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Urban north-style brownstones coming to downtown St. Pete

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A housing unit is planned for downtown St. Pete inspired by northern big city living. The Brownstones will be a five-unit complex on Fourth Avenue North and First Street North inspired by homes in cities like New York, Boston and Chicago.

As first reported by St. Pete Rising, each unit will be more than 4,000 square feet with three bedrooms in the main unit and two bedrooms above a detached garage. The units will also feature 800 square feet of live/work space where small businesses could set up show just steps below where they live.

“Walk down a couple of steps and you can have your own practice, such as a CPA or a small law firm,” developer Steve Gianfilippo told St. Pete Rising. “Any type of small business could run their operation from there.”

Renderings of the homes show a scene reminiscent of late night sitcom strolls through Manhattan with quaint entryways lined along serene sidewalks canopied by trees. Another rendering shows rooftop gardens and seating set with the downtown St. Pete skyline and St. Pete Pier as the background.

“I’m from New York. I’ve lived down here most of my life, but we have so many people that retire here from up north that would love to keep the charm of the north, but still be a block off the water in Florida,” Gianfilippo said. “Its a dream situation for some people.”

This isn’t Gianfilippo’s only project. He also has the Cordova Inn and Station House restaurant in downtown St. Pete and the Barefoot Beach Hotel in Madeira Beach. Homeowners in the Brownstones could get some perks out of that deal, including possible VIP passes to the restaurant or free parking at the hotel.

The project will break ground sometime after two or three units have been sold. Gianfilippo expects high demand for the project due to its uniqueness and small number of units available.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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