Dominic Pickering, executive director for the West Coast of Florida at BTI Partners, talked about the significance of the Marina Pointe Tower One project, highlighting the transformation of South Tampa into a luxury market. He also mentioned that the influx of new residents from larger cities has influenced the demand for smaller, high-quality spaces, leading to adjustments in its development plans.
What is the significance of the Marina Pointe Tower One project?
We discovered the land we are using about a decade ago and sold about 50 acres to other developers but we kept Marina Pointe for ourselves. If you know the area you will know that, previously, luxury condos were not the norm but that has changed. We found ourselves selling to locals when we first came here but the pandemic suddenly brought in people from New York, California and so on. We’ve proven that South Tampa is ripe for a luxury market and now we are moving on to Tower Two. Pretty much every project we move into is unique in some way and adds value to ourselves and the community.
What are some of the opportunities in the Tampa Bay area?
When you get it right a few times, more opportunities come along and you can continue to build on those. My focus right now is on Marina Pointe but in the next year, we will be considering our next steps and how we can further build the brand we are creating.
What impact is the influx of new residents having on the work that you do?
When you are a property developer you have to have a foot in both camps. You have to be sensitive about what the market is demanding but you also have to have one eye on the horizon to see what is coming next. One of the interesting things about the Tampa Bay market is that new residents have forced the area to adapt based on their demands. The more people came from larger cities, the more we saw an increased demand for smaller spaces of higher quality rather than large homes. We make sure to adjust our development based on the trends we are seeing, such as electric vehicles and spaces for package delivery in the building.
Do you have any plans for expansion?
We are expanding with the construction of Marina Pointe Tower II and Tower III with a total of about 275 more condo residences. Tower I is almost completely sold out and occupied. We are currently preselling Tower II, and will shortly release Tower III to keep up with the demand. The condos range in size between 1,100 and 3,500 square feet, and prices range from the $700,000’s to the several millions. At the same time, BTI Partners is always looking for new development sites in the Tampa Bay area and across Florida to expand our infill development portfolio as well as our master-planned communities near major MSA markets. BTI Partner’s model for planned communities is to buy large tracts of land and prepare them for construction. Acquisitions range from 500 to 5,000 acres that can accommodate from 1,000 to 15,000 residential units.
What are the biggest challenges the industry is facing today?
There are multiple segments to the real estate industry and they are all facing separate issues. If you look at some of the national builders, their model is to cut costs as much as possible. They are turning into Amazon for houses. When you are dealing with unique properties as we are, that is not as easily done. For us, the challenge is getting people here to understand and buy into the vibe that we create for residents. We need to constantly re-imagine our developments to ensure we stay at the leading edge of what buyers are demanding.