Punit Shah’s Liberty Group building new Channel District hotel with Jameis Winston as limited investor

Published December 12 2017
Updated December 12 2017

TAMPA — Punit Shah’s Liberty Group announced plans Tuesday to start construction in January on a Channel District project that will include a Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites, both by Hilton, plus a Starbucks Coffee.

Financing for the $40 million project will come from a $24 million construction loan from Centennial Bank, plus the Shah Family Office and, as a limited investor, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, who is a friend of Shah’s.

The hotels and coffee shop, at 1155 E Kennedy Blvd., just east of Meridian Avenue, are expected to open in mid 2019. The 10-story project will include 213 rooms and extended-stay suites, a rooftop pool with grilling patio and 200-space, 5-story parking garage.

Developers say the location will put the hotel within walking distance of the Jeff Vinik-Cascade Investment Water Street Tampa project, the University of South Florida’s new medical school building, Amalie Arena, the new Publix at Meridian Avenue and E Twiggs Street, the Tampa Bay History Museum and Port Tampa Bay.

"Our development of this new mixed-use project in the Channel District of downtown Tampa is a product of the tremendous growth the area has witnessed over the past few years," Shah said in announcing the project.

Liberty, which developed the Aloft hotel in downtown Tampa in 2014, has owned and managed 55 hotels nationwide. The project team includes general contractor Wichman Construction, architect and interior designer Chancey Design Group and Hamilton Engineering.

Contact Richard Danielson at rdanielson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times