Make us your home page

Developer eyes site near Encore Tampa redevelopment project

TAMPA — The north end of downtown near Perry Harvey Sr. Park hasn't seen a lot of purely private-sector development in years, but to Brian Ray, the area seems poised for a change.

Two blocks away, big new apartment buildings are going up at Encore Tampa — a massive urban redevelopment project being coordinated by the Tampa Housing Authority and the Bank of America Community Development Corp.

One block away, City Hall is preparing to launch a $6 million transformation of Perry Harvey Park.

So Ray — an Orlando-based architect, developer and real estate investor — is looking to develop a triangle of property on N Jefferson Street and N Orange Avenue, just across the street from Perry Harvey Park and its Bro Bowl skateboard park.

Ray's firm has developed conceptual drawings and talked with various city departments about one of three projects he thinks could go on the site:

• A 10-story hotel with 114 guest rooms.

• A four-story commercial building.

• 27 apartments or condominiums built in four stories.

Ray's company, Ray Design Development, has worked on projects in Colorado, Tennessee and Orlando. It looks to acquire under-used or financially distressed properties it can sell, develop, fix up and flip or fix and hold.

Over the summer, Ray's company paid a mere $18,500 for the first piece of the triangle, but he said he's got several neighboring parcels under contract for "substantially more than what I paid."

"I think that's reflective of the change that's going on in the neighborhood" with the improvements coming to Perry Harvey Park and Encore, he said. He is marketing the assembled site, which covers 21,072 square feet, for $1.25 million.

City rules allow a building up to 120 feet tall on the site, Ray said, though another big factor is parking. Depending on what's built, Ray thinks he can get 27 to 34 spaces on the site and is talking to the city and the Florida Department of Transportation about using neighboring properties for additional parking.

City economic opportunity administrator Bob McDonaugh said Ray's site has been under contract several times before.

"I think the issue is that it's a little on the small side," he said. He's said he doesn't see it as a traditional office site and noted that Encore has a pad of its own that could be built as a hotel.

Over the next couple of years, as Encore is built out, becomes fully leased and gains a stable base of residents, McDonaugh would expect prospects to improve for the kind of private development a growing neighborhood needs: a grocery store, a drug store, a convenience store, a bank branch or a dry cleaner.

A good thing, he said, is the quality of construction going into Encore's buildings and infrastructure. When finished, the 28-acre Encore is expected to include 794 mixed-income apartments, 300 condominiums or other privately owned units sold at market rates, 268,000 square feet of commercial development, a museum and school. The value of the new construction could approach $425 million.

"I think that all of that land around there is generally going to become more valuable," McDonaugh said. "Money follows money in real estate."

Developer eyes site near Encore Tampa redevelopment project 12/15/13 [Last modified: Sunday, December 15, 2013 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Irish 31 brings flair, flavor to Wiregrass


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery opened its fifth location at The Shops at Wiregrass earlier this month.

    hillsevbiz072117: Irish 31 has opened at the Shops at Wiregrass with a warm, wood decor. Photo courtesy of Irish 31.
  2. Family fun featured at Lutz-area ice cream shop


    LUTZ — For Joe Schembri, ice cream reminds him of fun times he spent with his family as a child.

    hillsevbiz072117: Joe Schembri has opened the Ice Dreamery in Lutz. Photo courtesy of Joe Schembri.
  3. Clean Eatz offers low-cal options in South Tampa


    Inside Clean Eatz, almost everything is under 500 calories.

    Clean Eatz will offer healthy dining options in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of Clean Eatz.
  4. Salon brings a Parisian experience to Tampa


    A new salon in International Plaza, opened by French women Geraldine Jousseau and Estelle Mattingly, takes clients on a trip to Paris.

    Le Studio Paris offers a variety of salon services in International Plaza. Photo courtesy of Le Studio Paris.
  5. Ratings service Nielsen begins tracking live TV consumption on Hulu, YouTube


    TV ratings service Nielsen will begin tracking how many people watch network TV on YouTube and Hulu to gauge how many viewers broadcast networks have through streaming, the company announced Tuesday.

    Nielsen, a ratings company, is monitoring how many viewers watch live TV on Hulu and YouTube to get a better sense of overall viewership. | [AP]