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Tampa port okays $4.7 million sale of Channel District land

The buyer, Streams Capital of Tampa, is looking at building a 33-story tower with a hotel, condominiums and retail.

TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay’s board voted Tuesday to sell a half-acre it owns near the Florida Aquarium for $4.7 million to an investor looking at building a 33-story condominium and hotel tower.

“That’s something that would be in line with what’s going on in the Channel District and with Water Street,” Streams Capital managing director Andre Hampton said. And it would be comparable to the 35-story Elevé 61 condo tower planned immediately to the north at E Whiting Street and Channelside Drive.

RELATED: New 35-story condo tower to rise in Tampa’s Channelside area

“I appreciate being able to be part of the legacy and monumental history of Tampa,” Hampton told port board members before the vote. “It’s hard to ask for any better opportunity than (to make) an addition to our skyline.”

But it’s too soon, Hampton said, to discuss the project’s potential development partners, schedule or construction budget.

Streams has until the end of 2020 to complete its due diligence on the sale. Port officials expect a closing in early 2021. Under the terms of the agreement, Streams will need the port’s permission if it wants to assign a controlling interest in the property to anyone else.

Also, if the sale goes through, the deed will include a restriction prohibiting future condo owners from filing claims against the port over sights, sounds or smells from port operations.

The land consists of a 0.45-acre parking lot on the west side of Channelside Drive, just north of the port’s parking garages. Currently, the port uses the land to park recreational vehicles belonging to cruise ship passengers.

The proposed purchase price of $4.7 million works out to nearly $240 a square foot, or more than $10.4 million an acre.

This Port Tampa Bay map shows the outline of .45 acres that it is considering selling to StreamS Capital of Tampa. [ Port Tampa Bay ]

By comparison, a port analysis of sales in the immediate area since late 2015 found an average sales price of $73.72 per square foot, or about $3.2 million an acre.

That makes the price on the Streams Capital site about 325 percent higher than for other recent sales, port officials say.

But the port’s list of comparable sales did not include its own decision in March 2018 to sell 20,000 square feet — a little more than the 19,602 square feet being sold to Streams Capital — of the Garrison parking lot for $9.87 million.

The buyer, Water Street Tampa developer Strategic Property Partners, has talked about maybe building two towers with a total of 350 to 550 apartments or condominiums on the northern end of that lot, plus some stores and restaurants near the seawall next to the Garrison Channel.

The port’s analysis did not include the Garrison lot because that transaction included other parts along with the sale, port vice president of real estate Lane Ramsfield said. In addition, a Strategic subsidiary is paying to lease other port-owned acreage. And the port hired that same company to run two parking garages and two parking lots next to the port’s cruise ship terminals.

“It’s a completely different deal,” Ramsfield said. But he said, “believe me, when I negotiated (with Streams Capital), I used that (sale) as a topic of discussion.”

RELATED: Project vision begins to emerge as Port Tampa Bay okays selling parking lot to Jeff Vinik-Cascade Investment for $9.8 million

Contact Richard Danielson at Follow @Danielson_Times