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By SHARON L. BOND, Times Staff Writer
Echelon had collected deposits on all but six units as of Friday.
ST. PETERSBURG - It will be more than a year before the 85 lofts are built atop McNulty Garage, but most of the residences are already sold.
"As of today, 77 of 85 have been sold with nonrefundable deposits," Mark Stroud said last week. By Friday the total was 79. Stroud is vice president of Echelon Development LLC. An Echelon subsidiary is putting the lofts on top of a seven-story garage at First Avenue S and Second Street.
Buyers are required to put down 10 percent of the total price of the loft they choose. Prices range from $190,000 to almost $600,000 and will increase once construction begins.
Actually, construction already has begun.
"It's not like we have to do any foundation work," Stroud said. When the garage was built in 1997, it was reinforced so extra floors could be added later. Initially, the new spaces were going to be for offices. When people began moving back into downtown, Echelon considered adding apartments.
"We couldn't get enough units. We needed about 200 to have on-site management," Stroud said of the apartments. Early last year, Echelon announced it would build condominiums styled as lofts.
It may not look like work is being done at the garage, but it is. Workers are adding a sprinkler system. Steel trusses and precast concrete planks are in production and will be brought to the garage beginning May 1.
"I think people will start seeing us doing things about April 1," said Pate Clements, general contractor for the Murray Co., which is building the McNulty Lofts. Those things will include sidewalk tunnels for pedestrians and safety netting around the top of the garage, so neither workers nor materials can be blown off.
During construction, some garage floors will be used for staging and parking for construction crews. But floors two through five will be open for regular business, Stroud said. Midtown Sundries restaurant also plans to remain open.[Last modified February 29, 2004, 01:15:11]
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