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Captivating History of Florencia Luxury Condominium with Exquisite Tampa Bay Views

Liz Heinzel



The location of the Florencia has an interesting history. Opening in 1924 at the corner of Beach Drive and First Avenue NE, the Soreno Hotel was the City of St. Petersburg’s first million dollar, Mediterranean-style luxury resort hotel. It was the first of ten grand hotels constructed in St. Petersburg in the 1920s, making the area a known winter tourist destination. Owner Soren Lund named the building for his son, Soreno, and considered the hotel his finest achievement. Atlanta architect G.L. Preacher designed the 300 room hotel with a coffee shop on the 5th floor, two towers, and a putting green out front. With the completion of a seventh floor in 1929, the hotel totaled 300 rooms. During World War II, the Soreno was occupied by servicemen stationed in the area. Unfortunately, by the 1980s the Soreno faced increasing competition and closed in 1984. Despite the efforts of preservationists in 1992, the building was scheduled for demolition. Interestingly, the actual implosion of the hotel was used in the movie “Lethal Weapon 3”, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. 


JMC Communities purchased the land and developed the luxury high-rise Florencia Condominiums. In remembrance of the Soreno Hotel, there is a fountain at the back-side of the Florencia that has the Soreno’s logo written along its surface. The coat-of-arms logo was also placed on many of the Florencia’s dining dishes. There are some additional features of the Soreno that are mirrored in the Florencia, including a remodeled room based on the old hotel’s famous Park Room. 

If you are interested in living in this picturesque location, consider this elegant and sophisticated condo that has been completely renovated and upgraded with floor to ceiling windows, hardwood flooring, light porcelain tile, open concept floor plan, crown molding, terraces, a new kitchen with built-in wine bar and walk-in pantry, and new master suite and bathroom. Enjoy stunning views of Straub Park, the St. Pete Pier, and the iconic Vinoy Resort Hotel and Marina from every room. 

Amenities at this luxurious waterfront community of 50 units include 24-hour concierge, billiard room, fitness center, library, spacious social area with catering kitchen, sauna & steam rooms, and heated pool in a beautifully manicured garden setting. 

Close to world class museums, art galleries, music venues and fabulous Beach Drive restaurants, this is truly an ideal location to enjoy all the perks of St Petersburg urban living!

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Liz Heinzel

Luxury Residential Realtor

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