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You can look down on your neighbors — all of them — from this $4.6 million St. Pete penthouse

Some condos in the new ONE St. Petersburg are being flipped at hefty profits.
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ST. PETERSBURG — Realtor Colleen Neelon got a little uneasy when a photographer leaned over a balcony 42 stories up.

"I wanted to grab him,'' said Neelon, who isn’t totally fearless when it comes to great heights. But she resisted the urge — photos were key because it’s all about the views now for Unit 4202 in the ONE St. Petersburg condo tower.

Priced at $4.6 million, the 3,338-square-foot unit is still a shell inside, with bare concrete floors and nothing much finished except two bathrooms, a master shower and plumbing in what will be the kitchen. But the views from the top floor of the tallest residential building on Florida’s west coast are undeniably spectacular. From the 11-foot by 40-foot main balcony, you can see Tampa Bay, the Sunshine Skyway, St. Petersburg’s entire downtown waterfront and the Tampa skyline.

"On a clear day at dusk, the city of Tampa just sparkles because a lot of the downtown buildings have a lot of glass,'' Neelon said. At such a lofty vantage point, though, it can get pretty windy. Advice to the new owners: Keep a couple of rocks on hand to anchor magazines and cocktail napkins.

RELATED STORY: In Tampa Bay, penthouses aren’t just for those at the top anymore

Finishing off, then decorating such a large space will appeal to some and terrify others.

"A lot of people don’t want to do so much work,'' said Liz Heinkel , the co-listing agent. To give prospective buyers an idea of how the end product could look, the listing includes photos of a "virtual staging'' with contemporary furniture, artwork and high-end fixtures.

Realtor Liz Heinkel walks across the living area of a penthouse in ONE St. Petersburg. A complete build-out could cost several hundred thousand dollars. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times]

Depending on the buyer’s taste and budget, a complete build-out of the unit could run to $500,000, the agents estimate.

A "virtual staging'' shows how the living area of the ONE St. Petersburg penthouse might look. [Tony Sica Photography]

The current owners are Jeff and Amy Towers; she is a philanthropist and former chief operating officer of the billion-dollar hedge fund Glenview Capital Management. The couple, who paid $3,118,400 for the condo in March, were among the first to put down reservations after plans for the 253-unit ONE St. Petersburg were announced in 2015. They have friends in the Tampa Bay area, visit often and thought they might want to live here. Ultimately, though, they decided to stay in New York where a son is in college.

The condo is the middle unit of three penthouses on the 42nd floor. All are roughly the same size and share a foyer; somewhat surprisingly for a luxury tower, they do not have private elevators.

The view looking southeast from the balcony of a penthouse in ONE St. Petersburg, the tallest condo tower on Florida's west coast. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times]

ONE St. Petersburg was finished around January, and in the last six months 17 condos have been flipped, records show. Thirteen sold for 30 percent or more than the seller paid, and five sold for 40 percent or more. The biggest gross profit percentage wise — 49 percent — came on two units on the 29th floor. The biggest gross profit dollar wise was on another 29th floor condo, bought for $574,000 more than the seller originally paid.

RELATED STORY: Downtown St. Petersburg condo sells for $6.849 million, second-highest sale for a Tampa Bay condo

In the same time period, a total of 58 condos along the downtown waterfront have sold for $1 million or more with ONE St. Petersburg accounting for two of the five highest sale prices. Said Heinkel: "Downtown St. Pete continues to be a very desirable purchase for buyers — especially when the property has a view of Tampa Bay.''