Pensacola's newest luxury condo complex, The Waverly, breaks ground this fall in downtown

A little piece of Los Angeles-style living is making its way into Pensacola, as construction for the 54-unit luxury condominium complex The Waverly is set to commence this fall on 97 S. Spring St.

Over 1,000 guests registered to attend the pre-construction event held at the Studer Community Institute Wednesday evening, marking the first day future tenants could reserve a spot in one of downtown’s newest developments.

The Waverly is a new 54-unit luxury condominium breaking ground this fall in downtown Pensacola.
The Waverly is a new 54-unit luxury condominium breaking ground this fall in downtown Pensacola.

Following the presentation, guests had the opportunity to make a refundable $10,000 reservation agreement to secure one of the limited Waverly units. Once ground is broken on the complex, the project will take somewhere from 18 to 24 months to complete.

The Waverly is planned to be the first phase of a larger vision that will eventually include a grocery store and parking garage with reserved spaces for Waverly residents.

Each room of every unit will host a variety of unique features, such as panoramic living room views and marble bathroom backsplashes in the two- and three-bedroom units. The units start in the $900,000 range and go up in prize by size.

“It is something that Pensacola has never seen before in regard to the quality of construction, architecture and design, plus this huge amenity package that they’re going to be offering,” said Levin Rinke Realtor Christina Leavenworth.

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The facility will also have an in-house concierge service to assist residents with their needs, including laundry,  grocery and maintenance services, according to Leavenworth.

“What I’ve been telling people is it’s going to be like a downtown Portofino – but new,” Leavenworth added.

Development of The Waverly has been several years in the making and not without pushback from the community. The site is that of a World War II-era vocation school and USO. One of the buildings on the property was the Escambia County School District headquarters, which was named after Dr. Vernon McDaniel, the first Black School Board president. It eventually was approved for demolition.

The Waverly is a new 54-unit luxury condominium breaking ground this fall in downtown Pensacola.
The Waverly is a new 54-unit luxury condominium breaking ground this fall in downtown Pensacola.

As prospective buyers and engaged spectators’ ooh and aah-ed while sipping on complimentary glasses of wine and snacking on sushi, developers unveiled their plans for the waterfront properties with an extra emphasis on the one thing everyone wants to know about: the amenities.

A 50-foot rooftop pool with visibility of fireworks from the Blue Wahoo’s stadium, an art gallery featuring local artists, a ground floor garden, and a yoga and cycle studio were among the talking points realtors used to showcase the luxury-living condominiums.

“I love rooftop pools, so that caught my eye,” said Pensacola entrepreneur Nikhil Gupta while attending Wednesday’s event.

Gupta said he made the move from Connecticut to Florida in January, and desirable amenities were at the top of his housing wish-list. Right there with location, pricing and community — but a jacuzzi would be a bonus.

The Waverly Developer John Buzzell walked the crowd of interested buyers like Gupta through the floorplans room-by-room, highlighting design details in each one, such as the sliding doors designed to combine indoor and outdoor living.

“You’re going to have these big, huge views and it is going to be 10-foot sliders. So those are going to open up to really large balconies, just making it feel like that perfect combination of indoor-outdoor living where it just flows,” Leavenworth said.

Buzzell called attention to the intricate detail of each unit, such as the 10-foot high-rise ceilings, motorized roller shades and Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances in the kitchens.

Broker Robert Rinke praised not only the luxury elements of the unit, but the sound structure of the building to protect against hurricanes.

Rinke assured potential tenants that they will be able to have confidence in 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.

Pace resident Shatzi Clemons said making the move from her current home into the hub of downtown Pensacola would be a major adjustment in her day-to-day life.

“It’s a totally different lifestyle,” Clemons said. “Walking your dogs downtown, going out to all the fun eateries…”

Clemons said the options for residential housing in Pensacola have completely transformed since moving to Pensacola in the 1980’s and then to Pace in 1994, and she has seen “massive growth” in the area as a whole.

“It didn’t have any of the fancy apartments or townhomes,” she said.

The introduction of complexes like The Waverly provides options completely new to Clemons.

Leavenworth said buyers will not be permitted to rent the condos out as short-term rentals and will require a minimum of six-month rentals. This will avoid the vacation rental-type crowd and maintain a private, mostly primary resident atmosphere.

Bearing Point Properties, a real estate development company out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana will be heading the project, which operates luxury apartments across the southeast. However, local companies will also be assisting, such as Pensacola landscape engineer Jerry Pate.

“I think it’s going to be the type of building that is featured in a lot of magazines and everything, it’s going to be that beautiful,” Leavenworth said. “The interior designer has just picked out fabulous pallets and designs to make this really stand out. They’re spending a lot of money to make this just something really, really special for Pensacola.”

More information and updates on The Waverly can be found on the website and Facebook page.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: The Waverly luxury condo complex to break ground in Pensacola this fall