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SkyHouse Channelside tower rezoning gets initial approval in Tampa

TAMPA — The City Council has given initial approval to a rezoning for the proposed SkyHouse Channelside, a 23-story tower with 320 apartments.

It is in the Channel District, on 1.5 acres east of 11th Street between Washington and Whiting streets. Its developer is the Novare Group of Atlanta, whose track record in Tampa includes the Element and Skypoint high-rises in downtown.

At 275 feet, the glass-walled SkyHouse would be one of the tallest buildings in the Channel District. Its top floor would include a fitness room, swimming pool, outdoor grilling area and views of both the city skyline and waterfront.

"This is a very cool building, targeted at 25- to 34-year-old singles, also known as the young and the restless," said James Borders, president and chief executive officer of the Novare Group, which developed a SkyHouse tower in Midtown Atlanta and has similar projects going in Houston, Austin and Orlando.

The tower also would have 6,500 square feet for stores and a six-story parking garage with 567 spaces, more than the 334 required by the city. Developers say the additional spaces in the tower's garage would offer relief to neighboring Channel District retailers now starved for parking.

Though she voted for it Thursday night, council member Lisa Montelione hesitated at first, saying the SkyHouse's height and scale "seems like it does not fit" the Channel District's historic development pattern of warehouses and other low-profile buildings.

But developers said their project is seven stories lower and would have 105 fewer apartments than a rezoning approved for the same site in 2006. They also said other similar projects are on the books, including Ken Stoltenberg's Martin tower, a 24-story project the council approved last month.

A final council vote on the SkyHouse rezoning is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8. Novare executives expect to break ground in mid-September and anticipate that construction would take a year or less.

Stoltenberg, who developed Grand Central at Kennedy, said Friday that construction on his project is scheduled to start in October, with completion in late 2015 or early 2016. His plans call for 316 residential units, 36,887 square feet of retail and a 620-space parking garage on 2.3 acres along Meridian Avenue between Twiggs and Madison streets.

Times staff writer Susan Thurston contributed to this report.

SkyHouse Channelside tower rezoning gets initial approval in Tampa 07/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:39pm]
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