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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

Another tower to rise along Beach Drive


Published:   |   Updated: June 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

— The downtown waterfront is set to get its first new residential tower in several years with an 18-story luxury condominium planned just off Beach Drive.

Named “Bliss,” the condominium tower will have only 30 units, two per floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking over North Straub Park and Tampa Bay, an extravagant view that will run from $800,000 to $1.3 million, said Dave Traynor, whose company, Smith & Associates Real Estate, is handling sales for the development.

The project’s architects say it will be the narrowest high-rise tower in the downtown area.

Developer Taub Entities is under contract to buy a small parcel at 176 Fourth Ave. N.E. that’s currently a parking lot and art gallery.

Smith & Associates is taking appointments for pre-construction contracts. With existing Beach Drive units selling fast, Traynor said he expects Bliss to sell out by the end of summer, followed shortly by construction.

“Because there are so few residences here, we anticipate the 30 residences will go under contract pretty quickly,” said Traynor, vice president of real estate and developer services at downtown’s Smith & Associates.

“You have the opportunity to have 47 feet of the North Basin and Beach Drive with floor to ceiling glass.”

Bliss joins two other condo projects in the works within a few blocks of Beach Drive.

A 16-story, 72-unit tower is planned for 145 Fourth Ave. N. The much smaller Rowland Place, a six-story building just west of Bliss, already has sold all of its 17 luxury units.

Proximity to the water should give Bliss an edge in sale prices.

Located behind the four-story Birchwood hotel on Beach Drive, units on the building’s south side will start above a five-story parking garage to ensure good views, while units on the north end begin on the second floor and will have a line of sight to the water along Fourth Avenue Northeast.

Each will have three bedrooms, high ceilings, private elevator foyers, and all residents will enjoy a rooftop whirlpool spa, fitness room and terrace overlooking the water.

Developers don’t expect much red tape from the city as the building’s slim design falls well within zoning regulations and seeks to preserve neighbors’ views.

“With a typical residential floor at less than 5,500 square feet, Bliss will have the smallest footprint of any high-rise building in downtown St. Petersburg,” Mesh Associates architect Tim Clemmons said in a statement.

At 204 feet high, Bliss will be shorter than other Beach Drive behemoths such as Parkshore Place, 400 Beach Drive and Ovation.

Developer Taub Entities has operated in the Tampa Bay area for decades with condo projects including Finale and Utopia at Sand Key in Clearwater.

Smith & Associates, which has offices on Beach Drive, is also handling sales at Water Club at Snell Isle, a pair of nine-story luxury condominiums under construction north of downtown.

While most development in the core of St. Petersburg has been focused on high-end rental apartments, downtown Realtors have said the condo market is on the upswing with higher and higher sales prices and shrinking inventory.

Beach Drive saw a rash of condo development in the past decade followed by an economic crash that drove prices into the ground.

Now with the market recovering, the few remaining parcels nearest to the water are in the highest demand for development, Traynor said.

“There’s a very limited amount of land opportunities at this point,” he said.

 

jboatwright@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-1277

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