A small piece of Los Angeles-style living is making its way to Pensacola, where construction of the 54-unit luxury condominium complex The Waverly is set to begin this fall at 97 S. Spring St.
More than 1,000 guests registered for a pre-construction event held at the Studer Community Institute on Wednesday evening, marking the first day that future tenants can book a place at one of the city’s newest developments.
After the presentation, guests had the opportunity to make a $10,000 redeemable reservation agreement to secure one of our limited-edition Waverly units. Once the complex is completed, the project will take between 18 to 24 months to complete.
Waverly is planned to be the first phase of a larger vision that will eventually include a grocery store and a parking garage with spaces reserved for Waverly residents.
Each room in each unit will host a variety of unique features, such as panoramic views of the living room and the marble backsplashes of the bathroom in the two- and three-bedroom units. Units start in the $900,000 range and award increases by size.
“It’s something Pensacola has never seen before in terms of the build quality, architecture and design, as well as the huge amenities package they will offer,” said Levin Rinke, Levin Rinke’s realtor, Christina Leavenworth.
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The facility will also have an in-house concierge to help residents with their needs, including laundry, grocery and maintenance services, according to Leavenworth.
“What I’ve told people is it’s going to be like downtown Portofino – but it’s new,” Leavenworth added.
The development of Waverly took several years and is not without opposition from the community. The site is the site of a career school dating back to the WWII and USO era. One of the buildings on the property was the Escambia County School District headquarters, named after Dr. Vernon McDaniel, the first president of the Black School Board. In the end it was approved for demolition.
Acting as potential buyers and engaging spectators while sipping complimentary glasses of wine and snacking on sushi, the developers revealed their plans for the waterfront properties with an added focus on the one thing everyone wants to know: amenities.
A 50-foot rooftop pool with fireworks view from Blue Wahoo Stadium, an art gallery featuring local artists, a ground-floor garden, and a yoga and bike studio were among the talking points the landlords used to showcase the luxury condominiums.
“I love the rooftop pools, so it caught my eye,” said Nikhil Gupta, a Pensacola businessman, while attending Wednesday’s event.
Gupta said he moved from Connecticut to Florida in January, and coveted amenities were high on his housing wish list. Up there with the location, prices and community – but the jacuzzi would be a bonus.
Waverly developer John Buzzell walked a crowd of interested buyers like Gupta through room-by-room floor plans, highlighting design details in each, such as sliding doors designed to combine indoor and outdoor living.
“You’ll get these huge big views and they’ll be 10-foot slides. So they’ll open up to really big balconies, just making it feel like the perfect mix of indoor and outdoor living where it just flows,” Leavenworth said.
Buzzell drew attention to the intricate details of each unit, such as the towering 10-foot ceilings, motorized revolving awnings and Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances in the kitchens.
Moderator Robert Rink praised not only the luxury elements of the unit, but also the building’s proper structure for protection from hurricanes.
Rink assured potential tenants that they would be able to trust the concrete foundation and hurricane-proof windows.
“People don’t want to watch The Weather Channel for five months out of the year,” Rinke said.
Chatzi Clemons, a Pace resident, said moving from her current home to downtown Pensacola would be a major adjustment in her daily life.
“It’s a completely different lifestyle,” Clemons said. “Walk with your dogs downtown, go to all the fun restaurants…”
Clemons said residential housing options in Pensacola have changed completely since moving to Pensacola in the 1980s and then to Pace in 1994, and have experienced “enormous growth” in the area as a whole.
“It didn’t have any luxury apartments or independent houses,” she said.
The introduction of complexes like The Waverly provides entirely new options for Clemons.
Leavenworth said buyers will not be allowed to rent out the apartments as short-term rentals and will require at least six months of rent. This will avoid vacation rental type crowding and maintain a special, often basic resident atmosphere.
Bearing Point Real Estate, a real estate developer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will lead the project, which operates luxury apartments in the Southeast. However, local businesses will also help, such as Pensacola landscape architect Jerry Butt.
“I think it’s going to be the kind of building that appears in a lot of magazines and everything, it’s going to be this beautiful,” Leavenworth said. “The interior designer just chose great platforms and designs to make this really special. They spend a lot of money to make this just something really special for Pensacola.”
More information and updates can be found on The Waverly’s website and Facebook page.