I live here and didn’t know that….a brief history of the original Granada Terrace

C. Perry Snell was a pharmacist in Kentucky who first visited St. Petersburg in 1899. He was inspired by his time here and decided to move permanently in 1904. Mr. Snell began his local career in 1906 when he, A.E. Hoxie and J.C. Hamlett bought the holdings of St. Petersburg Land and Improvement Company.  Snell and Hamlett until 1919 acquired and developed most of the land north of 5th Ave N and east of 4th St N known as the “northeast” or the “north shore”. 

Created by the same developer as the Old Northeast, Granada Terrace was platted in February 1924 by C. Perry Snell.  Mr. Snell’s philosophy for the design was the concept of the “new suburb beautiful”.  The original neighborhood is much smaller than what has been designated as the historic district. The original neighborhood design was bounded by 22nd Ave NE on the south, 1st St N on the west, the alley between 25 and 26 Avenues NE on the north, and the seawall on the east side of Coffee Pot Blvd. Below is the map of the neighborhood.  Prior to being developed into a residential neighborhood, the land was used by the St. Louis Browns baseball team as their spring training facility for the previous ten years.

GranadaTerrace

The original neighborhood consisted of 38 houses built in the Mediterranean Revival style before World War II and is to this day the most-dense concentration of this architecture in Pinellas County. Snell designed the neighborhood to be an exclusive homogenous enclave of custom homes in this architectural style according to the original deed restrictions.

Mediterranean Revival is characterized by the asymmetric imitation of the vernacular building tradition in the Mediterranean region with Spanish tile roofs, parapet caps, glazed tile decoration, wrought iron, stucco, and abundant accent windows, balconettes, loggias, porches, patios, and roof terraces with most homes having detached garages. The interiors have similar period details and architectural styles including textured plaster on the walls, open floor plans, light double-leaf terrace doors, beamed ceilings in the public rooms, hardwood or ceramic tile floors, circular staircases, and Mediterranean-style fireplaces. The neighborhood offers an encyclopedic array of motifs from the small, fortress-like house with a crenelated parapet at 2408 Brevard Road to the formal palazzo with a portico at 226 23rd Ave NE.  The most representative design by Harry Cunningham that characterizes the fanciful qualities of the Mediterranean Revival is the Raquet House located at 2300 Coffee Pot Blvd which incorporates a host of towers, gabled ells, walled terraces, and varied fenestrations. Smaller residences in the neighborhood designed by Cunningham include the Moraccan-inspired Dr. Harold Hart House at 115 23rd Ave NE which includes a decorative ogee dome. Other designs by Cunningham included the Goebels homes on Andalusia Way and 23rd Ave NE as well as the C. Buck Turner House at 2296 Coffee Pot Blvd.

The inflated housing market collapsed in the winter of 1926-27 similar to the modern housing market collapse of 2008-10. Building activity in this neighborhood ceased until just before World War II when in 1941 the remaining lots were gradually developed with one-story houses that conformed in setback and landscaping to preserve the historic pattern of the streetscapes.  The neighborhood landscaping includes a variety of subtropical plant materials including hibiscus, pittisporum, bouganvilea, palms, azaleas, oak trees, and fruit trees.  Many of the period homes have walled rear gardens and terraces. The original structures and park features as well as the brick streets have survived unaltered making Granada Terrace a complete, well-preserved neighborhood that exemplifies the prevailing development tastes of St. Petersburg in the 1920s housing boom.

 

St Pete Enigma

As one of the iconic St Petersburg buildings, the Salvador Dali Museum has a storied and colorful past.

Dali

Whether flying in by private plane, sailing past on Tampa Bay, strolling along the marina green space, or attending a performance at the Mahaffey Theater next door, the uniquely contrasting architecture of the museum captures the mind and soul of the casual observer. The beautifully curated interior and the whimsical gardens add to the ambiance and mystique of the site.DaliGarden

Yann Weymouth of HOK is the renowned architect who designed the building to incorporate the rational with the fantastical. A simple rectangle with hurricane-proof walls is rational considering the location and is paired with the fantastical free-form geodesic glass bubble that erupts from the rectangle and is known as the Enigma. The bubble is formed by 1,062 triangular pieces of glass that are a twenty-first century homage to the dome that adorns the Dali Museum in Spain.

The Avant-Garden creates an opportunity to blend learning with tranquility. The Mathematical Garden juxtaposes the relationships between math and nature while the Labyrinth invites exploration and peace. The first floor of the museum has the Café Gala offering Spanish-themed light fare and the Raymond James Community Room used for conferences and other private events. The second floor houses the museum administration as well as the library that serves as an educational reference for those interested in or studying Salvador Dali, Surrealism and the Avant-garde. The third floor is composed of the James Family wing that holds the permanent collection of Dali works and the Hough Family wing that holds special exhibitions. Sandwiched between the two wings with an amazing view of the gardens and waterfront is the overlook of the Enigma.

The Dali Museum celebrates the life and work of Salvador Dali (1904-1989) from every moment and in every medium of his artistic activity. Founded with the works collected by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the museum collection includes over 2,100 pieces of art, drawings, illustrations, sculpture, photographs, manuscripts, and documents created by Dali. The Morses first learned about Dali in 1942 while visiting a travelling retrospective of work shown at the Cleveland Museum of Art that was organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. On March 21, 1943, the Morses purchased their first Dali painting, Daddy Longlegs of the Evening, Hope (1940) that began their forty year acquisition of his work to create the preeminent American collection. The Morses met Salvador and his wife, Gala, in New York on April 13, 1943 initiating a long friendship. The collection was displayed in the Morse’s home until the mid-1970s when a Wall Street Journal article entitled “U.S. Art World Dillydallies Over Dali” caught the attention of the St Petersburg community. The community rallied together bringing the collection to St Petersburg, FL where the first Dali Museum opened its doors in 1982. The new Enigma building was opened on January 11, 2011 better enabling the museum to protect and display the collection. “In a larger sense it is a place of beauty dedicated, as is Dali’s art, to understanding and transformation.”

Part of the membership department of the museum is the Zodiac Committee. The Zodiacs are a volunteer group that supports the mission of the Dali Museum by building meaningful relationships with the members, fostering new interest in the membership program, and strengthening ties to the arts community. The original Zodiac group was created in France in 1932 consisting of twelve patrons who each sponsored Dali for one month of the year. In exchange, patrons received a work Dali produced in that month. In the spirit of the forward-thinking patrons, the Zodiac Committee was formed at the Dali Museum in 1996. The Zodiacs sponsor monthly events within the community to engage the membership base.  Jon Smith of Journey Partners was recently elected to the Zodiac Committee and this month he has planned a French-themed event to be held at Sea Salt St Pete with donated works by local artists, a live art creation during the event, and of course plenty of rose that was also a favorite of Salvador Dali.

At Journey Partners, we know that infinite real estate opportunities require Partners for your Journey to financial success and security.

What is your home worth in this market?

According to Realtor.com’s five year study spanning 2011-2016, the appreciation rate of various home features was calculated and analyzed.  The top two features of a home that are critical to your sales success for the millennial buyer is kitchen and yard. The kitchen must be updated or modern and the yard must be large enough to hold gatherings and family play time as the millennial generation begins to focus more on family than fun at all costs.

In general, a home’s value appreciates three to four percent per year. This is typically attributed to population growth in conjunction with inflation. However in 2016, home values appreciated at an average of 6.3% for the year.

The highest appreciating feature of a home is the open floor plan. This feature alone created a 7.4% annual increase in home values year over year. Interestingly enough, smaller homes with square footage of less than 1200 square feet are more desirable than larger homes. Smaller homes appreciated 7.5% per year while larger homes with square footage above 2400 square feet appreciated at 3.8% per year. The smaller spaces are in shorter supply that drives prices upward faster by competing millennials wanting starter homes and baby boomers wanting to downsize.

Two bedroom homes appreciate faster at 6.6% per year over other floor plans with homes having five bedrooms appreciate at 4.3% per year. Modern and contemporary homes having an architectural style of simple geometric shapes and large windows have appreciated 7.7% per year while bungalows appreciated 6.5% per year and traditional homes have appreciated 5.6% per year. The lowest appreciating architectural styles were Craftsman bungalows at 3.7% per year and Victorians at 2.2% per year. Clearly these averages seem lower than cities where these architectural styles are predominant and sought after for their specific style. For example, the Craftsman bungalows in St. Petersburg and the Victorians in San Francisco are highly desirable architectural styles in these cities. Realtor.com’s analysis of this data seemed to be related to the maintenance responsibilities when staying true to the home’s historical architecture.

Finally when it comes to views there were some surprises in the data. Homes with a park view or a green space view appreciated the most at 7.9% per year. Mountain views appreciated at 5.1% per year and lake views appreciated at 4.9% per year. Surprisingly ocean views appreciated the least at 3.6% per year. Analysis of the study showed that the lower ocean view appreciation is multifactorial in that the most expensive homes tend to be along the ocean and recent storms have spooked buyers of oceanfront properties.

Some other features that are associated with annual home value appreciation include patios (6.8%), hardwood floors (5.7%), fireplace (5.3%), finished basement (4.6%), hot tub (3.9%), stainless steel appliances (3%) and granite countertops (2.5%).

Contact Journey Partners today for a free property evaluation. We take the time necessary to understand your individual goals, plans and dreams for financial security.  We change lives by providing professional and enthusiastic real estate services because your time is valuable and your financial investment is important.  Infinite real estate opportunities require Partners for your Journey to financial success and security.

Contact us today for a free market valuation of your home. Follow us on Facebook at @journeypartnersrealestate.

ADD IN OR ADD OUT……??

Those of you that spend any time at the Vinoy know that the renovation project is well underway. FelCor Lodging Trust has always envisioned a transformation of the Vinoy since its purchase in 2007 and so in May 2016 began the two-year, multi-phased renovation and redevelopment project. The thought process is that in addition to maintaining it’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Vinoy will also “be relevant to the next generation of travelers, especially millennials”.

The 1992 referendum approved by the residents of St. Petersburg allowed for the restoration of the Vinoy with further renovations planned to improve the golf, tennis, and spa amenities. Phase I of the construction started on the Snell Isle facilities included the new Clubhouse Grill restaurant, a redesigned and expanded Sunset swimming pool, a new Kid’s Fun Zone, and new locker rooms. Phase II of the construction was planned for the main resort facilities including new Har-Tru tennis courts, an expanded fitness center with locker rooms, an enhanced spa facility, replacement of the Alfrescos restaurant by a marina and pool view restaurant, and additional covered parking. The parking garage will become a two story garage with the new tennis courts and fitness center located on the roof of the new garage building. Some tennis courts will remain available on the grounds and additionally the Vinoy has partnered with the St. Petersburg Tennis Center to provide more options and availability for members and guests during this project.

Barbara Readey, general manager, stated “These design plans honor our heritage, prestige and history while simultaneously incorporating modern design, technology and amenities.” Most of the projects are slated to be completed by the fall of 2018. Check out a few of the design renderings below.

Vinoy1

Vinoy2

And we’re off to the races……

At the end of February the St. Petersburg Yacht Club hosted the annual St. Petersburg-Habana race starting at the Yacht Club and finishing in Havana, Cuba. The race takes its name from the Spanish spelling of Havana using a b to honor the pivotal role of the Havana Yacht Club in the race’s inception. The race was originated when George S. (Gidge) Gandy sailed his 36 foot ketch Cynosure to Havana and created a partnership with Commodore Rafael Posso of the Havana Yacht Club in 1929. Gandy, the builder of the first transbay bridge that bears his name, was spurred on by the effects of the Great Depression and Prohibition in Florida as Havana was a 400 year old port city where the rum flowed freely and the nightlife was unsurpassed. The first race took place on March 30, 1930 leaving from The Pier in St. Petersburg.

The race continued annually with the exception of three years during World War II until political changes occurred in Cuba in 1958 and the race to Cuba was discontinued. A race did continue from St. Petersburg until the end of the 1980s but instead of Havana the racers travelled to Fort Lauderdale. The lure of offshore racing never abated and in 2017 the Habana was resurrected to contribute to the normalization of relationships with our Cuban neighbors. Today the b is still used in recognition of the Cuban government’s cooperation in restoring the event. So raise a glass of rum runner in honor of the renewed excitement about this historical and history-making race with American captains taking wins in all categories.

In the beginning of March, St. Petersburg will host the annual Firestone Grand Prix which is the season opener of the Verizon Indy Car series. The race began in St. Petersburg in 1985 and has undergone several iterations throughout the years due to the use of multiple sites, different types of cars, bankruptcy, promotor disputes, and even a driver death in 1987. In 2003, a revised waterfront circuit of the original was created combining the downtown streets and two runways at the Albert Whitted Airport. Indy Cars became involved after a hiatus beginning in the 2005 revival. This track is the first non-oval course for the Indy Cars Series to be included in the Indy Racing League. Firestone took over at the title sponsor in 2014. Have fun, be safe, and think about earplugs for a couple of days if you are nearby the racing track. See below for race track designation and for downtown public transportation.

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX RACE TRACK

GPT

DOWNTOWN LOOPER AND SHUTTLE STOPS

Looper

Fla.’s housing market: More sales, rising prices in Jan.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 22, 2017 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, increased pending sales and more new listings in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 16,779 last month, up 5.2 percent from January 2016.

“Florida’s housing market continues to show positive momentum,” says 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “While existing inventory remains tight, Realtors across the state are reporting interest from both buyers and sellers – and with interest rates expected to rise over the next few months, now is certainly a good time to take action. On the buyer front, new pending sales for existing single family homes in January increased 3.8 percent year-over-year; pending sales for townhouse-condo units increased 6.5 percent. On the sellers’ side, new listings for single-family homes rose 7.6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings ticked up 0.9 percent.

“When market conditions are tight, consumers can get ahead by working with a Realtor who’s an expert in the local area,” Wells says. “A Realtor will have the knowledge needed to help both buyers and sellers through the complex home buying process.”

Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in January: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 95.6 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.6 percent.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $220,000, up 10.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in January was $161,000, up 6.6 percent over the year-ago figure. January marked the 62nd month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in December 2016 was $233,500, up 3.8 percent from the previous year the national median existing condo price was $221,600.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in December was $509,060; in Massachusetts, it was $355,000; in Maryland, it was $269,319; and in New York, it was $240,000.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,209 last month, up 6.2 percent compared to January 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 47.7 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.3 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“Florida’s markets for existing homes are off to a good start in 2017,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Throughout much of this housing cycle, growth in single-family home sales has outpaced that of condos and townhouses, but in January – for the first time since November 2015 – this was not the case, though one month’s worth of data alone doesn’t indicate a long-term trend.

Also, new listings of single-family homes were up in January compared to last year, including in the $150,000 to $250,000 range where inventory is sorely needed throughout the state. That said, inventory was still down overall in this range, as this segment of the market remains in high demand throughout the state.”

Inventory dipped to a 4.2-months’ supply in January for single-family homes and was at a 6.4-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.15 percent in January 2016, up significantly from the 3.87 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

For the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Research and Statistics on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors’ website.

© 2017 Florida Realtors®

I HEART U…

February is the month of love. Everyone is acutely aware of Valentine ’s Day on February 14. Love, despite what modern science has shown to be a chemical reaction in the brain, has always been associated with the heart. Affairs of the heart, heart ache, and heart attacks are common themes that find their ways into music, theater, and movies as well as real life events. So celebrating the heart and heart health within the month of February is a corollary that one can easily draw by meandering around HONNA. February is the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Heart Health since heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States.

HONNA openly celebrates systolic endeavors in February. A cohesive community comes together this month to show their cardiac pride, celebrate together, support others and learn along the way.  Kicking off the month on February 3 is the National Wear Red Day that is followed by a neighborhood heart-healthy walk on February 11 where participants are expected to don a red accessory.  Circulating through the neighborhood, what may appear to be homes decorated in honor of Valentine’s Day when examined closely will give a nod to celebrating the perpetually contracting muscle.  Home décor will be registered with judging to commence on February 5 and extending till February 28. A celebration of red and meeting your neighbors will be held on February 17 at the newly renovated Stafford-Miranda home. The month of activities will culminate with a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class to make sure that the basics of this life saving procedure are known by the many instead of the few. So grab your red, mark your calendars and let’s plan to live long and prosper.

Out with The Old and In with The New

Though you may appreciate the period details and twentieth century architectural styles found in the Old Northeast, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to live in it or renovate it. The good news for this type of buyer is that in 2006 the Old Northeast failed to receive the necessary votes from residents to approve the application for the local historic designation despite the overwhelming affirmative votes. This means that a prospective buyer has the ability to buy a lot, scrape it, and build a new home in the Old Northeast. There are many examples of new construction throughout the neighborhood consisting of Spanish Mediterranean, Santa Barbara Mission, and Contemporary with a nod to Mid Century Modern.

For the most part, the new construction projects mix and match well with the eclectic neighborhood architecture. Aspen Venture Group is one of the prolific developers in the Old Northeast with several projects in the neighborhood. Their attention to each unique project provides an authentic value and creates urban infill developments that stand apart from the rest. The Gables is one amazing project on 7th Avenue NE between 1st and 2nd streets. The original apartment building was purchased and the lot prepared to build three new Santa Barbara Mission style row homes. Each home has its own private swimming pool and central courtyard that creates a lush zen ambiance in the heart of the Old Northeast. The design focus is on interior light with abundant windows and thoroughly modern finishes. If you are looking to create your new oasis, a stroll down 7th avenue may be worth your time to see Aspen Venture Group’s work in progress.

On the Move Again…..

For better or worse, St. Petersburg is on the move again. Some may say that the Burg is experiencing the revitalization and vibrancy of growth seen in the Miami-South Beach Renaissance of the 1990’s. St. Petersburg has a long reputation of being a physically and emotionally healing destination.  Once known as “God’s waiting room” but now no longer, the Sunshine City has seen a significant decrease in the median age demographic over the past decade from an average age of 65 years to 43 years. This renewed vibrancy brings an expanding art and artist community, the exuberance of the hipster subculture and many new business opportunities including the Cross Bay Ferry that create greater appeal of this quaint city.

With a meager population of 250,000 residents and bounded by water on three sides, St. Petersburg is projected to have a steady rise in the population over the next decade. Home values have not fully recovered from the pre-recession time period making reasonable real estate investments still possible. However, in answer to the ever growing need for housing in an already tight environment with only 2.5 months of reserves consistently present month over month for the past couple of years, the city has begun a massive plan to take the city upward, both literally and figuratively, with the addition of multiple downtown high-rise condominium buildings. Mayor Rick Kriseman states that as many as 10,000 new housing units may be available over the next few years. As such and due to its close proximity both to downtown and the water, the Old Northeast should expect to see continued and sustainable increases in property values as well as rents over the next several years.

History of the Historic Old Northeast

“New England style with tropical sensibility” is how the New York Times described the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood in 2007. Touted as the first residential neighborhood in St. Petersburg, the Old Northeast was developed by Perry Snell and J.C. Hamlett in 1911 from 600 acres of farmland and wilderness north of the growing downtown area.  With the building boom of the early 1900s, the Old Northeast incorporated many architectural styles including Queen Anne, Victorian, Colonial Revival, Spanish Eclectic, Craftsman Bungalow, Prairie, and Mediterranean Revival. Most of the neighborhood building was completed by the 1950’s and 60’s but the majority of the homes especially in the southern portion of the neighborhood were built in the 1920’s and 30’s. Today many of those architectural styles peak out from the canopy of the mature foliage as one turns any corner of the brick-lined neighborhood streets that are ubiquitous in the Old Northeast.

Florida’s west coast typically attracts Midwestern buyers but over the years the Old Northeast Neighborhood has appealed more and more to buyers from the Northeastern seaboard states. A large neighborhood bounded by 5th Avenue North/Northeast to the south, 4th Street North to the west, 30th Avenue North/Northeast to the north, and Coffee Pot Bayou to the east is home to approximately 10,000 residents in 4,000-5,000 residential households. History, architecture and a quiet lifestyle converge in this pocket of the Burg. Strolling through this unique neighborhood is a must do when visiting St. Petersburg. Manatee may often be seen feeding in the shallow waters of Coffee Pot Bayou and porpoises can be seen in Tampa Bay. The Old Northeast boasts the classic Florida outdoor lifestyle with a large public pool, tennis courts, baseball field, bike trails, parks/sidewalks, and a white sand beach.