Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Proposed apartment tower near Straz Center hits delay

TAMPA — An ambitious plan to build a 36-story apartment tower overlooking the Hillsborough River was delayed Thursday night amid questions about its impact on traffic, the riverfront and cultural arts institutions.

The City Council postponed votes on two aspects of the project until Aug. 8 after hearing concerns from representatives of the neighboring John F. Germany Public Library and David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

"The proposed scale of this project is so massive that it seems to us not only incompatible but aggressively incompatible with our riverfront and the community institutions that we have there," said John Mullen, a board member of the Friends of the John F. Germany Public Library.

Straz Center president Judith Lisi likewise urged a more deliberate approach, saying, "we have so much at stake here."

The Straz Center originally came up with the idea of reconfiguring Cass and Tyler streets to be safer and to give the center a bigger, better arrival plaza. But Lisi said it also originally envisioned a smaller project on the piece of city land that developers want to build on.

"This is a case of be careful what you wish for," Lisi said.

Yes, she said, getting the roads redone would be nice, but "we are very concerned about the scale of this project and what it is going to do that area and how it is going to really be a barrier between the Straz Center and the arts district and how it's going affect all of our patrons."

As proposed, the 380-apartment high-rise — called the Residences at the Riverwalk — would be built west of the library and south of the Straz Center. It would include a 620-space parking garage and 10,000 square feet of first-floor shops and restaurants.

Developers Greg Minder and Phillip Smith plan to buy an acre of land from the city for $4 million. Using the money from the sale, the city would spend an estimated $2 million reconfiguring Cass and Tyler streets into a safer grid of two-way streets.

Proposed apartment tower near Straz Center hits delay 05/09/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Before Janessa Shannon's death, parents traded accusations of abuse


    TAMPA — Long before Janessa Shannon's remains were discovered in a Hillsborough County nature preserve, her parents tried to convince court officials that she was in danger.

    From her own family.

    Janessa Shannon, 13, was found dead July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
  2. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  3. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017


    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  4. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.