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 $74 million Elevé 61, which would be the third tallest residential building in the Tampa Bay area.
Each floor would have just two units, each with three bedroom, three bathrooms and expansive city and water views. Prices would range from the $800,000s to more than $1.8 million.
"We think now is a great time to move forward because there really isn't any product to compete with us that can get to market as quickly as we can," said Ken Stoltenberg, a partner in Mercury Advisors.
Still in the planning stages are developer Larry Feldman's 53--story Riverwalk Place and several residential highrises in Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion project of a partnership between Cascade Investment and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.
"Larry Feldman's project is marvelous and all the things Vinik is doing are the right projects for Tampa,: Stoltenberg said. "We just want to be the right-now project."
Mercury Advisor bought the Elevé site at East Whiting Street and Channelside Drive in 2006, a year before its Grand Central at Kennedy condos opened in Channelside. Because of the recession and housing crash, Mercury sold only about half of the 392 Grand Central units and decided to rent out the rest out until the market began to recover. Sales resumed about six years ago.
As shown by the problems with Grand Central, "the timing wasn't right for another project, which proved correct," Stoltenberg said. "Now that the Channelside district has become what we always envisioned it would be, which is a walkable neighborhood, we think a higher-end product will sell."
Elevé will be within a mile of Mercury Advisors' Channel Club, a 23-story apartment building under construction, and a new 37,000-square-foot Publix. Also within walking distance will be Amalie Arena, the Riverwalk trail and other urban amenities.
Designed by the Orlando architectural firm Scott + Cormia, Elevé, with its roomy units, is expected to appeal to well-heeled empty-nesters.
"If you're downsizing from South Tampa or Avila and got a 4,000, 5,000-square- foot house, a 1,200 square-foot unit with two bedrooms is not what you want," Stoltenberg said. "All units are true 3-3s with very large verandas facing the skyline."
Other prospective buyers likely would include physicians and others working at the new University of South Florida Medical School under construction nearby.
At between 365 and 382 feet tall, Elevé would be exceeded in height, at least temporarily, by only two bay area residential towers — the Element apartments in downtown Tampa and the Signature Place condos in downtown St. Petersburg.
Smith & Associates Real Estate will handle sales for Elevé, with a sales center expected to open at 1212 E. Whiting Street in Tampa in late September. Construction of the tower is expected to take 18 months.
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at email@example.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate