TAMPA, Fla. – Free upgrades and paid closing costs not enough incentive to buy a condo in a sluggish housing market? How about nude swimming and sunbathing?
The developers of Arbors at Branch Creek, a Tampa condo conversion, are hoping a clothing-optional pool will attract buyers.
"We know there are people out there who will enjoy this amenity," said Christine Pirkle, director of sales for project-developer Eden Condominiums. "It's just become more accepted and people who want this option don't have very much of it."
She noted that only some Florida counties allow nudity on beaches.
"Here, at least you have the choice," she said.
The complex Web site shows a barebacked woman meditating next to a steaming hot tub, and promises: "You're going to be very comfortable with our dress code. Our residents are welcome to shed more than their inhibitions as they enter the gates of Eden. Because when our residents come home after a busy day in the working world, they want to completely unburden themselves, shed the trappings of the outside world ... and be totally free."
A second pool on the property will require clothing. No one younger than 18 will be allowed near the clothing-optional pool area, and Pirkle has planned for tall, dense foliage and plenty of warning signs to surround it.
"There will be no mistake that you are entering a clothing-optional area," Pirkle said.
How soon the pool can be ready depends on when Florida's notoriously rainy summers let up long enough to do the necessary landscaping.
The complex's 390 units run from $170,000 for one-bedroom condos to $385,000 for three-bedroom townhouses.
Pirkle said one renter has committed to buying her unit because of the pool, but another with a young son is considering moving because of it.
The company will pay to transfer tenants to a sister property if their lease isn't up and they are uncomfortable with the pool idea, Pirkle said.
But others people are excited about the company's effort to stand out in a sluggish market. A potential buyer from Texas who was in Pirkle's office got a call from a friend in New Orleans who happened to have heard about the complex, and Pirkle has fielded a call from an interested buyer in Arizona.
"There's a buzz about it," she said.