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Developers buoyed by sales at Tampa's new Virage condo tower

Ascent Development Group Vice President Steve Barber, left, along with Smith & Associates Real Estate Vice President of Real Estate/Development Services Dave Traynor pose for a photograph near a model of Virage Bayshore Wednesday, April 05, 2017 in Tampa. The luxury condominium building features 24 stories with 71 residences. Among other features of the building are Penthouse Residences of exceptionally large size. The top two floors of the tower offer a single penthouse residence each, with homes spanning 6,900-square-feet and panoramic views of Hillsborough Bay, South Tampa and downtown. The following four floors are have two 4,500-square-feet residences per floor. The Tower Residences range in size from 2,400-square-feet to 3,300-square-feet. CHRIS URSO | Times
Published Jun. 6, 2017

TAMPA — More than half of the units — including a penthouse priced at nearly $5 million — are under contract in Tampa's newest proposed condo tower, Virage.

Two months after sales began, the 71-unit project on Bayshore Boulevard ''is certainly exceeding our expectations," Jay Tallman, president of Sarasota-based Ascentia Development Corp., said Tuesday. "We couldn't be happier.''

But, he quickly added, that shouldn't scare away prospective buyers.

"We've had some people come into the sales gallery that have heard rumors that this has sold very quickly and have the impression there isn't much left," Tallman said. "That's far from the truth because we have a nice variety of remaining residences at a lot of different levels available."'

So far buyers have contracted for about $60 million worth of units, including the 6,700-square-foot penthouse that could be Tampa's priciest condo in a decade if the sale goes through. Still remaining are the second penthouse and units starting at just over $1 million. Sales to date have pushed the 24-story Virage "fairly close" to the amount needed to begin construction, probably this fall, Tallman said.

Among the initial wave of buyers are former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco and his wife, Dr. Linda McClintock, who surprised fellow Tampa residents when they bought a condo in downtown St. Petersburg two years ago. The Grecos, who still spend a lot of time in Tampa, said they have not decided whether the Virage condo is an investment or a future home if they move back across the bay.

Tallman said almost all of the buyers have been locals, some from the gated community of Avila in North Tampa but mostly from South Tampa.

"One of the interesting things is that many of these buyers have looked over in St. Pete and considered St. Pete but they are very excited to have an offering such as Virage here in South Tampa so they have chosen to stay," he said.

Virage, on the site of the former Colonnade restaurant, and the 32-unit Aquatica rising a half mile away have attracted considerable attention as the first new condo towers along Bayshore Boulevard in more than a decade. Since the existing Bayshore towers were built, consumer tastes have changed considerably.

"We have been doing condos in the Sarasota market and more recent projects just have much more open floor plans and contemporary styling," said Tallman, whose company is developing Virage in a joint venture with Batson-Cook Development Co. of Atlanta.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

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