Building to fall so another can rise

Basic Home Remodeling: Home Improvement DVD The old makes way for the new Thursday on [tag]First Avenue S[/tag] when a 13,000-pound wrecking ball will have at [tag]BayView Tower[/tag] to clear land for [tag]Signature Place[/tag], the angular tower slated to be [tag]Pinellas County[/tag]’s tallest residential building.The nondescript BayView, with its blank concrete and tiny windows, was once the [tag]Cramer Federal Building[/tag], an eight-story block built in 1967 and sold to Joel Cantor of [tag]Gulf Atlantic Real Estate[/tag] in 1999. Cantor will now replace it with a soaring 35-story wing of glass and steel, a luxury tower featuring a water wall and bay views from every unit.

In addition to the tower, the Signature complex will include 19,000 square feet of retail space and 36,000 square feet of offices, as well as a five-story parking garage and waterfall. Some of the less-expensive loft units in the complex will be in the two low-rise buildings adjoining the tower. The $200-million Signature complex is expected to be completed by the end of 2008. Prices range from $400,000 to $4-million, Newman said. Crews have been demolishing the interior of BayView for several months in preparation for tearing it down. Before the big hits, Cantor let the St. Petersburg Police Department use the empty interior for training exercises, Newman said, because it provided a real-life environment in which they need not fear injury to bystanders or damage to property.

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