Saint Petersburg, FL Real Estate News

By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
1010 Central, a 114 unit condominium building which includes some work-live units, is holding its Grand Opening on April 12th from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. This 4 story structure built by Miles Development Partners takes up nearly an entire city block. The pool is centrally located, offering privacy. A model residence will be available for tour. Floor plans can be seen on their website. When sales began in 2005, all of the units went to contract within a month. A few units are now available.Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area.   
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
A photo of the whole building wouldn't give you the details that this shot of the top does. This is another Mediterranean Revival style building, from either 1926 or 1928. It also has Gothic touches, and even some fantasy.The Snell Arcade takes its name from Perry Snell, a legendendary developer who designed much of St. Petersburg, including Snell Isle, a most desirable residential neighborhood near downtown St. Pete. It was originally designed as 10 retail stores on the ground floor, then offices above that. The third floor housed a nightclub, called Spanish Bob's, which opened onto a "rooftop" terrace. Today there are residential and commercial condominiums. Ground level shops include Chocolade (a tempting store of chocolates) and The Green Bench Florist. And for Ines' benefit, the or...
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By Keyvan Kohan, Broker/V.P. CRS, GRI, e-Pro
(Re/Max Metro)
  Historic Kenwood is located just west of downtown St. Petersburg, one of a handful of our city's 109 neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   Home to more than 2500 residents living in over 1100 single family homes, the neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of bungalows in Florida.  Charming 1920's  Bungalows, from 600 to over 3000 Sq Ft homes, Spacious Floor Plans with beautifully restored hardwoods, volume ceilings,  woodburning fireplaces, larger bedrooms, charming vintage updated bathrooms can be found. Also available are bonus office/den/family rooms with built-in book shelves, inside utility,  detached one or two car garages, guest-quarter conversions, privacy fenced yard with lush landscaping, patio w/pavers, and much more. Kenwood is con...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
    The Pier - St. Petersburg, FloridaThe Pier isn't my favorite building in St. Pete, but nonetheless it is a landmark. It has shops and restaurants and activites. Best of all, it has a wonderful view back to downtown St. Petersburg. You can reach it by car (valet parking, and if you're lucky, some spaces along the Pier Approach; by trolley from either the parking lot, your downtown hotel or your downtown business; or by walking.  Colorful awnings have dressed up this upside-down truncated pyramid, but I'm still a traditionalist at heart. I'd prefer to see a restoration of the old Million Dollar Pier:                           Photo Courtesy of the City of St. PetersburgPreferences aside, it's too late for that, since it was torn down and replaced with the current Pier.For history buff...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
All of our interesting buildings aren't old - here's a new (within the last couple years) buildings that was designed to fit well with our older Mediterranean style buildings. It's a Hampton Inn and Suites - no, not out in the suburbs, but right in the heart of downtown St. Pete on Beach Drive. It doesn't have a dining room (other than for breakfast, of course) but why would you want one, when you can want to SO many excellent restaurants in downtown St. Pete. It also has the advantage of being only two blocks from our office, and you pass Starbucks on the way. Across the street is the public park and beyond that is the waterfront.Much like our highrises, the ground floor has retail shops, and not just for tourists. Local downtown residents enjoy Mickey's Cork and Cleaver market which i...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Who says that only kids can have fun here?The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership held its quarterly membership meeting at the Great Explorations Museum on 4th Street. It shares a building with Sunken Gardens, Carrabba's Grill and Cold Stone Creamery. David Penn, the  Executive Director & CEO of Great Explorations Children's Museum sat in one of the treehouses to speak to us on "Fun Facts about Children's Museums and Downtown Communities." The museum HAS changed since I was last there with my grandson. It still has lots of interactive stuff and science stuff, but now it has exhibits sponsored by local businesses, since childrens' museums around the country have found that kids like to role play. Publix, for example, has sponsored a store. The kids can actually scan the boxes and cans fr...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
        Grand Prix weekend St Petersburg Florida This is Grand Prix weekend in downtown St Petersburg. Yes, it's Indy Cars right along the waterfront. Downtown streets are closed off for several blocks from the St Petersburg Yacht Club south to the Albert Whitted Airport. Lucky people can watch from their balconies, or their large yachts - the rest will need to pay admission to the grounds or the bleachers. With sharp turns, this can be an exciting race. You may want to bring earplugs or Bose headphones, because it certainly is loud. It's more fun when you pick a favorite - usually it's Danica Patrick, the young woman driver (though Sarah Fisher is also driving this year), or Dan Wheldon, the champion who now lives here in St. Pete. This year it may also be Helio Castroneves, who toured...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Open Air Post Office - St Petersburg, Florida Downtown St Petersburg Florida has many Mediterranean Revival buildings, including this Open Air Post Office, which has been in operation since 1916. It's located at the corner of 4th St N and 1st Ave N right across from Williams Park. In the early 1900s a government architect designed a very grand building, but it was set up high with lots of steps, and the postmaster at that time wasn't happy with it. Postmaster Roy Hanna designed the post office HE wanted, which was at street level, open to the air so that people could access their post office boxes at any time of day or night.  It continues to serve that purpose.The building was designed by George Stuart, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Also in 1916 Stuart designed the St. Petersburg ...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Tower of the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, a luxury historic property in downtown St Petersburg, Florida This is one of several interesting towers in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The style and color are typical of Florida, as is the bright blue sky, and the top of the palm tree at the base. This was built in the 1920s in the Mediterranean style of Addison Mizner, who is also known for his Florida Resort style. Most of his buildings are on the east coast of Florida, in Boca Raton and Palm Beach. Only one home in St. Petersburg can be directly attributed to Mizner, but there are many buildings done in that style. There were actually three hotels built here in south Pinellas County in this style, back in the Roaring '20s - the Vinoy Hotel, a Renaissance property, in downtown Saint Pete; th...
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By Keyvan Kohan, Broker/V.P. CRS, GRI, e-Pro
(Re/Max Metro)
The Tampa-bay area is currently over supplied with homes and property for sale.  In addition, interest rates are at a historic low and expected to stay low for the rest of 2007, creating a window of opportunity for prospective house, condo, and property buyers to get their hands on a solid deal in this buyers market for Tampa-bay, including St. Petersburg, and St. Pete Beach. Yesterday evening as I was driving home and noticing the growing number of for sale signs, I received a concerned call from an acquaintance.  His home has been listed for nearly 3 months but has only been shown a handful of times, and he was considering shifting gears and obtaining a new realtor.  I told him that a new realtor may not be the solution and that the reason his house was not selling is because we have ...
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By Dan Charette
(RE/MAX Metro)
With so many Buyers coming to St Petersburg right now, why aren't sales throught the roof?  List prices have settled in, interest rates are low, and of course the weather is unreal!  Lets face it, Property Taxes and Insurance!  Our new Gov. Charlie Crist has promised to do something about these issues, but as a spoiled child would say, "I want it NOW!"  OK Ok, insurance rates HAVE dropped and there are several plans to drastically lower, or even eliminate property taxes.  Maybe, just maybe, the Buyers who take advantage of the low prices and the increased inventory will make a KILLING in the long run!  Just think, as soon as there is tax reform, Buyers will be standing in line to buy the beautiful homes this city has to offer.Take a number...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
According to legend, the architect of this beautiful building had a disagreement with the owners - supposedly he wasn't paid, or wasn't paid all that was agreed, so he was very unhappy.Shortly thereafter, the city of St Petersburg made a request for bids, for someone to design a public restroom facility in the center of Saint Petersburg, Florida.  The architect intentionally made a very low bid, and won the contract to design the toilets.  Here's the result:             The architect, Henry Taylor, designed various other buildings in St. Petersburg. Here are some architectural links that may be of interest:St. Mary's Church History St. Mary's Church Photo Tour St. Mary's Church Features St. Petersburg Comfort Station  Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Flor...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Good Night Moon is a wonderful shop on Beach Drive NE in downtown St. Petersburg. Primarily it sells luxury linens - a specialized niche, of course, but successful enough that they have doubled their size. I love to go in and just indulge the senses - the soft feel of the cashmere throws, the softness of down in the covers and pillows, the satiny feel of high thread count sheets. I enjoy smelling the potpourri, varying scents depending on the day I wander in. They also have table linens, and wonderful robes (before Christmas Tami and I casually stopped in, and found such soft, wonderful robes that we bought each other one for Christmas. There are soaps and candles, Vera Bradley bags, and an array of gifts. Right across from the Museum of Fine Arts, this is yet another jewel in the row o...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
One of the optional coverages for property insurance is Ordinance or Law Increased Limit. While most people know the difference between depreciated cost and replacement cost for their home, many do not know that "replacement cost" will only replace the building as it exists - and building codes may not allow the building to be rebuilt as it exists - there are new codes, ordinances and laws. The optional endorsement gives the policy holder up to 50% of the insured cost of the property. The cost is minimal - for our waterfront home in St. Petersburg, the cost is $198, which is less than 5% of our homeowner's policy cost.Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area.  
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Rumors abound that you can't get property insurance on your home in Florida. It's only that - a rumor. While the cost may be (will be) high, it is still available. I blogged yesterday about the three types of insurance that may be required: property (general risks and liability); flood and wind insurance. That article also discusses questions to ask and how to choose both a policy and an insurance agent, as well as the variables that will affect the rate. Property insurance IS still available in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area.Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area.  
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
JMC Communities has announced that as of March 12, 2007, prices for Ovation, a luxury highrise condominium project on Beach Drive in downtown St Petersburg, Florida, will be increasing by $100,000. The decorating allowance offered to early purchasers will also be reduced. Groundbreaking happened last month, and the price increase by JMC is typical of its prior projects. JMC has been building premier condo projects in Pinellas County for several years, and typically prices rise as completion approaches. In multi-building projects, prices have increased as well. The builder has excellent agents onsite in their sales center - but  you can also choose to be represented by your own buyer's agent - the price is the same, so it's up to you whether or not you want representation.  Just remember...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
While St. Petersburg Florida has lost its green benches, it has just attained a Green Certified City designation from the Florida. In fact, St Petersburg is the first city in the State of Florida to receive the certification. We are in Pinellas County, which is the first county in Florida to receive the green certification. We have green certified homes, of course, and green certified high rises, and green certified offices and government buildings, but it's really pretty neat to have a green certified city and county. The City of St Petersburg offers rebates on building fees to builders who build green certified (LEED certified) homes and other buildings. For years, we've had one of the best reclaimed/recycled water systems in the country. Many neighborhoods use this reclaimed water fo...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
400 Beach, located appropriately at 400 Beach Drive NE in downtown St Petersburg, Florida, will be the next highrise condominium completed in St. Petersburg. The blank walls of the lower retail section is beginning to take on some character, now that trim is being added. The city of St Petersburg, in order to maintain the charm of its downtown area and keep it pedestrian friendly, does not allow highrises to be built directly along Beach Drive - not only is retail, including restaurants, required at ground level, but the buildings adjacent to the sidewalk can't be more than 3 stories high. Notice how the residential tower is set way back.  The sidewalks become even more appealing when they are wider, as these will be, when the building facades vary, and the setback distances are differe...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Conde Nast Traveler named downtown St Pete's Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club to its Gold List 2007, recognizing it as one of the world's great hotels.The Vinoy, as all locals refer to it, sits on the north edge of downtown St Pete overlooking the peaceful water of the Vinoy Basin, Tampa Bay, Straub Park, and Beach Drive. The historic hotel was built in the 1920s and has an adjacent new wing that was built a decade ago.The interior is restored, even the painted wood ceilings were taken down piece by piece, numbered, renovated, and returned to their original positions. The Mediterranean tile floors and many arches create an older, quieter world. One of our favorite places in St. Petersburg is on the front veranda of The Vinoy, where time seems to stop. We sip our morning coffee or ev...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Yesterday's St. Petersburg Times had a news item headlined Condo's First Step Will Mean Big Traffic Jam. Wanting to watch the progress on this architecturally unique sail-shaped building, I went to see. Pouring the foundation for Signature Place is a big pour, requiring 147 concrete trucks, according to the article, which is almost enough to lay a 5 mile sidewalk. Well - there wasn't any traffic jam. While watching for about 15 minutes I saw a dozen trucks, not even lined up along the streets, but coming two at a time every few minutes, coming around the corner and entering the construction lane along the south side of Signature Place. There were numerous trucks on the site, but no congestion in the surrounding roads. Joel Cantor, developer of Signature Place, estimates that the project...
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