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Old July 6th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #41
Jasonhouse
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Wierd.... My insurance on my townhouse was $780 this year, and the renewal for next year already came and it will be $880 now, but that's partially because I jacked up the coverage by $50k to $260k... And no, it isn't new construction (1983), though it is block wall all the way to the roof...

Of course, I'm in Hillsborough County, outside of the 100year flood plain, and not in any evac zone...
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Old July 6th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #42
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Well that helps. People who ive in flood zones and evacuation areas should not be shocked to see their insurance increase. Insurance covers risks. If you have higher risk, your premium should be higher.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #43
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I got a friend living in my neighborhood in Palm Harbor -- we're on the highest county in the land. 27 year old building. Not in a flood zone...

3700 a year on insurance right now with more threats of another rate increase.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #44
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Flood Insurance

I am writing this from the shores of Lake Michigan (Holland, Mi.). The wife and I are looking for our retirement home (still 10 years way).
Why Michigan? Why move to the (local) bastion of the GOP?
After Nationwide cancelled us and we were forced to go to Citizens and pay over twice what we paid last year when we have never filed a claim, I said to myself, self...this is bullshit.
I was born in Tampa and grew up in Treasure Island. We currently live on Tampa Bay in N.E. St. Pete. I have spent my life living on the water, something I will not give up. But I'll be God-Dam%^& if I'm shuching out that kind of money to a shitload of empty suits who ain't there when you need them, and annoy the hell out of us with stupid commercials (No profit's ?).
This is another classic example of how our elected officials care more about big money than those who elected them.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #45
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These guys also have a billboard on 275 with a website - but I was driving so I couldn't remember the webaddress by the time I got home . . .

Twin tower project downtown opens sales office
The Arts boasts condos, retail space and a glass artist's gallery.
By PAUL SWIDER
Published July 16, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ST. PETERSBURG -- While the downtown waterfront fills up with condominium complexes, the western edge of the city's core doesn't lack for attention as city officials and business people witnessed Thursday with the opening of the sales office for the Arts, a 503-unit complex in twin towers straddling Central Avenue at Eighth Street.

"I remember when you could drive down Central Avenue and park illegally and no one would care," said City Council member Rene Flowers during the event at 850 Central, an area once known more for fading retail than gleaming glass and steel.

Dozens of condo projects are on the books, but some have lagged as the market has cooled. That the Arts is moving ahead is a testament to its conceptual appeal, according to the managing director of the project, John Hopengarten of BSR USA, an international development firm.

"A lot of projects sell a lifestyle," Hopengarten said of the standard pool-and-palm development brochure. "We're introducing creativity."

The Arts is so named because of its affiliation with the Arts Center, an educational nonprofit that will become part of the complex, but more so because it will house a 6,000-square-foot gallery of the world's only permanent collection from artist Dale Chihuly. The complex is centered on its association with art and creativity.

"If your project is not differentiated, you might stall," said Yaron David, business development manager for ANB, the St. Petersburg development partner started by Jimmy Aviram. "Any project needs an anchor hook. Beach Drive has the water. Our anchor out here is the arts."

David said Aviram could not be at the opening because he was in Europe scouting for more artistic elements and people to infuse the project. He said sales efforts overseas and in the United States are progressing well for what he said was a development looking forward to the 21st century's "idea-based economy."

"This is so cool," said Mayor Rick Baker, who cut the ribbon at the sales center. "It's really remarkable to see what's going on in our little burg."

Unlike some other developments that are founded strictly on advanced sales, BSR and ANB provide more patient capital for the $370-million project. Hopengarten said bringing such partners together on a project here is evidence of the city's overall development.

"For us to come to St. Petersburg is good for St. Petersburg," he said, adding that BSR is also eyeing at least two other projects in the downtown area. "We've made a long-term commitment."

Hopengarten said construction on the northern half of the project and its first tower will start this year and be completed in 26 months. The second half will start before the first is completed, but when it starts is a matter of how rapidly it sells, he said.

Also on the northern portion will be a redevelopment of the Arts Center within the old Union Trust Bank building. At full buildout, that $23-million project will rise as high as eight stories adjacent to the bank, with 123,000 square feet of gallery, education and working space for artists. The four-story Chihuly gallery, designed by Alfonso Architects of Tampa, will sit next to what will later be known as the Beth Ann Morean Arts Center.

The condo towers themselves will be 31 stories each with a total of 850,000 square feet broken into two- and three-bedroom units and penthouses. Prices start in the high $300,000s, Hopengarten said. There will also be 30,000 square feet of retail space in the complex designed by Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design of Miami.

BSR has an established international reputation for developments in Israel and Eastern Europe, but has ventured into the U.S. market only recently, Hopengarten said. He added that when BSR chairman Kalman Sufrin visited St. Petersburg, he phoned back to the company's European headquarters and told the staff he was in paradise.

"The city has been wonderful to work with," Hopengarten said. "This is the most prodevelopment city I've ever been in."

Paul Swider can be reached at 892-2271 or [email protected] or by participating in itsyourtimes.com.

[Last modified July 15, 2006, 23:32:23]
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/16/Ne...oject_do.shtml
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Old July 16th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #46
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St. Peter's, developer rethinking condo plan
A cathedral official says it will proceed with plans to get the space it needs to remain a viable congregation downtown.
By WAVENEY ANN MOORE, Times Staff Writer
Published July 16, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ST. PETERSBURG - Redevelopment plans for St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral, which more recently had called for a 22-story condo tower with a six-level garage in the city's downtown, might be changing again.

This time, the congregation's desire for updated facilities and additional parking could fall victim to climbing interest rates, a slowing real estate market and soaring construction costs.

Even if the cathedral has to scuttle its multimillion-dollar project, it will proceed with plans to get the space it needs to remain a viable congregation downtown, said Pam League, St. Peter's business administrator. A decision probably will come this week, she said.

St. Peter's deliberations come at a time when at least one developer is rethinking the downtown condo market. Richard Kessler, developer of the Grand Bohemian Hotel & Residences, has announced plans to redesign his $100-million project to provide more hotel rooms and fewer condos.

St. Peter's is mulling the feasibility of building office space, besides its own. "I don't think it will be a high rise," said League, who said it would be "limited."

Any decision would be driven by costs, she said.

Kevin Dunn, managing director of development coordination for the city, said the number of development applications for condos in the city's downtown is slowing slightly.

There's room for new office projects, he said. Apart from the Progress Energy building, there has not been a new office project in the city's downtown in years, he said. "The addition would be well received," he said. "It's good to have diversity and balance in your downtown."

The cathedral's condominium project has been planned with Cathedral Partners LLC, a subsidiary of the Bullard Group. St. Peter's, at 140 Fourth St. N, has an agreement with the developer to build a tower that would include 80 condos ranging from the mid $300,000s to $1-million. Under the agreement, Cathedral Partners would give the 900-member congregation 51,700 square feet in the new building for a parish hall, nursery, kitchen, new chapel and other facilities. The congregation would also get 35 permanent parking spaces and a minimum of 95 on Sundays in the garage. In return, St. Peter's would give Cathedral Partners $5-million and the right to build on its property. St. Peter's historic Gothic revival cathedral would remain untouched.

The project has been opposed by some longtime congregation members, who have called it financially unsound and claim that the developer would benefit at the cathedral's expense. Now it seems St. Peter's leaders and the developer might be rethinking the controversial project.

"We've been in discussion over the rising cost of building, the cost to borrow, the actual real estate market," League said Friday.

"Yet we have a very great need for new buildings. We're in flux in just trying to pull it to a conclusion, but no matter what, we are going to build the space that we need. No decision has been made. We probably won't know until next week. We're very determined to build. Whether we can do this in cooperation with the developer, or whether we need to find other ways, needs to be seen."

The developer, she added, has been "great partners and we have been treated very well by them."

Marie Dahm, who has opposed the project, believes the cathedral should drop Cathedral Partners.

"As a real estate broker, I have the privilege of knowing about real estate transactions before the public learns about them. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to disclose a real estate transaction that is within walking distance to St. Peter's. The selling price of that parcel, which does not have Fourth Street frontage and is much smaller, is contracted to close for $7-million," she wrote in an e-mail.

St. Peter's should thank Fred B. Bullard III of Cathedral Partners "for his efforts and wish him well," she said.

Bullard did not return calls to either his office or cell phone to talk about the project.

St. Peter's has struggled for almost a decade to redevelop its property, which includes the former First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. Preservationists opposed plans to raze the historic neoclassical former Baptist church for the cathedral's redevelopment plans, which at one time were more modest than the current ones.

In 2001, St. Peter's won support from Mayor Rick Baker, who told the City Council he thought it was more important to save a congregation than an unused building. That year the council agreed to let the cathedral demolish the old sanctuary, provided it could demonstrate it had money for new construction. The church was given until December 2004 to raise the money.

As the deadline approached, the City Council granted a request for a one-year extension to the demolition permit, if the cathedral preserved the Baptist church facade. The church won another extension late in 2005.

This year, the plan hit another stumbling block when the city's Environmental Development Commission said that the six-level garage must be enclosed. Bullard said then that the requirement would drive up the cost of the project.

League is not discouraged.

"I've been working on this project for seven years, but we've learned that there's no one right answer, that you've got to be constantly open to looking at your options and understanding the environment you're in," she said.

[Last modified July 15, 2006, 23:32:56]
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/16/Ne...eveloper.shtml
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Old July 19th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #47
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I was just reading the latest Maddux Report and I did not know that downtown Clearwater is perched atop the highest coastal bluff in Florida - 27' !

Anyway, there's a nice article about downtown Clearwater's emergence with renderings of Water's Edge, Station Square and info about other projects I didn't know about.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #48
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haha clearwater is pretty hilly especially downtown, the house i live in sits on a 6ft foot hill above street level so it has a small chance of ever flooding.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #49
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Indeed, northern Pinellas has some nice hills (especially for Florida) - too bad they don't do anything interesting with them.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #50
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Like what? I mean they arent that big to do anything that nice?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #51
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Dale,
I also read the Maddux Report and specifically the last page each month which lists projects by county. Anyhow, under Pinellas I remember reading about 4, that's right 4 34 story towers being proposed/developed in the downtown area. There is a contact name for the developer but I believe it was located on 2nd or 3rd close to central. There are quite a few developments in Pinellas which may/may not already be listed here.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #52
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Hills of Northern Pinellas

If you have ever played The Islands, and Highlands courses at Innisbrook, you will know that at least some of the hilly area didn't go to waste.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #53
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IF they are golf courses - they are wasted
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Old July 20th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #54
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^Indeed... The water consumed by a golf course automatically makes it a waste, hills or not...
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Old July 20th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl
Like what? I mean they arent that big to do anything that nice?
Parkland is something nice.

Anyone ever been up at the McMullen property on ALt. 19 (before it was developed) near the water treatment facility? There were rolling hills on the property and when you looked at it, it looked like some of the scenes straight out of "Jurrasic Park" (if there was a brontosaurus reaching up for leaves on the towering trees).

The property was sold to a developer and made into a gated community... If that had become a public park, THAT woudl have been doing something with the hills.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #56
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And it is not an area that can be enjoyed by most people - it is not a park - it is not a district -
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Old July 21st, 2006, 09:52 PM   #57
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Huh?

So I understand you guys (Smiley & Jason) we all get excited when developers want to build 55 story condo towers, that very few of us will ever see the inside of, but not when they build a golf course that the public can play.
The 'recliamed' water goes right back into the ground and eventually the aquafer to be used again years from now.
Makes no sense to me, but then again I think the St. Pete Times doesn't have a bias against Tampa.........
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 02:33 AM   #58
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i think its because golf courses sprawl i have no problem with them this is florida after all. And reclaimed water is used water that is cleaned to a certain extent and used in sprinklers and stuff i hope it does not go back to the aquifers.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 07:14 AM   #59
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I would rather see a large public park instead of a golf course... Not like there shouldn't be any golf courses, it's just that I think that when they have lived out their usefullness as a golf course, then the local governing body should be all over the land like white on rice.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 08:23 PM   #60
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Still Asking

Jason,
I understand the public park thing, and across 19 is Anderson Park on Lake Tarpon.
A great (even good) golf course will never outlive it's usefullness.
I hope you agree that we need the green space a course provides coexisting with the commercial development we follow here.
Go rent Happy Gilmore, Tin Cup, or the greatest, Caddyshack....maybe you'll change your mind about golf.
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