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Buyers Flock to Downtown St. Petersburg

The City is Fashioned to Fit the Demands of Today’s Market

As the downtown St. Petersburg housing market continues to explode, two recently completed luxury condominium communities provide a window into what the future holds for the area. St. Petersburg is a perfect reflection of how baby boomers are changing the face of retirement. St. Petersburg’s reputation for blue-haired residents is a thing of the past. Today’s retirees prefer to think of retirement a reallocation of their time to more fun endeavors. They are bypassing golf communities for the action provided by an urban lifestyle.

Bliss and The Salvador, two boutique residential towers, are busting onto the highly desirable downtown St. Petersburg scene. While residents of the new condo towers come from all over the country and the world, their attraction to downtown St. Petersburg’s walkability, artsy culture, emerging food scene and the other convenience the city offers is the common thread of the city’s  growing community. Many of the residents are empty nesters looking for a vibrant community that is hip, funky and youthful.

Most of the residents of The Salvador are empty-nesters. “The buyer demographic that we are seeing emerge of homeowners being compelled to purchase a new condo downtown as their primary place of residence brings soul to the building and reconfirms our belief that people are buying the St. Petersburg lifestyle,” says David Moyer, Director of Sales at Smith & Associates Real Estate.

Dana DiVecchio purchased a condo at The Salvador as a second home and plans to move in once he and his wife retire, in a few years. Currently, living in Pittsburgh, PA, he looked at places all over the country and chose St. Petersburg because of the pulse of activity in the city. “I like sitting in a street cafe, and watching the hip urban youths' walk by with their tattoos and stylish clothes, or strolling to the Saturday morning farmer’s market. We want to spend our days not only enjoying the sunshine, but also basking in the variety of activities so abundant in this diverse city. Like enjoying the art scene, going for bike rides, listening to the numerous genres of music, and diving into the diverse food/drink options around every corner, not just sitting in the desert somewhere or looking out over a golf course watching 'other' retirees, like so many of my contemporaries.”

With dining, art, entertainment and more right around the corner, it is no surprise that developers are struggling to meet the demands in downtown St. Pete.

Only three of the 74 homes remain for sale at The Salvador, and residents are already moving in. At the sold-out Bliss, the penthouse was the last condo sold nearly eight months ago for $2,915,000. Smith & Associates Real Estate is the listing broker for both communities.

President and CEO of Smith and Associates Real Estate, Bob Glaser, moved into Bliss earlier this month and is loving the intimacy of a condo tower that only has two units per floor giving a sense of privacy yet with all the amenities of a luxury condo tower. “I have been living in downtown St. Petersburg since 2007 and love the beauty and convenience of the lifestyle here. I was attracted to Bliss because it is the first of it’s kind in Tampa Bay. New York City, set the trend with ‘pencil thin’ buildings and Bliss was built with the same concept, blending luxury and design to maximize the capacity of  smaller urban lots. Bliss rests on a piece of land that is only 100 feet x 60 feet in the most bustling part of the city.”

“The timing of both of these luxury towers was perfect because there was no other new construction of condominiums in downtown St Petersburg. This limited opportunity coupled with extremely low inventory in the condo resale market enabled both communities to be a huge success,” said Dave Traynor, Vice President Real Estate and Developer Services, Smith & Associates Real Estate.

Traynor added that these two new communities only begin to satisfy the demand for residential properties in the area. More is sure to be expected as St. Petersburg provides the ideal footprint for downtown living with its waterfront parks, growing art scene, diverse culinary offerings, and sunny weather. USA Today recently rated the city as one of “America’s Most Underrated Food Scenes, ” and Southern Living said St. Petersburg was one of the Best Places to Live in the United States.

According to Mike Flanagan, who recently moved to The Salvador from a home in west St. Petersburg, “Downtown St. Pete's popularity has exploded, which has been remarkable to watch. It has emerged as one of the most livable, walkable and beautiful downtowns in the U.S. because it has everything to offer - great restaurants, nightlife, museums, theater, movies, music and arts festivals, and the largest Saturday morning market in the Southeast. And let's not forget about the USF St. Pete campus, a thriving small business and arts community, and of course seven miles of beautiful waterfront parks.”
 
As downtown St. Petersburg continues to receive national and international attention, the residential luxury home market is expected to be robust in the coming year, although at this point inventory options are still limited.

For more information on Bliss visit BlissOverBeachDrive.com and to find out more about The Salvador visit TheSalvador.com.
 
For further information please contact Dave Traynor, Vice President Real Estate and Developer Services on dtraynor@smithandassociates.com or Tel 813.784.6373