Darryl Shaw retiring as BluePearl CEO to focus on Ybor City developments

The real estate investor will turn his attention to tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Ybor projects.
Darryl Shaw, shown in an old BluePearl Veterinary Services photo, will retire as the company's CEO in April.
Darryl Shaw, shown in an old BluePearl Veterinary Services photo, will retire as the company's CEO in April. [ BluePearl ]
Published March 1, 2022|Updated March 1, 2022

Darryl Shaw is retiring as CEO of the Tampa veterinary company he co-founded in order to focus on his extensive Ybor City real estate development portfolio.

In a statement, Shaw said that after more than 25 years in the veterinary business, he’ll retire in April to focus on building out a key piece of Tampa life and history.

“I have always had a love for animals and building a world-class veterinary specialty clinic and emergency hospital with my brother has always been a dream of mine,” Shaw said. “We have now achieved that dream and assembled a tremendous team of dedicated professionals who share my passion for animal care, and seeing Blue Pearl grow to where it is today has been extremely rewarding.

“But now I am ready to devote my time and energy on another passion, the careful and thoughtful development of a neighborhood that honors and protects the character of Ybor while connecting with the surrounding area.”

Shaw and his brother Neil started BluePearl Veterinary Partners under the name Florida Veterinary Specialists in 1996, changing the name in 2008. Their father had been a vet, and so was Neil.

“I answered the phones at the front desk and walked the dogs in the back, and they did everything in between,” Shaw told the Tampa Tribune in 2012.

BluePearl operated the nation’s largest network of specialty animal care hospitals when it was acquired in 2015 by Mars Veterinary Health, which operates 2,500 clinics in more than 20 countries.

Over the past decade-plus, Shaw has put his Ivy League business education and Northwestern MBA to use investing in Ybor City real estate through a series of limited liability corporations.

Shaw and various partners have spent well over $110 million on properties in and around Ybor City. Among them: A 50-acre tract under development for a multiuse project dubbed Gas Worx; and the former home of one of Tampa Bay’s largest public companies, Kforce, which Shaw purchased last year for $24 million and has been considered a potential site for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium.

Related: How would a Rays stadium in work in the Ybor City 'Gas Worx' plan?

Tampa City Council in January approved a handful of rezoning requests tied to the Gas Worx development, which would stretch from Fifth Avenue S to Adamo Drive, and east-west from the former Tampa Park Apartments to 15th Street S — land on which Shaw and his partners have spent $70 million since 2014. The project would include as many as 5,000 residences, 150,000 square feet of retail space and 500,000 square feet of office space.

Shaw could not be reached for comment through BluePearl or a personal spokesperson.