If you are one of the many people that would love to live in Downtown St Pete then you’ve probably done a little research online and looked at home prices both in and around downtown.Since the majority of homes in downtown are either part of a town home or condominium association, you’ve also taken into consideration the HOA fee and amenities that come with these different homes.
You may have noticed the vast disparity between price per square foot for homes near Beach Drive and homes in other parts of downtown.
Right now you can’t get much more than a 1 bedroom condo near Beach Drive for less than 500k. These Beach Drive condos will always be selling for a premium but the market for people who can afford to pay that much money for that little space is very limited. People in the younger generations are looking to live in a great location downtown with space to grow. They are also looking for somewhere with an affordable monthly payment. The developer of the Arlington and the District on 9th town homes have created a concept that appeals to that idea.
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With the amazing amount of development going on in St Pete, it’s not a surprise that there are now more affordable options for living downtown. I was inspired to write this post after selling a downtown town home to my friend at The Arlington St Pete which is The District on 9th’s sister development. They were created by the same developer and therefore have many of the same qualities.As of today, Halloween of 2016, The Arlington has all but 4 units sold out, so this article will focus mostly on The District on 9th. This complex will be built in phases, phase one is set to be complete by fall of 2017.
My friend is an Air Force pilot and reached out to me after he found out he was getting stationed at Macdill AFB . We reconnected and he flew in over Labor Day weekend where I had the chance to set up showings of about 25 properties around downtown St Pete and also Tampa. He wanted the best of the best and I was excited to help him find it. We analyzed everything that goes into buying a townhome in an urban area –
Are there local stores, groceries and fun things to do within walking distance of the home?
Does the home have enough space to have friends over and room for family to come visit? Is there a good use of space? Does it feel more like a home to settle in to rather than a temporary apartment?
Was it reasonable? What does it cover?
Potential For Appreciation
Does this home have the potential for future appreciation?
Is this home built to the newest and best building standards?
About 72 hours, 25 showings and a few beers later, we narrowed it down. The Arlington was truly the only property that fit all these requirements. I realized why almost all of the units had sold out so quickly. The developer realized the demand for homes that fit this criteria and then set the plans in motion to create another community, a smaller more affordable downtown town home community.
As mentioned before, both The Arlington & The District on 9th are built by the same developers in the same area of downtown so these facts ring true for both developments. Let me explain step by step with the same criteria why I believe these homes are a great buy if you’re looking to live in downtown.
Both developments are close to Central between the busy part of downtown and the EDGE District. This area has really come into it’s own in the past few years. What used to be vacant shops and dive bars is now home to things like Hip Sushi Bars, Dog Friendly Coffee Shops, Gourmet Ramen Restaurants and more unique local shops that make this area a fun place to be. There is also a brand new Publix currently being built only a few blocks away.
The majority of the units at The Arlington are just under 2,000 square feet, 1,988 to be exact. This does not include the rooftop terrace with room for an optional hot tub and/or grill. I was really impressed that these homes were split into 4 separate living areas. The first floor is a two car garage as well as a bedroom with a full bath.
Since the other bedrooms are on the third floor, there is a perfect amount of separation for privacy if you were to use this bedroom for guests or to rent it out. The second floor is a open concept kitchen & living room combination. All the finishings are high quality and there is plenty of space to entertain guests.
The third floor as mentioned earlier is the other two bedrooms including the master. There are two full baths, one for each bedroom. Go up one more level and you will find the rooftop terrace. The Arlington only had two different floorplans to choose from. The District on 9th will have 4 floorplans, all with customizable furnishings to make the home your own.
The proposed floorplans range from 1,500 to 2,600 square feet. There will be 34 total units with 4 of these being a combination of residential space on top and commercial retail space on the bottom floor. Here’s a breakdown of the floorplans and pictures from the on site listing agent’s page.
It is somewhat rare to find a low HOA fee around St Pete and that is especially true in downtown. Many times these developments have amenities such as pools, fitness centers, community rooms that need a much higher HOA fee in order to be maintained. For example, when we toured Signature Tower on a Saturday afternoon, we checked out the pool, the fitness center and the community room and none of them were being used. The total HOA fee for this unit was just under $700 a month. That’s a lot of money for amenities you may only use once in a blue moon. This unit was also under 900 square feet with a 425k price tag.
The floor plan my friend selected at The Arlington had a total HOA fee of $236/month. Granted they don’t have any amenities, this HOA fee covers grounds maintenance, exterior maintenance, roof, water/sewer/trash and pest control. That’s everything you need to make your life as a home owner easy. I think that’s why this concept has been successful – the developer has made it convenient to make the HOA coverage effective and the monthly dues affordable. The District on 9th will be adopting this same strategy – the minimal amenity, maximum convenience, minimal cost approach.
Potential For Appreciation
Considering the fact that these are brand new construction town homes with an enormous amount of space located in the hottest downtown area in all of Florida, my gut feeling tells me that these will appreciate. Another factor to consider when looking at potential appreciation is why these have such a high demand now.
These units are built to the highest standards – all block construction which means lower insurance rates and better resale value than woodframe. The association has a low HOA fee covering just the essentials which is appealing to many buyers. These properties have an unprecedented amount of space for the price in Downtown. Finally these properties have a unique quality – The rooftop terraces really set them apart from the many other condos/townhomes that usually only feature a balcony.
When looking for real estate in St Pete, new construction is a bit of a rare thing. Most of the land in Pinellas has already been built on so typically a tear down of an older structure is necessary to build new. With new construction you don’t have to worry about costly repairs or issues with a 4 point inspection when buying. New construction has to pass multiple inspections to receive a certificate of occupancy. This makes sure everything is up to code and good to go for many years to come.
St Pete is currently one of the hottest cities in Florida. Since about 2013, the downtown area has started to explode and is showing no sign of slowing down. Cities like Orlando, Miami and even Tampa are already over crowded and over developed. Many folks are finding out about the hidden gem of St Pete, people and businesses alike. This city will continue to expand as a tourist destination and a place to live, work and play. I’ve traveled a lot, around both North America and Europe and have not seen anything like St Pete. Now is the time to secure your spot in this amazing downtown area. If you are ready to take advantage of everything this city has to offer, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
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(all data current as of 4/10/2021)
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