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Luxury condo reservations are brisk in downtown St. Petersburg

The 41-story One St. Petersburg condo at First Street and First Avenue N will be the tallest building in the city.
The 41-story One St. Petersburg condo at First Street and First Avenue N will be the tallest building in the city.
Published Apr. 29, 2015

Reservations for One St. Petersburg, a 41-story condo tower planned for the city's thriving downtown, have "far surpassed expectations,'' the project's sales director said Wednesday. Since marketing began a few months ago, 104 of the 253 luxury units have been reserved, representing total sales of $106 million, according to Dave Traynor of Smith & Associates.

The response shows the robust demand for luxury residences near the downtown waterfront with its plethora of restaurants, museums and shops. Two other proposed downtown condos — the Salvador and Bliss — have also generated presales and plenty of buzz.

Looming 450 feet above First Street at First Avenue N, One St. Petersburg will be the tallest building in the city and among the tallest in the entire Tampa Bay area.

An added selling point will be the 13-story Hyatt hotel next door, to be built by the same developer, South Florida's Kolter Group.

Between 80 and 90 percent of reservations — which required $10,000 down — are expected to convert to actual contracts by the end of May deadline. Buyers must put up 5 percent of the balance of the purchase price, though they will get a "significant incentive'' for buying early — 10 percent off the total price and no condo association dues for a year.

"We've never seen that big an incentive because the prices already are at market,'' Traynor said. "It's really exciting.''

Preconstruction prices for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units, plus nine penthouses, start in the $500,000s and go to more than $3 million. Association dues, which the developer will pay the first year, are expected to be about $1,000 a month for a 2,000-square-foot unit.

Empty-nesters and others already living in the bay area account for about two-thirds of the reservations, Traynor said. The rest have come primarily from people in the Northeast and Midwest.

Interest among foreigners is picking up, as shown by increased traffic to One St. Petersburg's website from other countries, but so far "there's no significant foreign impact,'' Traynor said.

If strong presales continue, Kolter could start construction this year on the condo tower. Work on the smaller Hyatt would begin later, but would be geared to finish at the same time as the tower, around the end of 2018.

Smith & Associates is also the exclusive agent for downtown's other proposed condo towers — the Salvador near the Dalí Museum, and Bliss, just off Beach Drive at 176 Fourth Ave NE.

With half of the Salvador's 74 units presold, demolition work at the site already has started and construction could begin within two months.

Most of the 29 units in Bliss are under contract, though the project remains enmeshed in controversy and legal action. Critics say the building is too big for its narrow site.

Nonetheless, developer Brian Taub "intends to continue moving forward,'' Traynor said.

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

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