Carriera Regan

Eat, Play, Live: Two Mixed-Use Living Spaces Bring New Life to City Centers

Living in the Tampa Bay area hasn’t always been easy, but that’s changing now that developers have focused their efforts on a live-work-play combination for the Tampa Bay area with an “if you build it, they will come” attitude. Two projects in particular will bring folks into downtown.

These new projects — ONE St. Petersburg and Aurora — highlight the change in the city centers’ residents. Local real estate expert Frank Carriera, first vice president investments and senior director of the firm’s National Multi Housing Group, has a front-row seat to the game that is playing out between mixed-use housing and urban-park developments.


Source: Aurora

“While we were not directly involved in these projects, they do highlight the state of the market,” says Carriera.

Pre-construction sales of the ONE’s 146 condominium units have already topped $110 million. The Richman Group’s new division, Richman Signature Properties, is devoted to luxury multifamily properties and will be introducing a separate project to downtown Tampa: Aurora. Both ONE and Aurora will impact the rental market in St. Petersburg and the greater Tampa Bay area in a positive way.

Mixed-Use Mecca: ONE St. Petersburg

Hailed as the mixed-use mecca, the ONE St. Petersburg project is the largest multifamily development in the Tampa Bay area. The Kolter Group’s tower project will rise 41 stories, offer more than 250 rental units and include a hotel component with 174 rooms as part of the same complex.

ONE was built to accommodate the desires of millennials and working professionals who are hoping to live close to work and play. In addition to the living spaces, the complex will have shopping and dining establishments — all within walking distance.

Economic impact
According to Mayfair International Realty, Mayor Rick Kriseman celebrated the $90 million economic impact ONE will have on the greater area in terms of construction costs and job creation.

“Housing is easily one of the big drivers of growth of downtown St. Petersburg and will also drive businesses into the Tampa Bay area,” says Carriera.

Benefits to property owners
Carriera says that the area’s commercial development is beneficial to both buyers and sellers.

“Large developments with such high-end values on for-sale product will raise the bar for all properties in the local area. Additionally, it will increase employment and demand for housing, thus increasing rental rates for future multifamily buyers.”

Rental demand will edge closer to lining up with supply, at least in the greater Tampa Bay area.

“3,130 units were delivered to market during the past year and 7,178 units are currently under construction,” says Carriera, “but demand is still calling for about 1,500 more.”

Live, Work, Play: Aurora Downtown Tampa

Developed by Richman Signature Properties, Aurora is a first-of-its-kind luxury rental property transforming the downtown Tampa skyline with its sleek design and custom art installation. Consisting of 351 residences and a host of signature amenities, Aurora is slated to open this October.

Eat, play, live
Creating a space where people can live, work and play has to marry both housing and recreational developments. According to Friends of the Riverwalk, the Riverwalk thoroughfare was developed to “transform downtown Tampa’s waterfront into an active, pedestrian friendly environment for commerce, transportation, entertainment and fitness.”

Access to this dynamic recreational space is a top priority for developers.

According to Todd Fabbri, president of The Richman Group of Florida, “Richman Signature Properties focuses on creating elevated living experiences for its residents that encourage healthy lifestyles and social connectivity.”

Aurora residents will be able to access the Riverwalk, creating the much-desired urban-park environment.

Though not affiliated with the project, Carriera explains that Aurora will be groundbreaking for the city’s walkability.

“Developers may not have a lot of green space for outdoor recreational space like rural communities,” says Carriera. “However, they are able to cater to the millennials and young professionals who prefer to live in an urban setting where there is plenty of entertainment within walking distance.”

Amenities make the world go ’round
Aurora is part of the new emphasis on developing downtown areas with a live-work-play focus in order to promote interest in revitalizing stagnant downtown areas. With multi-use construction, families are more likely to choose communities where they can also work and play. Aurora will have billiards, a lounge with bar, a gaming area and resort-style pool. There will be an 11,000-square-foot, two-level clubhouse as well as a 2,400-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center with a yoga and spin studio that includes on-demand fitness classes. A bark park and pet spa will add to the outdoor amenities.

Adapting to urban lifestyles
The market is changing and accommodating the lifestyles of Tampa and St. Petersburg residents.

“Aurora, ONE and other developments will have a huge impact on the area,” says Carriera. “For buyers and sellers, there are opportunities in every direction.”

Fabbri from Richman Signature Properties agrees: “We feel very strongly about the growth opportunities available in the Tampa market and the demand for luxury apartments. The rental market is strong, and multifamily properties are on the rise in Tampa.”

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