Lindell's Independence Park plan fizzles as Highwoods Properties buys Tampa property
Wake up and good morning. Whatever happened to the grand redevelopment plan in Tampa called Independence Park? Well, here's a hint of what was meant to be -- but never happened -- as described in this 2006 story from the Tampa Bay Business Journal:
"An expansive, 10-phase, mixed-use development is set to come together next year in the Westshore Business District. Lindell Properties snapped up the former JP Morgan headquarters last year and has $28 million in the deal already. Over time, construction costs could reach $400 million on the site.
"What was originally nine of 27 holes on the Rocky Point Golf Course became a one-tenant industrial park and now could morph into a new jewel for the city’s tax base to include many small businesses, a structured garage, residences, ponds and green space. There could even workplaces employees could walk to from home, said Lindell Properties CEO Ron Weisser."
Alas, this painful recession and real estate debacle pretty much put the kibosh on Lindell's (with Grady Pridgen's development assist) big-vision plans for Independence Park. Highwoods Properties said Wednesday that it is buying what was once the former JPMorgan Chase headquarters campus where a group of developers had been planning a $500 million mixed-use development project called Independence Park. It's off Memorial Highway not far from Tampa International Airport.
Based in Raleigh, N.C., Highwoods said it paid $17.6 million for the property -- a marked discount from what Lindell paid about five years ago -- which includes a vacant 117,000-square-foot office building on 11 acres and another 33 acres of land that can support up to 524,000 square feet of future office space. Here is Highwoods' press release with some details.
What's less clear is what this means for Lindell Properties. The Lindell name, of course, refers to the family name well known for its past history with area automotive dealerships. Carl Lindell Jr. (photo, above left) heads Lindell Properties, which had obviously counted heavily on the successful development of Independence Park. Lindell had sold off his interests in car dealerships and had devoted his money to real estate development with partner Ron Weisser (photo, right).
Lindell told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that, as a real estate developer, he took a more than $20 million hit after absorbing some dismal failures that included high-profile plans in Westshore and South Tampa. At the same time, in a Business Journal story dated Dec. 17, Lindell said he was starting Lindell Capital to act as a banker in real estate projects, and noted he was returning to the auto business. More here. (Photos courtesy of Lindell Properties.)
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist