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Vinoy Place condos will come with concierge

The luxury development is partnering with the Vinoy resort to offer residents the amenities associated with a fine hotel.

By SHARON BOND

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 21, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- Vinoy Place is offering buyers of its luxury condominiums the best of hotel life -- room service.

The condo developers struck a deal with the Renaissance Vinoy Resort next door: The hotel will offer buyers of the 92 condominiums and 10 city homes many of the amenities available at the resort.

It is a fairly unusual deal, said Russell C. Bond, general manager of the Renaissance Vinoy. The only other one he knows of is in Sarasota, where condominiums are planned for the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and residents will have similar access to hotel services.

"As opposed to just a building, we are selling a lifestyle," said Ian Irwin, chief executive officer of the Southeast Cos., which with Craig McLaughlin is developing Vinoy Place. Prices on the units range from $500,000 to $2.2-million.

Vinoy Place at 555 Fifth Ave. NE will pay the $700 initiation fee for social memberships for condo buyers in the Vinoy Club, the private club owned by the hotel. Monthly dues are $150 to $170, according to Bond. Irwin said residents would pay the monthly fees.

"I felt strongly that it made sense to associate an upscale resort with an upscale condominium complex," Bond said. "It makes sense to do this together. The revenue opportunities are there."

Current staff would be able to handle laundry, dry cleaning, room service and concierge service. Maid service probably would require annual contracts, Bond said. If it becomes necessary, the resort would hire more workers to accommodate the condominium service, Bond said.

The Renaissance Vinoy at 501 Fifth Ave. NE is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. It was one of the city's boom-time hotels but ended up vacant for 15 years before it was restored and reopened in 1992. This year the resort added a conference center, parking deck, tennis courts and retail shops, and expanded its health club.

The hotel's restoration is seen by many as the beginning of the renaissance of downtown St. Petersburg.

Vinoy Place is the third luxury condominium project to be built in St. Petersburg in the past few years. The 52 units now under construction represent two of three phases in the development, according to Irwin. They include 10 attached luxury homes and 41 condominiums in two towers. Irwin said 75 percent to 80 percent of those units are sold. The city homes should be occupied by the end of the year. Buyers will move into the towers early next year.

In the third phase, another 50 units will be built in two towers. About 20 percent of those have been reserved, Irwin said. They will be occupied by late summer 2001, Irwin said.

Vinoy Place recently moved its sales office to the hotel's lobby.

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