Tag Archives: New Construction Homes

Visionaries to Build Neo-Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece in Riverside Heights

I’ve always loved the clean lines, angled rooflines and artful indoor-outdoor marriage of the mid-century modern style of architecture. Regular readers of my blog are in some sense my family, so I don’t mind sharing with you that this home should have my name on it!

This is my dream home. For reasons I’ll go into at the end of the piece, it won’t be mine. But I’m thrilled to have had a hand in creating the vision, along with two premier Tampa Design professionals and an amazing Tampa builder.

More details about this stunning house in a moment. But first a word about the professionals who shared my vision to create and market this house. Without them, it would never be built.New Century Home Riverside Heights Tampa 2New century modern home Tampa

First, Christopher Joiner, AIA of Joiner Architecture and Alan C. Dobbs of Florida Design Studio – both graduates of the University of Florida who earned their master’s of architecture degrees from the University of South Floridashare studio space,  in a refurbished 1922 brick bungalow renovated by Alan in historic Seminole Heights. Christopher articulates his design aesthetic this way:

“Lessons learned after 10 years of directing design for a large regional developer have influenced our approach to ‘smart design’ strategies as they apply to architecture, the building process, and community design.  The results yield low-impact, environmentally friendly solutions without compromising project goals or design integrity.”

Now for the skinny on the Riverside Heights home.

No one has built a modern house like this in Riverside Heights!

First, the sleek lines are so crisp and elegant, they make me think of think of architectural greats who changed the world – Frank Lloyd Wright and I.M. Pei. There’s no way this home won’t become an instant classic.

From the street you’ll see the classic shed roof, and if that’s not mid-century enough, there’s something called a “tower retreat.” Seriously? Who wouldn’t want a home with a place to hide away that gives one an elevated view of the surrounding neighborhood? Just think what you might sit there and do – read Travel & Leisure magazine, birdwatch by day, enjoy streetscape silhouettes by night!

Before we go inside, consider a couple more features of the exterior. A metal roof reflects use of honest materials and will sing in the rain. A street-side balcony extends the envelope of the second floor loft. And once again there’s the abundant provision of daylight via French doors and large windows.

Now for the inside.

You get a sense of expansiveness from the first moment. The great room and kitchen come complete with café and family dining spaces. And what better than a brick wall to provide a backdrop to the living space? The exposed brick – a mid-century-mod hallmark – stretches from the front porch to the entry vestibule of the “owner’s suite,” ascends the stair tower and penetrates into the loft. You catch glimpses of this warm, down-to-earth wall through the opening directly atop the foyer, which reveals the loft space above with its characteristic sloped ceilings.

What are the specs, you ask?  

You get a lot of home in this 35-foot-wide, two-story, 3 bedroom /2.5 bath space is 2,220 square feet heated and 3,344 total space under cover. There’s a two-car garage. The lot itself is 50 by 120 feet, lush, with access to a 20-foot alley in the back. The home is designed to take advantage of the envelope of the huge, grand oak tree that frames the covered porches in back.

Back to the kitchen – the one room that tops almost everyone’s most-important list! There’s plenty of storage space, as cabinets line the entire back wall. What else are you looking for in a kitchen? Gas appliances? Check. Solid surface quartz countertops? Check. Island and eat-in space in kitchen? Double-check. And, of course, the cabinets are solid wood. There’s a pantry as well.

Buyers will naturally be equally curious about the owner’s suite. No disappointments here, either! Positioned to provide great privacy, it’s located in the back of the home, and you can easily pop outside via direct access to the rear lanai. The bedroom ceiling slopes toward the rear yard, terminating above clerestory windows over sliding glass doors. Tres elegant!

Related amenities: a large walk-in shower, double vanities, a private toilet room and large walk-in closet with optional stacked-washer dryer.

In the family dining room, a 10-foot island is an architectural centerpiece, providing not just storage but also space for a wine cooler. The great room flows into a rear screened porch with a large pocketing sliding-glass door that creates that ambiguity between indoor and outdoor space so central to the style.

Follow the winding stair along the brick wall, and you enter the second-floor loft, a 10-foot by 21-foot retreat with a sloped ceiling that carries into the two bedrooms. Big windows bookend the loft. Cleverly, when opened they allow for cross-ventilation on cooler days. Each bedroom sports larger corner windows and clerestory windows shaped by that dominant sloping roof.

We all worked together to keep the price affordable, so you may be startled that a million-dollar home like this is being offered for $450,000!

I mentioned earlier that this is my dream home. One day I will own it or one like it. If you remember my blog https://midcenturymoderntampa.com/ you know that I had considered buying a mid-century modern home to renovate but then switched to a plan to build something new. As it happened, I chose to renovate a townhome instead. For now, I believe, it is meant for me to be able to sell mid-century homes to people who have the same passion for them as I do!

And just where is this magnificent property? At 808 W. West Street just outside Tampa Heights in Riverside Heights.

If you are curious about the neighborhood, it is close to this amazing project in Tampa Heights: http://purepropertiesgroup.com/project/armature-works-at-the-heights/

Which you can read more about in the Tampa Bay Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/06/15/ambitious-mixed-use-vision-for-tampa-heights.html

And as for the magical mid-century modern house, the one-of-a-kind in Riverside Heights, contact me if you want to know more! 

Call Rae Catanese. Click Here


Times are Changing: Mid­-Century Modern Craze meets New­-Century Modern Luxury

Times are Changing:

Mid-Century Modern Craze meets New­ Century Modern Luxury

Part 1: An Original Mid-Century Home in Carrollwood

I became involved in marketing and finding mid-century modern homes last year when I decided to purchase an old 1950s­1960s block home to renovate for myself. I love the open-house concept, clean lines, angled roofs, and the melding of indoors and outdoors with lush tropical courtyards and expansive glass that was used to allow natural light into the home.

What I learned was the homes I found had potential to be spectacular, but no homes were for sale that were already renovated and had the square footage I wanted.

Most original mid-century homes were between 1,100 and 1,400 square feet. The homes could cost anywhere between $150,000 to $350,000 unrenovated, depending on location.  Investors are not buying these homes to flip, and the trend is so new that homeowners who have rehabbed mid-century homes aren’t yet selling them.

Finding what I wanted became a real struggle.

First, the neighborhoods where most of the mid-century homes were located were not in areas I personally wanted to live, near the urban core of either Tampa or downtown St. Pete.  You can find more inventory in Temple Terrace, a suburb of Tampa near the University of South Florida, but the majority of homes are in Pinellas, in neighborhoods like Lakewood Estates, The Pink Streets, Jungle Prada and Gulfport.

Location not the only problem

The second obstacle I ran into was that if a mid-century modern home was located in a flood zone – such as Ballast Point or Beach Park in South Tampa or near water in St. Petersburg – I could spend only 60 percent of the home’s current depreciated value on renovation. That “value” is determined by the property appraiser.  By city rules, you are restricted in the amount of money that you can sink into a flood-zone home.

Most of the homes’ depreciated values were coming in low – very low, between $60,000 and $80,000.  It hit me that I would not be able to do the renovations I wanted per county guidelines.

Builders were telling me that it would take somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000 to do a whole-house renovation, a figure I found reasonable given that I’ve already got one or two home renovations under my belt. Most of these houses would need new windows and doors. Kitchens would need gutting, and bathrooms would need to be completely redone. What’s more, it’s a rare homeowner who would not wish to expand a mid-century home’s square footage, because the master bedrooms and bathrooms are too small for current-day tastes.

Experience also told me that even the $60,000 and $80,000 estimates might be low. First-blush estimates are sometimes unrealistic because problems are discovered with older homes once you start the renovation. Anyone who watches HGTV knows that old plumbing, wiring, and a host of other factors can significantly increase the cost and blow your budget.

Building a home that adheres to current building codes, even if in a flood zone, will allow you to do almost anything provided the home will fit on the lot. Insurance costs on a new home can be lower, and of course modern, energy-efficient building materials are used from the get-go – and all of that can add up to big savings.  I’m getting quotes as low as $400 a year for flood insurance for a 2,900-square-foot brand-new home in a flood zone. Homeowners insurance is running about $1,500 a year as well. You might have to shell out double or triple that amount on insurance costs for older, smaller homes – they’re just not built to withstand hurricanes and probably fail to meet today’s building codes in other ways as well.

This is the main reason new construction of these new-century modern homes has taken off in a big way.

I became part of the new trend

I decided that building a new home was going to be the best bang for my buck!

Once set on that course of action, I was on a mission to find a home builder who could construct a new-century modern home. It is a term coined to describe architecture reminiscent of the classic mid-century modern home, yet utilizing current materials, color palettes and architectural theory.

I met with several builders of Modern Homes in Tampa Bay Their vision was in line with what I wanted, and we shared the same passion for modern architecture: A blend of the old mid-century with new-century modern. Many of  the homes resemble the famous mid-century modern architect Joseph Eichler.  After World War II, Eichler built some 11,000 single­ family homes in California.

Many New-Century Homes are located in unlikely places, such as Historic Kenwood in St. Petersburg.  Sometimes finding larger lots in the urban areas is difficult, but these designs don’t necessarily need large lots.

What they look likemid century modern home tampa

The design is simple and low profile, having open spaces and interiors that open up to views of landscaped courtyards. These lines really allow you to have viewpoints from the inside of the home out – something to look at while you sip a glass of wine and relax while still maintaining privacy.

The homes are visually handsome, clean, and the open spaces make the home feel larger than it really is. There’s no wasted space.  No two homes he builds are exactly the same because he is appealing to a sophisticated buyer who respects quality and uniqueness. He understands why people are moving from cookie-cutter suburbs back to the cities.

As a licensed Realtor, I decided to start a new website, https://midcenturymoderntampa.com/ . Please consider it your resource if you are looking to renovate or build a modernistic home.

You may also reach me at 813-784-7744 or send me an email here

To learn more about me: http://thetamparealestateinsider.com/about/