Since Tampa’s last Super Bowl in 2009, the bay area has welcomed a lot of splashy new projects that are expected to offer new venues for visitors during Super Bowl 55. Here are seven projects where construction is underway with completion targeted by February 2021.
St. Petersburg Pier
800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg
The centerpiece of downtown St. Petersburg’s urban waterfront, the new $92 million Pier and its 26-acre redeveloped site are projected to make their debut with a series of events starting in the spring and lasting through Independence Day. The project includes a $1.47 million aerial sculpture by Massachusetts artist Janet Echelman, a $1 million wooden playground, a fishing deck, and a five-story main structure at the head of the Pier. Businesses at the new Pier and its surrounding district will include the Teak restaurant, Driftwood Cafe and Pier Teaki rooftop bar, as well as Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille at the Pelican parking lot area. The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center presented by the Milkey Family Foundation will house hands–on marine exhibits and teach about Tampa Bay’s ecosystem.
510 Water St., Tampa
The $200 million-plus JW Marriott hotel is one of two projects that helped Tampa land the Super Bowl, according to Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee president and chief executive officer Rob Higgins. (The other was the $160 million in renovations done at Raymond James Stadium in recent years.) When finished, the 26-story hotel will include 519 rooms, what’s touted as the highest rooftop bar in the city, a big ballroom and meeting space that will complement what’s available at the Tampa Convention Center and the neighboring Tampa Marriott Water Street. The JW Marriott also will be connected to the Marriott Water Street by an elevated walkway. “The completion of the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street is huge because it allows for a dual headquarters hotel when you combine the property with the Tampa Marriott Water Street,” Higgins said. “Together, the two properties offer more than 1,200 high end rooms right in the heart of downtown.” Ron McAnaugh, general manager of the Marriott Water Street and the future JW Marriott, said in a statement that “construction of the JW Marriott is on schedule for completion in (the fourth quarter) of 2020, ahead of next year’s Super Bowl.”
Northeast corner of N Dale Mabry and W Cypress St., just south of Interstate 275, Tampa
The $550 million Midtown Tampa project about two miles south of Raymond James Stadium has been 20 years in the making, and developers with the Bromley Companies have contractors working simultaneously on multiple buildings to complete the first phase of the 22-acre project by the Super Bowl. Midtown Tampa will include the bay area’s first store from specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op, its largest Whole Foods Market, 400 apartments, a dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel, a seven-story office building, a fitness trail, and a growing collection of restaurants that include new locations for chef Chris Ponte, known for Café Ponte in Clearwater and On Swann in South Tampa, as well as the Oprah Winfrey-backed True Food Kitchen, Burtons Bar & Grill and the bay area’s first Shake Shack. “We’re moving really, really quickly over here” and are on target to hit Midtown Tampa’s ambitious development schedule, Bromley president and CEO Nicholas Haines said recently. When Midtown recently announced it had landed Shake Shack, Haines said, “we’re certainly targeting having them open as one of our restaurants for the Super Bowl.”
1412 E Seventh Ave., Tampa
The $52 million Hotel Haya in Ybor City is projected to open this spring. The four-story hotel will include 176 rooms, a 152-seat restaurant and 42-seat cafe. An interior courtyard will feature a swimming pool and lounge. The hotel is named for one of the historic district’s founding fathers, Ignacio Haya, who built his first cigar factory in Ybor in the late 1800s and was the first president of El Centro Español, a mutual aid society that provided health care and other aid to immigrants from Spain. In more than a century, the block where the hotel is being built has seen a parade of Rough Riders, hit men, club kids and drag queens. In 1898, horsemen from Teddy Roosevelt’s 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry are said to have ridden into the dining room at the Las Novedades restaurant in what became known as “the Charge of the Yellow Rice Brigade.” The El Dorado casino was on the same block, with customers that ranged from Tampa underworld figures to the occasional judge or politician. It was a place where you could buy a bolita ticket, find a prostitute — or get shot. In 1928, Florentino Martinez stumbled to a nearby clinic, where he told deputies he had been shot at the El Dorado, gave the name of a man with whom he had feuded and died. What shots? gamblers at the El Dorado said. No one was ever convicted.
Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement
355 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg
The opening date for the ambitious five-story, 137,000-square-foot Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement has been a moving target for years, but it is currently projected to be early this spring. The museum is a legacy project for collector Rodolfo “Rudy” Ciccarello, who is financing the $90 million museum privately and stocking it with his collection of more than 2,000 objects from the early 20th century, when the American Arts and Crafts Movement revived and elevated the practice of distinctive hand-made furniture, ceramics, tile, glass, lighting and other objects in response to the mass production of the Industrial Revolution. Among the pieces acquired for the opening are four rare dining room chairs that architect Frank Lloyd Wright had crafted in 1901 for the 1902 Ward W. Willits House in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, considered to be Wright’s first masterpiece in the Prairie style of architecture. The museum, unique in its dedication exclusively to the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is expected to generate new tourism for St. Petersburg from devotees of the movement.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage, Clearwater
Toward the end of this year, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium — home of Winter the Dolphin — plans to wrap up an $80 million expansion at its main location on Island Estates near Clearwater Beach. The expanded facility will have a total of 103,000 square feet of guest space, five times what it has now, and 400 more parking spots. The habitat space for Winter and other rescued dolphins that can’t be released back into the gulf will be three times as big, consisting of five connecting pools with about 1.5 million gallons of water. The larger pools mean space for nine more dolphins and 25 more turtles that can’t be released into the wild. The education space and capacity to provide specialized care for animals that live at the aquarium or are being rehabbed there will be doubled. Staff will have room to treat about 45 rehabilitation cases at once.
Hyatt House/Hyatt Place hotels
Southeast corner of N Florida Avenue and E Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Rising on a former public parking lot that City Hall sold for $7.6 million, this 17-story building will have a 230-room Hyatt Place Hotel and a 115-room extended-stay Hyatt House Hotel, plus about 4,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,200 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 220–space public parking garage. Completion is projected for the first quarter of 2021. “We’re doing what we can to facilitate an opening prior” to Super Bowl 55, said Josh Collen, the project executive at HRI Properties of New Orleans, which is developing the project. “Obviously, we want to make sure that guest satisfaction is off the charts.”
Editor’s note: This article and headline were updated Tuesday, Feb. 4, with information about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.