Home of the Month | April 2015

801 27th Avenue North
Hey, Congratulations!

The next time you run in to Laura Forte or Zsolt Gaspar, be sure to congratulate them. On what you ask? Take your pick!

  • Their new house, into which they moved in January 2014;
  • Laura’s successful and growing business, Bay View Boot Camp & Personal Training;
  • Their adorable new puppy, Edi;
  • And most recently, their wedding on March 12!

Even with so much going on in their lives, Laura and Zsolt have settled comfortably into their home on 27th Avenue N., with its soaring ceilings, huge windows, and converted gym studio in the garage.

The house was finished in December 2013, and when they first saw and made an offer on it, it had only gotten to the drywall stage. But the choices by the builder (who also built and lives in the home next door) were of great appeal, from the crown moldings to the open floor plan. For example, an arched passageway connects the kitchen to the front room, mimicking the arched front windows that let in lots of light. The dining area also flows from the kitchen, and the island in the large space leaves plenty of room for friends to sit and eat. Laura and Zsolt love to entertain friends, and the open floor plan makes it easy to do so.

Their friends come from all around the area; the couple has called St. Petersburg home for about five years. Knowing the area, they purposefully looked to buy to the west of 4th St., because doing so put them outside a flood zone but near the local parks and lakes, as well as close to the highway, for Zsolt’s work commute into Tampa. They also knew they could find bigger lots in Crescent Heights—and one with a fenced backyard so that when Edi joined their family a few months ago, she had a place to play—so they looked mainly in this neighborhood and Allendale. When they went to buy though, they faced an interesting conundrum: There were no real comps available, because theirs was one of the few new houses to go up in the area at that time. Yet since their move, they note the rash of new homes popping up as just one more reason they are happy to have bought their first non-condo living quarters here.

The space, approximately 2200 square feet, is a significant improvement on condo living. With large closets throughout, Laura and Zsolt have plenty of room to store things. They customized two of the closets upstairs: the huge walk-in master closet and the smaller closet in a spare bedroom that serves as Laura’s home office. In both cases, adding customized elements made the large spaces even more functional.

In addition to the open, expansive master suite in the front of the house, the upstairs houses the laundry room—a convenience that the couple had no idea they would like so much. The guest room connects to a second full bath upstairs, giving visitors a sense of privacy and luxury. And whether in one of the 2.5 baths or the kitchen, the countertops of gleaming granite add texture and interest to the décor.

Laura worries that they haven’t done enough decorating yet, but their focus upon moving in was elsewhere, namely, the garage gym studio. One of the main reasons they purchased their home was the availability of the separate, large, two-car garage. They immediately converted it into a gym space, where Laura’s individual and small group clients can come to receive personalized fitness training.

Laura also runs a fitness group training (see www.BayViewBootCamp.com) at North Shore Park on 12th Ave. N. There, clients can enjoy the gorgeous Florida sunshine and beautiful waterfront park while Laura puts them through their workout paces. Most of her clientele are people working in businesses up and down 4th St., such that “we are really local and connected to businesses in the area.” If you’re up to joining them, check out the website, or call her at (727) 754-0111.

Fitness has long been a trend for Laura and Zsolt. He was an Olympic swimmer; they continue to enjoy athletic pursuits and competitive games. As a wedding gift, a group of Laura’s clients even got together to give them bicycles. The couple thus looks forward to getting to see St. Petersburg in a new light, from the perspective that comes from being atop their two-wheeled vehicles. As they walk, jog, or ride by, don’t forget to yell out congratulations!

—Elisabeth Nevins Caswell

Photo Credits: ©Elisabeth Nevins Caswell/Laura Forte

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