October 1, 2014

Development

Condo Challenge

Amy Keller | 9/1/2006

Changes: New plans for the Grand Bohemian scale back the number of condo units.

As Tampa Bay's real estate market has cooled, the chill has hit some projects harder than others. When the Grand Bohemian Hotel & Residences opened its sales office last February in downtown St. Petersburg, developer Richard Kessler announced he was building 82 condos, priced between $500,000 and $5 million and scheduled for completion in 2008. Six months later, Kessler said the complex will contain 30 fewer condos, and delays will push the finish date to 2009.

Across the bay, the proposed Trump Tower has faced slowdowns amid rising costs and slumping sales. As of August, developer SimDag still did not have a financing source.

Meanwhile, developers of more modestly priced units are bullish about prospects in the region.

Following brisk sales at SkyPoint Condos, a 32-story downtown Tampa tower, Novare-Intown Tampa Development is gearing up for a new project, Mosaic. Novare- Intown's Greg Minder says Tampa isn't suffering from the same woes as Miami or Fort Lauderdale because "we're undersupplied in general and certainly undersupplied on lower-priced ones."

Joel Cantor also reports steady sales at his Signature Place, a 35-story downtown St. Petersburg project. With units starting in the $450,000s, Cantor says he's about 72% sold out. Speculators have been "driven out of the market," he says.

Susan Fleming Bennett, a real estate lawyer with the Tampa firm of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler, says lenders are still expressing an appetite for financing condo projects in the area but are being "much more selective."

Tags: Tampa Bay, Housing/Construction

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