Providing a Turnkey Broadband Experience: Reflection St. Pete

Reflection St. Pete, a new condominium community that’s part of a downtown renaissance in St. Petersburg, Florida, will offer residents a high-speed, instant-on broadband experience. Broadband Communities thanks Rachael Manzanares, sales associate with Keller Williams Developer Services; Amber Bennett, Reflection St. Pete sales associate; Nick Hansen, CEO and managing member, Poli Solutions Consulting; Angelo Cappelli, CFO, Poli Solutions Consulting and Quantum Fiber for helping develop this profile.

Anyone looking for the balance between downtown living and seclusion in a sunny, warm locale – with high-speed, instant-on Wi-Fi to boot – need look no farther than Reflection St. Pete in St. Petersburg, Florida. For residents who crave the bustle of city life, the new 88-unit luxury condo development located between the Edge District and the Warehouse Art District will offer easy access to diverse dining, boutique shopping and award-winning museums and galleries when it opens in June 2023. Perched off of busy Central Avenue, it also will satisfy people who crave seclusion and privacy. The property offers panoramic views of Mirror Lake, Downtown St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

“St. Petersburg is a big, small town," says Rachael Manzanares, a sales associate for Reflection with Keller Williams Developer Services. “It has everything anyone could want, but it has a small-town charm to it,” she says. “Our location is unique. You can see the city skyline without being right in the middle of the skyline.”

A Renaissance City

St. Petersburg overall has been going through a transition. For years, the community was a hub for retirees, but recently, it has attracted a younger crowd of renters and homeowners. Nick Hansen, CEO and managing member for Poli Solutions Consulting, says St. Petersburg is one of Florida’s hidden jewels.

“What makes St. Petersburg special is that it’s the fourth-largest city in Florida and sits on Tampa Bay, with 11.5 contiguous miles of public waterfront,” he says. “The city planners did an excellent job of laying out the city, protecting our waterfronts and making our amenities such as the municipal pier and Mirror Lake special places.”

Over the past 25 years, St. Petersburg has gone through what Hansen says is a “renaissance.” The city’s revitalization started on Beach Drive, which provides access to the bay, waterfront and public spaces, and continued to the urban core, where Reflection is conveniently located.

“St. Petersburg’s urban core has exploded in the last 15 years,” he says. “It’s a very well laid out city. People take pride in their neighborhood and the urban core. They take pride in the different districts of the downtown area.”

In addition to high-speed, instant-on high-speed Wi-Fi, Reflection St. Pete offers panoramic views of Mirror Lake, Downtown St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
 
 

A Turnkey Approach

The real estate market in Florida is becoming more competitive, so the need for property developers and owners to differentiate is crucial – and broadband offers a significant advantage. Hansen says the Reflection developers wanted its broadband offering to be based on a “turnkey approach,” and that the best fit for the project was Quantum Fiber.

“When we looked at delivering a new property in early 2023 or late 2022, we thought about where technology would be at that point,” he says. “When an owner moves into a new home, we want it to be ready.” That’s what Quantum Fiber delivers. Its network will connect Wi-Fi to the property, and users will be able to stream, shop, surf and game on up to 25 connected devices.

“Quantum Fiber’s package delivered the robustness we needed with the ability for everyone to access its Wi-Fi connection,” Hansen says. “Residents will not have to do any setup or call anyone to activate service.”

When Reflection St. Pete opens in 2023, Quantum Fiber’s Instant Wi-Fi solution will include the Instant ON service, which offers consistent user coverage and follows residents throughout the entire property.

“We wanted the connection to follow residents throughout the building, so they are always able to access service no matter where they are,” Hansen says. “We want residents in our building to never have to worry about being connected.”

Manzanares says that people interested in purchasing a home in the new development like the broadband pricing structure. “A lot of buyers are impressed that we include internet in the HOA fees,” she says. “It has been a good selling point for us.”

Property of the Month Highlights

~ Reflection St. Pete   ~

  • Condominium tower with 88 residences
  • Smart-building features
  • Instant high-speed Wi-Fi (requiring no installation) for all residents
  • Instant ON Wi-Fi (follows residents throughout the entire property)

Enabling Remote Work, Bandwidth Growth

Like other developments, Reflection also considers that more residents will be working remotely beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. High-speed connectivity will undoubtedly be a draw for those residents.

OpenVault Broadband Insights (OVBI) reports that broadband usage increased 40 percent over the past year, which was the highest annual growth rate in nearly 10 years. The company attributes the increase to more people spending more time at home with their devices.

This trend continued into the second quarter of this year. OVBI reports that during COVID-19, upstream internet traffic rose 5.3 percent between the end of the first and second quarters of 2021 and predicts that by December 2021, the average broadband consumption per household will be around 600 to 650 gigabytes.

“We launched during a pandemic,” Manzanares says. “There are so many people considering a work-from-home option, so easy access to a high-quality bandwidth provider makes a difference.” She adds that Quantum Fiber’s broadband speeds offer another advantage over nearby properties. In addition, the developers changed some design elements and re-engineered floor plans to better accommodate home-based work.

Hansen says, “We knew people would take advantage of the option to work from home and we wanted to have a more flexible space.”

Quantum Fiber’s Instant Wi-Fi solution includes an Instant ON service, with a consistent range that follows residents throughout the entire property.
 
 

Vital Statistics

Property Description: Reflection St. Pete is a new residential tower in St. Petersburg, Florida, featuring 88 contemporary residences with eight unique, open-floor-plan options ranging from 1,168 to nearly 2,285 square feet of interior living space. Condos cost $500,000 to $2 million and have access to a host of amenities. All residents will have instant-on, high-speed Wi-Fi.

Demographics: Professionals

Greenfield or retrofit? Greenfield

Number of units: 88

Style: High-rise

Time to deploy? TBD (not yet completed)

Date services start being delivered: June 1, 2023

Special requirements: The developers specifically wanted gigabit service and Wi-Fi throughout the property, including on the 12,000 square foot indoor/outdoor rooftop amenity deck.

Lessons Learned

What was the biggest challenge? A key challenge for Quantum Fiber was partnering with the developer much earlier in the process than is typical. The developer had to submit approximate monthly condominium HOA costs for approval from local entities.

What was the most significant success? For the larger condos, a customized solution providing two wireless access points for sufficient wireless coverage in larger units was required. As a result, per-unit costs were higher than usual, but this provided a specific reason for partnering with Quantum Fiber. Other providers would have placed a modem in the media panel, leaving residents to figure out inconsistent wireless coverage independently. Quantum Fiber’s Instant Wi-Fi solution includes an Instant ON service, with a consistent range that follows residents throughout the entire property.

What should other owners consider before they begin a similar deployment? Residents today want instant-on, high-speed internet. Quantum Fiber Instant Wi-Fi delivers just that without requiring technician installation or equipment that residents must lease or purchase. Residents have fiber internet and propertywide Wi-Fi immediately upon moving in without all the hassles of a typical deployment.

Services

On the network described, can residents choose among multiple service providers? If so, how? No. The Instant Wi-Fi solution is specific to Quantum Fiber. Residents will be able to access 1 Gbps symmetrical Wi-Fi service provided by Quantum Fiber throughout the entire property.

Will additional service providers operate separate broadband networks on the same property? TBD

Is the point of contact for resident technical support the property manager, the service provider or a third party? Quantum Fiber will provide tech support. It assigned a dedicated bulk program manager to the property and will provide 24/7 customer support.

Business

Who owns the network? Quantum Fiber owns and manages the entire network.

Is there a marketing agreement with the property owner? Reflection has a bulk agreement with Quantum Fiber with nonexclusive marketing rights.

Does the agreement include an incentive, such as a door fee or revenue share? No

Is there a bulk service agreement? If so, what services are included? Can residents upgrade from the bulk services? Yes, there’s a bulk service agreement. Services include gigabit fiber internet and propertywide Wi-Fi. No upgrades are currently available because ownership contracted at the highest speed available today.

Network benefits: The property owners believe marketing the property with propertywide Wi-Fi helps attract potential condominium owners.

Technology

Broadband architecture: It is a fiber-to-the-floor architecture.

Where are ONTs placed? There are no ONTs. The gateways, routers and switches are set in the main distribution floor main distribution frame/independent distribution frame (MDF)/IDF) rooms. Wireless access points (WAPs) are strategically placed throughout all units and common areas.

Technology: Wi-Fi

Where is the thread terminated? intermediate distribution frame (IDF)

Technology/medium: Quantum Fiber installed Ethernet CAT 6 wired connection to media panel in each unit. A CAT 6 wired connection was made to each WAP throughout the property.

Vendors/products:

  • Quantum Fiber (internet services)
  • RGnet (network gateways)
  • Juniper (network routers)
  • ADTRAN (broadband equipment)

 

Sean Buckley is the editor in chief of Broadband Communities. He can be reached at sean@bbcmag.com.

Sean Buckley

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