Photo of Saltaire, Downtown St. Pete.

Artist’s Rendering of Saltaire Exterior located in Downtown St. Pete

Rendered Image of New Luxury High Rise Condo Tower, Saltaire

In these unprecedented days of social distancing, we recognize the importance of home and community. Home has become our solace, and our neighborhoods are our only place for walks and outdoor play. On social media and in conversations with clients and friends, I’ve heard great appreciation for our community. Perhaps in our busy lives, we have taken St. Petersburg for granted.

Being able to take a leisurely walk along the seven miles of lushly landscaped waterfront has become a perfect way to handle the stress of the pandemic and to clear your head. Little could our forefathers envision as they designed the spacious city layout how impactful it would be to residents in a time like this, to have access to the second-longest linear park in the United States behind Chicago.

View of water in downtown st. pete

View of Vinoy Park and Marina

As the CEO of Smith & Associates Real Estate, there isn’t an inch of this town or a neighborhood that I haven’t visited. I live in Downtown St. Pete and know that the unique urban design of this city and its fabulous climate have made me grateful for such an incredible place to call home.

The revitalization that started downtown in the late 1990s and continues today has transformed St. Pete from a sleepy town into a hip, urban retreat that celebrates art, diversity, and the richness of our Florida landscape. Even with limited delivery and retail options, there are still plenty of ways to experience what Downtown St. Pete has to offer. Water lovers have boating, sailing, standup paddleboarding, or kayaking. While on land, you can take your dog for a walk or go for a bike ride. Sitting on your condo balcony to watch the clouds roll by can be a whole new level of enjoyment.

As a less crowded urban area, we have enjoyed the benefits of living in a town that’s not as congested as larger cities. We have the space to safely walk and move around as our city planners intended with the green space of urban parks figuring prominently into the design. Well-connected paths keep us in touch with nature, and with businesses slowly reopening, we can visit the abundance of culture found in the galleries, museums, and outdoor cafes. We have it all.

We don’t feel the demand for St. Pete real estate will wane. On the contrary, St. Pete looks even more attractive. Our citizens have re-evaluated what’s important in terms of lifestyle and comfort, and many have realized that being in a home and a place you love is vital to long-term happiness.

Like most of the country, real estate listings and activity have dropped through the pandemic. We expect that as the stay-at-home restrictions are eased up in our city, we will see the activity increase to a sensible pace as long as buyers and sellers feel safe with showings. This Summer, we would hope to see the listing inventory begin its escalation toward 2019 levels and reaching buyers who have been waiting for some time for the right opportunity to open up.   

Straub Park in Downtown St. Pete

North Straub Park

We represent many properties near and in Downtown St. Petersburg and are sponsoring the sale of the new luxury high rise condo tower, Saltaire, overlooking the bay in the heart of Downtown St. Pete. That, like our other properties, is seeing no signs of lack of interest and our industry is adapting to offer more online resources, like virtual tours and contactless mortgages. In fact, maybe an urban home becomes even more attractive as we move into the Summer months ahead and evaluate where we really want to lay our roots.

It's home, it's the community, it’s family, friends, and connection. Downtown St. Pete has a shared sense of all of these and connects effortlessly to Tampa.

Both metropolises are standing out as examples of community spirit and unity in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay safe!

Robert Glaser

President / CEO Smith & Associates Real Estate 

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