Coming Soon to St. Petersburg…

blogpicIt is not hard to see that this city is growing, rapidly. At almost every corner downtown there’s a new building popping up! Here’s some good news: The number of permits issued, permit revenue, & construction value have all increased from a year ago reflecting the feeling that many residents and visitors have – there’s a lot going on in St. Petersburg! To date in Fiscal Year 2016, there has been $3,234,025 in total revenue to the city. In comparison to this time last year, which saw $2,663,413 in total revenue, this is a 21.42% increase. That is good news for my boss and to the citizens of St. Petersburg! So what can you expect to see in the near future of our beautiful city?

Restaurants: It is nearly impossible to keep up with all of the new restaurants opening in this city. We saw 18 new restaurants open from February to June of 2015. And now, in Spring 2016, we are expecting 9 more new restaurants! And that doesn’t include the more than 30+ opening in the Tampa Bay Area. This city is a foodie paradise! Be on the look out for the following openings: Wooden Rooster, Central Melt, Urban Creamery, Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria, Hawkers St. Pete, Pei Wei, Burger Monger, and Fresh Kitchen/Daily Eats. YUMMY!

Apartments/Condos: Everyone wants to live in St. Pete! With the influx of new citizens, the city is accommodating with new apartment buildings and condominiums! For example, Aspen Venture Group has begun pre-construction sales for 801 Conway, a 35-unit townhome project at 801 Burlington Ave. just west of Mirror Lake. Prices start in the high $200,000s for two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 1,330 to 2,463 square feet. Kolter Group, based in West Palm Beach, recently broke ground and began construction on “ONE St. Petersburg,” a 41-story condo tower in downtown. The tower will hold 253 units, making it the largest condo tower in St. Pete, so far.

Hotels: St. Petersburg has been on several national lists this year! It’s no wonder why so many people are vacationing in our city. So, to accommodate these tourists, new hotels are popping up all over the Tampa Bay Area. Treasure Island Beach Resort (Ocean Properties), the new 77-room hotel with its sweeping, unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico, a unique restaurant with a craft cocktail-inspired bar and one-bedroom and two-bedroom units that include kitchens. The new resort, which sits on a 1.5-acre lot, is the first new hotel development to open on Treasure Island in about a decade. Although this next one is technically not located in St. Petersburg, it is still a massive addition to our area. Opal Sands Resort recently opened in Clearwater Beach. The 25,000 sq. ft. hotel includes 230 guest rooms and suites, which are ALL oceanfront, with private balconies offering spectacular views of the Gulf.

So if you are planning your next vacation, or next city to live in, you might want to consider the beautiful and budding city of St. Petersburg, Fl!

Exploring the Architecture of Florida

Florida is known for its beautiful weather, sandy beaches, and weird news stories. Aside from those more well-known qualities, I think we have some pretty impressive architectural structures in this state that don’t get enough credit! I am lucky to live in a rapidly growing city (St. Petersburg) which includes many buildings on my list. However, I will also be venturing out of the St. Petersburg to places such as Tampa, Miami, Lakeland, and St. Augustine.

daliSalvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg

The Dali Museum located in my home town houses the largest collection of Dalí’s works outside Europe. Designed by Yann Weymouth of the architectural firm HOK and built by The Beck Group, under the leadership of then-CEO Henry C. Beck III, it was built on the downtown waterfront next to the Mahaffey Theater, on the former site of the Bayfront Center, an arena that was demolished in 2004. The new, larger and more storm-secure museum opened on January 11, 2011. Reportedly costing over $30 million, this structure features a large glass entryway and skylight made of 1.5 inch thick glass. Referred to as the “Enigma”, the glass entryway is 75 feet tall and encompasses a spiral staircase. The remaining walls are composed of 18-inch thick concrete, designed to protect the collection from hurricanes. It is the perfect structure to hold the strange and unique artwork of Salvador Dali.

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Florida Polytechnic University – Lakeland

Every time that I make a trip to Orlando, I get to drive past this massive, alien-like structure. One of these days I am going to stop and go inside! I think it is the coolest college building in Florida, if not the country! Florida Poly resides on a new 170-acre campus designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava that features a 160,000-square-foot Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building. The IST Building is home to the University’s Supercomputer, 3-D printing lab and digital library. Florida Poly is the first university whose main library is totally digital. Florida Poly opened for classes on August 25, 2014 with an inaugural class of 554 students.

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Tampa Bay Hotel (now Plant Hall at University of Tampa) – Tampa

This former hotel is now one of the main buildings of the downtown campus of the University of Tampa and houses the Henry B. Plant Museum. It was built in the late nineteenth century by the railroad magnate Henry B. Plant as a luxury resort hotel, open from December to April. It had more than 500 rooms and hosted such famous guests as Teddy Roosevelt and Stephen Crane. Most of the rooms had their own baths, electricity and telephones, and luxury accoutrements from art work, Venetian mirrors, fine porcelains,and beautiful furniture–many examples of which can be seen today in the Plant Museum. This Gilded Age hotel provided a self-contained vacation, with delivery by train to the front door, rickshaw transportation through the exotic gardens, tennis, golf, and hunting, as well as water sports, formal balls and tea parties. University of Tampa is an all around gorgeous campus – and this building really makes it stand out in the city.

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St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Sarasota

St. Paul’s was built in 1958 by Victor A. Lundy. Lundy, trained at Harvard, got his start as an architect in Sarasota. Although he designed various types of buildings – civic, commercial, and religious – his churches often are a modern variation of Gothic with steep soaring roofs. He often used laminated wood beams and wood roof decking because it was an economical solution to span wide naves. In this particular project, window slits border both sides of the “buttress” and add interesting stained glass lighting effects in the interior.

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Tampa Museum of Art – Tampa

The building, by architect Stanley Saitowitz, is designed to look like “an electronic jewel box sitting on a glass pedestal” and makes use of aluminum, glass, and fiber optic color-changing lights in the exterior walls to “make the building itself a work of art”. The interior is more neutral, with mostly white surfaces and subdued lighting. The architect describes it as “a frame for the display of art, an empty canvass to be filled with paintings, a beautiful but blank container to be completed by its contents.” It includes a gift shop and an indoor/outdoor cafe. In 2010, the Tampa Museum of Art was chosen as a winner of an American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

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Castillo de San Marcos – St. Augustine

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, FL, the fort was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza. Construction began in 1672, 107 years after the city’s founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. The fort’s construction was ordered by Governor Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega after the destructive raid of the English privateer Robert Searles in 1668. Work proceeded under the administration of Guerra’s successor, Manuel de Cendoya in 1671, although the first stone was not laid until 1672.

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Carlyle Hotel & McAlpin Hotel – Miami (Art Deco)

Art Deco curves abound in this stylish hotel–from the curved corners moved around to the side, emphasized by the eyebrows which follow the undulation, to the semicircular eyebrows over the front windows and those which halt the facade’s vertical fluting. The canopy here for the front porch is also the base for the upper stories, which is supported by delicate fluted columns. The decoration at the top is filigreed masonry. It was built by Richard Kiehnel and John Elliot in 1939. The McAlpin hotel (bottom) was built in 1940 by L.Murray Dixon. The McAlpin, includes the standard Art Deco tripartite facade. The vertical member in the central bay would have originally had a marquee. The signage over the door is very stylized.

Thank you Wikipedia and Bluffton for the information used in this blog!