Darryl Shaw’s Ybor City empire is growing again.
The Tampa real estate investor said Thursday that he was part of a team that has purchased the Ybor City headquarters of staffing and professional services firm Kforce Inc., one of Tampa Bay’s largest public companies.
Shaw’s partners in the $24 million deal, which closed Wednesday night, are Carlos Alfonso and Frank Capitano of Alliant Partners Development. They’re the ones who approached Kforce about the property, Shaw said, then came to him with the opportunity to buy in.
“I’d assumed they were staying there,” Shaw said of Kforce. “I didn’t know they were looking to relocate.”
The property at 1001 E Palm Ave. includes Kforce’s headquarters and an adjacent parking garage and vacant lot — around nine acres in all. Shaw said the developers have no concrete plans for the property just yet, but he’ll look at how it fits in with his other recent acquisitions, including a chunk of the nearby Tampa Park Apartments he closed on in February.
“We’re in the process of working through a master plan for the property to the south, the Tampa Park Apartments site,” he said. “We want to be able to work on that plan as well, and contemplate on how they interact — what’s best for the pedestrian, the person living in the district. It will be an evolution.”
Kforce, which has more than 600 local employees, made headlines last month when it announced it had reached a deal to sell its headquarters, then downsize its footprint and shift its employees to a hybrid work model, with some in the office and some working remotely. Kforce plans to rent the building for up to 18 months while it searches for a new home in Tampa Bay. Executives said the move could save the company up to $2 million per year.
Shaw, the co-founder and CEO of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, has steadily increased his Ybor City land holdings in recent years. In addition to the Tampa Park Apartments, his Ybor acquisitions include the La Tropicana building off Seventh Avenue and the 7.6 acre Gas Worx site near Channelside Drive.
Shaw owns much of the Ybor City land once envisioned as a possible site of a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium, a proposal that fell apart in 2018. While his properties are not contiguous, Shaw envisions developing them all as part of a mixed-use district with homes, offices and commercial space.
Shaw is among a group of local investors that has loaned $15 million to the Times Publishing Company, owner of the Tampa Bay Times.
Alliant Partners previously teamed with Shaw to build the Ybor City headquarters of door manufacturer Masonite. The company is also developing a hotel and leisure campus for Yuengling brewery near the University of South Florida.