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. As White House defends Jared Kushner, experts question his alleged back-channel move


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian …

    President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner, as his daughter Ivanka Trump stands nearby, after his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. [Mark Wilson | Getty Images]
  2. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  3. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  4. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  5. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]