Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa reloads its downtown development pipeline

The blooms of a jacaranda tree frame the shore of the Hillsborough River near the Laurel Street Bridge in downtown Tampa.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

The blooms of a jacaranda tree frame the shore of the Hillsborough River near the Laurel Street Bridge in downtown Tampa.

TAMPA — As the first sprouts of economic health re-emerge, downtown promoters think it's time to start reloading their development investment pipeline.

The residential occupancy rate in downtown Tampa rebounded to 85 percent thanks to empty luxury condos like the Towers at Channelside filling up at 1991 prices. The downtown workforce emerged from recession with 50,800 jobs, shedding fewer than 2,000, and the downtown resident population grew to 4,300.

In a survey, 93 percent of the residents are clamoring for more grocery stores, more chain retailers than just CVS and more riverfront restaurants, after two new downtown museums and a string of Riverwalk parks brought some congestion back to the city center.

"Our pump is primed," said Christine Burdick, director of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, a 180-member nonprofit that spent $1.1 million last year marketing the city's historic hub of commerce. "Despite the economy, we've got a lot happening."

Indeed, a variety of developers, agencies and government officials offered progress reports on their projects Friday at the partnership's annual development forum.

• The foundation has been laid for the University of South Florida's $30 million surgical training complex, which is scheduled to open in January. Forecast to attract enough out-of-town doctors for training to fill a 95-room hotel, USF Health will include 18 surgical suites, a 200-seat classroom equipped with HDTV conferencing and labs for surgical device makers to test and refine new procedures. It's two blocks from the Tampa Convention Center and is the first piece of USF's planned urban presence.

• Tampa General Hospital has outgrown its 1,000-bed campus on Davis Islands and is about to stretch onto the mainland for the first time. The nonprofit hospital will move its 400-worker accounting and information tech departments to renovated offices at 606 and 720 W Kennedy Blvd. near the University of Tampa by this summer to make room for an expanded 82-bed neo-intensive care unit. The hospital also bought 10 acres nearby at 1307 W Kennedy where it plans over the next three years to build a professional building for physicians, a 99-bed rehabilitation center and a hotel for day surgery patients to recuperate and relatives visiting patients.

• Sage Partners is building Metro 510, a 120-unit affordable rental housing project wrapped around a former church at the northeast corner of Harrison and Morgan streets. The church will be transformed into an office while the sanctuary upstairs will become a kids play area. Sage is also remodeling a senior housing project across Morgan Street.

• Years spent restoring the vintage but once heavily deteriorated 1926 Floridan Hotel continue with plans to reopen with 210 rooms and three penthouses. But owners declined to specify a completion date.

"But right now we are laying down carpet," said Lisa Shasteen, president of Shasteen-Sizemore Co. and spokeswoman for the owners.

• The Tampa Bay Lighting plans a $40 million renovation of the St. Pete Times Forum, adding padded seats to the cheaper upstairs bleachers plus more food and beverage concessions while installing what CEO Tod Leiweke called the "mother of all pipe organs."

• Stageworks, a theater company born in the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts that is stepping out on its own 99-seat home in a Grand Central on Kennedy condo, has secured a $125,000 city grant and is close to landing a loan to complete the project.

"For a while there I had to tell the contractors to slow down," said Andrea Graham, chief executive. "But we will open in July."

Tampa reloads its downtown development pipeline 03/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2011 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself

    Airlines

    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  3. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump

    Business

    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)