. ...
ST. PETE BEACH — The Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center might soon have a new owner.
In a brief interview Thursday, CEO H. Gregg Nicklaus confirmed that talks are underway for sale of the 382-room gulf-front hotel that has been in his family for generations. If the deal goes through, it could be finalized relatively soon, he said, noting that the hotel's staff already has been prepared for a possible change in ownership. ...
01/12/17 Real Estate
TAMPA — Every day, thousands of motorists zip on and off the Howard Frankland Bridge oblivious to what could be 16 of the most valuable acres available for redevelopment in the entire Tampa Bay area.
After decades of ownership, Tampa's L. M. Hughey Company is selling the Tampa Bay Marina complex, the adjacent Mariner Square and their aging, half-empty office buildings just off 1-275 between Kennedy Boulevard and the upscale Beach Park neighborhood. What the complexes lack in modern amenities, they make up for in sweeping bay views. ...
01/06/17 Real Estate
Most Tampa Bay residents have never heard of Westminster Heights. But the St. Petersburg neighborhood could give a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to investing in real estate this year.
Lying south of Central Avenue between 49th and 58th Streets S, Westminster Heights tops Zillow's list of the five bay area neighborhoods expected to show the biggest percentage gain in home values in 2017. The others are Oakwood Gardens and Lake Euclid in St. Petersburg and Temple Crest and Fair Oaks in Tampa....
01/05/17 Real Estate
When Frank Guerra of Miami first visited St. Petersburg 25 years ago, he left unimpressed. That wasn't the case when he returned in 2012.
"It was just a completely different city,'' Guerra said, invoking a place that not only had survived the recession but seemed to be thriving.
Guerra's company, Coral Gables-based Altis Cardinal, bought a nondescript high-rise apartment building in the Historic Kenwood area four years ago and renovated it into the upscale Skyline Fifth. Altis Cardinal has since acquired several parcels nearby and plans 128 more apartments plus a large climate-controlled storage facility. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Where a decrepit parking garage and two hulking, long-vacant buildings once stood, downtown St. Petersburg has a lovely — if temporary and off-limits— new park.
Now that the structures have been demolished and the ground cleared of all but several large trees, workers have sodded and landscaped the entire 400 block of Central Avenue. Black, estate-style fencing will rim the perimeter and keep pedestrians out while allowing the kind of pastoral views rarely seen in city centers....
01/03/17 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — In yet another sign of downtown St. Petersburg's bustling apartment market, the 309-unit Modera Prime 235 has been sold for $77.55 million to a Salt Lake City real estate firm.
The sale, which closed Dec. 28, works out to $251,000 per unit, among the higher prices paid in recent years for a Tampa Bay apartment complex.
Built two years ago at 235 Third Ave. N, the eight-story Modera is within easy walking distance of Beach Drive and the Sundial entertainment plaza. While relatively small, its studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments — some of which have bay views — command the kind of rents once unheard of downtown. The 493-square-foot studios currently run as high as $1,585, Modera's website shows....
01/02/17 Real Estate
Happy New Year, Tampa Bay — you're worth more than you used to be.
In the year just ended, the total value of the bay area's housing stock soared 10.3 percent, nearly twice as much than the nation as a whole, according to a new report from Zillow.
Dollar-wise, bay-area homes collectively exceed the market value of such giants as Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, Disney and Coca-Cola. If they all sold tomorrow, they'd bring in more money than the annual revenues of every Fortune 500 company except Walmart....
12/29/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — Built in what could become one of Tampa Bay's most dynamic neighborhoods, the Slade At Channelside condominiums boast an eclectic mix of unit owners.
There's Brandon McArthur, a baseball scout for the Los Angeles Angels. And Anthony Arzola, a medical devices salesman. And Damon Mathis, a colonel in the U.S. Army.
They and many others bought in the Slade — paying more than $200,000 for their units — because they liked its sleek look, its wide range of amenities and its location in a prime area poised for massive redevelopment....
THONOTOSASSA — A Harvard graduate, A. Bronson Thayer was once described by a reporter as "affable and erudite, with the aura of an absent-minded Ivy League professor."
But the Long Island native was also a canny businessman who built a successful bank from scratch, became one of Tampa Bay's most prominent civic leaders and served as president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Bankers Association. ...
The executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corp. has resigned in the wake of an audit that rapped the agency for hosting expensive meals, including a $52,000 dinner, and awarding nearly $443,000 in employee bonuses while thousands of Floridian were waiting for help to save their homes.
Stephen Auger, who has headed the state-run agency since 2005, said he was stepping down from his job in a letter to the agency's board chairman the day after the Tampa Bay Times reported on the audit....
12/23/16 Real Estate
TALLAHASSEE — Under pressure from Gov. Rick Scott, the head of the Florida Housing Finance Corp. has resigned in the wake of an audit that rapped the agency for hosting expensive meals, including a $52,000 dinner, and awarding nearly $443,000 in employee bonuses while thousands of Floridians were waiting for help to save their homes.
Stephen Auger, executive director of the state-run agency since 2005, said he was stepping down from his job in a letter dated Thursday, after the Tampa Bay Times reported on the highly critical audit. ...
12/23/16 Real Estate
Like many residents of colder climes, Terry Montgomery and his wife, Beverly, looked forward to spending time in Florida this winter.
So Montgomery went on the computer at his Traverse City, Mich., home recently and began searching for rentals in St. Petersburg, where his daughter, son-in-law and 3- year-old grandson live.
"I tried Craigslist and I pulled up this house, four bedrooms, two bath, right on the water with a screened-in pool, all-kid protected,'' Montgomery said. "It was just perfect for us — that way the kids could bring the boat over and dock it and we could have our grandson with us the whole time.''...
12/21/16 Real Estate
Tampa Bay home sales showed huge year over year gains in November while prices in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties also jumped dramatically.
The November figures are a sign that Tampa Bay's housing market remains strong even as rising interest rates threaten to put a chill on sales nationwide.
"This has been so busy, this has been our record year in business,'' Sarah Howe, an agent with Coastal Properties Group International in Pinellas, said Wednesday....
To show appreciation for lenders who work with low-income borrowers, Florida's housing agency hosted a $52,000 dinner that featured filet mignon, broiled lobster tails and a bar stocked with "deluxe brand liquors.''
At a reception for its own board members, the agency spent $300 for a bartender, $425 for a pork carving station and $420 for a "Spanish charcuterie station.''...