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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:57 PM   #1
FloridaFuture
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Novare and Inotown: Partnership Got Foot In The Door

Partnership Got Foot In The Door
Skip directly to the full story.
By JANIS D. FROELICH The Tampa Tribune

Published: Mar 1, 2007


DOWNTOWN - Groundbreakings are becoming routine for an Atlanta developer and a group of Tampa investors.

Since 2003, Novare Group and intowngroup, which includes the Gardner family of South Tampa, have had four residential projects in development.

At last week's groundbreaking for their latest collaboration, Element, intowngroup President Greg Minder looked over his shoulder at machinery drilling into the gravely sand and said, "No question. This is activity."

He was responding to doubts about the strength of the residential boom in Tampa's urban core.

Novare and intowngroup's projects include:

•A 29-story, 425-unit condominium complex with a ½-acre park and rooftop restaurant at 110 N. 12th St. in the Channel District.

•The 380-condo SkyPoint, set to open in April at Ashley Drive and Zack Street in downtown.

•Element, a 34-story, 395-unit project set for completion in early 2009 at 808 N. Franklin St.

•The 47-story Twelve, which would include 410 condos and 130 hotel rooms and is set for a city council hearing March 22.

Minder said all of the projects appeal to buyers who want the urban lifestyle, with prices kept mostly in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.

"We had been looking at Tampa for years but weren't making any progress," said Jim Borders, president of the Atlanta-based Novare.

He said two critical components to moving forward were political leadership under Mayor Pam Iorio and finding local investors.

In 2006, the partners paid TECO Energy $7.5 million for two parcels for the Element and Twelve projects. The land, north of the SkyPoint project, is bordered by Ashley and Cass, Franklin and Polk streets.

Minder said TECO will buy 190 parking spaces in the Element building because the project encompasses the utility's former parking lots.

Steve Gardner, a Tampa lawyer, said the partnership between Novare and intowngroup began with the Meridian, a 37-unit residential project that opened in summer 2005 at Whiting and 12th streets in the Channel District.

Minder was hired by the Gardner and Newkirk families to help complete the project. He then tapped into his contacts at Novare to see whether a partnership would be possible between the Atlanta company and the Tampa partners.

The other main local investors in intowngroup include Dick Beard, chairman of the Super Bowl 2009 task force, developer Joe Taggart and tax lawyer Mike Innes.

"It's been a good fit," Gardner said of the Novare and intowngroup partnership.

"Remember, when SkyPoint began, there was nothing happening downtown," he said.

Element and Twelve will offer features seen in Novare's Atlanta projects. Element will have iPod docking stations, an outdoor fireplace and a pool deck. At Twelve, residents can use the hotel's food service and buy a la carte items.

The Element sales center, 507 N. Franklin St., opens March 9. For information, call (813) 637-2490.

Reporter Janis D. Froelich can be reached at (813) 835-2104 or jfroelich@tampatrib.com.

http://southtampa.tbo.com/southtampa/MGBT2VDCQYE.html
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Old March 1st, 2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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Very informative article. Some new info I got out of it:
  • Channelside Novare features a rooftop restaraunt
  • TWELVE goes before the council March 22nd, the same day as the Fairmont and SuperTargert, making it one of the biggest meeting we've had
  • Skypoint opens in April
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Old March 1st, 2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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This is awesome news. March will be a awesome month of approvals. You got Del Villar, TeleConference/Fairmount, TWELVE, SuperTarget, and I know there is something else, but I forgot what it was. I can't wait to see renders of both TWELVE and Tele/Fairmount.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 01:38 AM   #4
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I can tell you all with certainty that I will be at the Mar 22nd meeting... No way am I missing this stuff. Too bad I don't live in the city, I would toss a little support out there, especially if some nimbys show up. I wonder if straddling the city limits counts? (my property does) lol
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 02:55 AM   #5
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Eh, give it a shot, Jason. I definitely don't live in the city (lol)... though I am taxed with South Tampa thanks to some gerrymandering. I'm definitely considering going to this meeting.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:21 PM   #6
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Skypoint opening in April is news to me -- especially after some fo the banter in the Skypoint thread. Jah heard that Skypoint won't have a certificate of occupancy until August, and we can all see on the camera there is enough work still to be done on the exterior, let alone the interior.

Also, element: Early 2009? Wasn't everyone saying how fast they were progressing on the cassions? Even with extra parking levels for TECO, that shouldn't throw off the pace of the tower so much... 27+ weeks (3 weeks per level was the pace on Skypoint. 9 levels of parking on Element)
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #7
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John F, I'll be moving into Skypoint later this year, and my sources have told me that Novare will be doing C.O. by floor. They have mentioned that some of the lower level units (i.e., floors 2-7) will be closing probably in late April, but then they should be getting into full swing starting in May at a pace of 90-100 closings per month. So they are obviously working their way up the building with the closings. You can see with some of the night shots on the webcam that the lower floors are being worked on in the interior.

Also, I was snooping around downtown a few days ago, and I talked to a construction guy at the Element site. He said that they're putting in a few caissons a day with a total of 190 caissons to be put in the ground before they start putting up the garage levels. If it takes a couple of months until the concrete starts pouring, and then another 6-7 months of parking decks, the Element tower should start going up around November, 2007 or so. I thought someone at the Element sales office had told me late 2008 for occupancy, so maybe the news article received some conservative estimates. Either that or they're assuming total completion and total occupancy in early 2009. Maybe that's what Jah heard (or mistook) when stating that C.O. for Skypoint wasn't until August.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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Ralph, thank you for the clarification. I appreciate it. I think EVERYONE monitoring both construction threads (and this one) appreciates things being cleared up.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #9
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What is C.O.?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #10
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A certificate of occupancy issued by the building inspector and required before any building can be occupied. Correct me if I'm wrong...
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #11
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Correct.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #12
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Ohh ok. Thanks guys.
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