ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.
Slated to join Bliss and Rowland Place on 4th are two more developments — The Bezu, a 24-unit tower close to Beach Drive, and 747 North, an 18-unit project several blocks to the west.
"The market is very hot these days and there's a lot of demand and not too much product on hand," Michel Regignano, director of development for the newly formed company Arclight, said Monday.
Arclight is working with hotel and apartment owner Steve Gianfilippo on The Bezu, which would rise 268 feet on a site at 100 4th Ave. NE that Gianfilippo bought last year for $1.4-million. Initial plans called for four, New York-style brownstones, but "the highest and best use" of the property is a tower with more residential units, Regignano said.
The Bezu will have five floors of parking topped by seven floors with two units each; nine floors with a single unit each; and a three-story penthouse with its own infinity pool. There will be another pool for use by all owners. The penthouse has not been priced, but the other units will range from the $600,000's to $2 million and above.
Regignano said The Bezu will have the feel of a "boutique condo'' similar to those he developed in Miami and Washington D.C. before moving to St. Petersburg a year ago.
"I just think the market in St. Pete is very unique," he said. "It has great demographics, it has great artwork, it's sort of a hidden gem." Arclight plans to incorporate works by local artists and is also using local engineers, contractors, architects and Beach Drive based Benoot Realty.
"I'm the only outsider in this whole crew," Regignano said.
Just as The Bezu will overlook a Duke Energy power station, the 747 North project also has an unusual location for a luxury condo — on 4th Avenue N right near an 1-275 exit ramp. But listing agent Kelly Lee McFrederick said that shouldn't deter buyers.
"The parking garage will be higher than the off ramp so even the first units will be higher than the ramp," she said. "There will be some landscaping, it will have high impact windows and the building itself will be all concrete and very impervious to noise. Also, the land elevation is 42 feet above sea level. We are one of the highest and driest places in St. Pete to build."
Each of the 18 units will have three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a laundry area, wine cooler and two deeded parking spaces. Units will range from 1,836 square feet to about 1,950 square feet and be priced from $450,000 to $500,000.
McFrederick said three units already are under contract. Unlike most condo projects, 747 North can proceed with only a few units pre-sold because the developer, Fourth North Holdings, acquired the land fairly inexpensively and owns it outright.
"When the city says, 'Good to go,' we can go at any moment," McFrederick said.
The family behind Fourth North Holdings also developed the Casablanca Towers on 8th Street S and 341 Lofts on 5th Street S, both in St. Petersburg. The newest project, north of Central Avenue, is an area that has seen a recent explosion of residential development though mostly of two-story townhomes.
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] Follow @susanskate.