Florida Luxury Condominuim Mirrors Consumer Confidence: 50% Sold

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Water’s Edge luxury condominiums, a catalyst in the Downtown Clearwater renaissance, is now one of the most popular selling luxury properties in Tampa Bay, with its sales mirroring consumer confidence.

Seen as one of the best values in the area for new construction due to its well-below-replacement-cost, Water’s Edge has been the best selling condominium in Pinellas County since opening in July 2010 according to the MLS.

According to Tampa Bay Business Journal, nationwide consumer confidence has risen to 60.6, the highest it has been since May 2010. Florida consumer confidence has also risen - 77, up from 70 in December. This security in the economic future is leading Americans to purchase items they would not have purchased during the recession – such as real estate. Case in point: condo sales have increased 11% in Florida. Water’s Edge, the 26-story Downtown Clearwater landmark, now has over half of its units sold.

Smith & Associates Real Estate, who manages the sales for the Water’s Edge property reports seeing tremendous reception from the market with sales being stronger than anticipated. Seen as one of the best values in the area for new construction due to its well-below-replacement-cost, Water’s Edge has been the best selling condominium in Pinellas County since opening in July 2010 according to the MLS. Sales traffic over the last month has been very strong, averaging over 45 people visiting the property each week, as Water’s Edge has new condos available that are 30-40% below the resale prices of its counterparts on Clearwater beach.

John Herndon and his wife, Kathy, who refer to themselves as ‘Clearwater people’ have both lived in Clearwater since the 1950’s. When the opportunity arose, they jumped at the chance to live at Water’s Edge. “I originally went to Water’s Edge to show a friend and was so amazed by the spectacular views and quality of construction, I went to contract myself within two weeks,” Herndon says. “Our kids are now grown and Water’s Edge fits our needs perfectly…I see the renaissance going on in downtown Clearwater as a very positive thing.”

Water’s Edge offers a variety of financing options including FHA, and is in the process of becoming Fannie Mae approved now that the property has sold 50% of the residences since opening at the end of last July. As an approved lender for Waters Edge, with another closing scheduled this month, Jim Watrous of Regions Bank is enthusiastic about the increase in condominium unit sales.

“With Mortgage Loan Officer Lynda Ash, we are pleased to be actively lending in this high quality project,” said Watrous. “In a recent tour of the property, we were extremely impressed with the design quality, amenities and world class views. The values are supporting a resurgence in Downtown Clearwater property ownership.”

During the building’s construction, the anticipated tower full of residents was expected to be the catalyst for the Downtown Clearwater renaissance. Now, with the building half-full, Downtown Clearwater is beginning to boom.

Restaurants and boutiques have been cropping up in the adjacent 400 block, with Tony’s Pizzeria and Ristorante and Peter Gillham’s Nutrition Center both relocating and expanding their now larger establishments to addresses closer to Water’s Edge. Blast Friday has also migrated down the street and is held right in front of Water’s Edge. New businesses have opened up such as Café 421 and The Blue Dahlia Marketplace, named Best Hidden Treasure Boutique in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay.

Proving true the prediction that occupants in Water’s Edge would bring more people to the district and benefit the economy of the area, fashion designer and Water’s Edge resident Craig Taylor and his wife Yul are frequent faces in Green Organic Food and Wine Bar who just had over 400 coupons downloaded via Groupon.com just this past week, considered a high statistic nationwide.

Fred and Annette Arnoul recently purchased a unit at Water’s Edge after living on Sand Key for 25 years. “The magnificent views and less seasonal tourist traffic was what drew us to Water’s Edge” says Fred. “Downtown Clearwater is undergoing a tremendous revitalization and Water’s Edge is in the center of it all - what with its waterfront location that’s within walking distance of new restaurants, shops, theater.. and even a marina and city-owned tennis courts - it’s perfect for us.”

Water’s Edge is delivering its promise of contributing to the expansion of the community in which it resides. They recently hosted the VIP reception to Clearwater’s Fashion & Arts Week, which was featured on the front cover of Creative Loafing in February. Water’s Edge also set up a sky-view conference room in a former model residence that is available for non-profit and other professional organization boards to use for an “outside the box” meeting space with some of the best views on the West Coast of Florida.

As the tallest building in Clearwater, and with Coachman Park at its base, tower residents have unobstructed views of Clearwater Harbor, Clearwater Beach, and the Gulf of Mexico, making it the ideal location for potential residents. Many buyers have been local yet Water’s Edge has also appealed to others from all over the US and Canada - including New York, Ohio, Massachusetts and even California.

“We have seen consumer confidence going up since elections in November,” said Grant Wood of Stingray Asset Management who oversees the condominium sales. “As such we are finding more and more people are looking to real estate as a stable investment.”

Water’s Edge Quick Facts:

  •     Since the Grand Reopening in July, 50% of the units have been sold
  •     FHA financing was approved in October
  •     Fannie Mae financing is currently pending approval
  •     Water’s Edge is the best value in the area for new construction, well below replacement cost, and has been the best selling condominium in Pinellas County since opening in July 2010
  •     The owner of Water’s Edge, Maxwell Drever of Concierge Asset Management, is known for his social and environmentally conscious property and community transformations

The property is new construction, built in 2008 and offers a number of upgraded quality specifications including:

  •     A commercial grade air conditioning system
  •     Concrete unit partition walls
  •     Hurricane impact rated windows

Luxury amenities include:

  •     A lushly landscaped 5th floor amenity deck complete with pool, spa, cabanas, BBQ grills and outdoor fireplace
  •     An unmatched, state-of-the-art fitness facility with locker room access to his/her steam rooms
  •     The social lounge caters to billiards, a private dining room, and bar area complete with luxury furnishings and card tables
  •     A business center
  •     Air-conditioned storage and 24-hour luxury appointed lobby
  •     Along with full time onsite property management and building maintenance staff

About Concierge Asset Management:
Concierge Asset Management, headquartered in Houston, TX, is a value-added, vertically integrated real estate investment company. Together with its institutional partners, Concierge acquires, repositions and manages large luxury condominium and apartment communities. Concierge is often “buyer of choice” for lenders/ sellers of challenged non-performing loans (NPLs) or foreclosed properties due to its expertise in providing both post and pre-closing cost-effective solutions for problems in their portfolios of multi-family and other types of investment properties. Concierge’s founder-chairman, Maxwell Drever, president and chief executive officer Ted Kerr and their teammates, many with decades of service with Concierge, are also recognized for their social and environmentally conscious property and community transformations. Currently, Concierge is investing nationwide in properties and/or their NPLs. http://www.conciergeassetmanagement.com.

More information on Water’s Edge can be viewed at http://www.clearwatersedge.com.

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Karla Jo Helms
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