With its Midtown West office building filling up fast, Tampa’s new Midtown development is moving on to its next big commercial project: Midtown East.
Developers behind the 23-acre project near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday announced that their next office tower, the 16-story, 400,000-square-foot Midtown East, will break ground by the end of the year and be ready for leasing by the end of 2024.
The tower is significantly larger than the 220,000-square-foot Midtown West, which saw a great deal of leasing success in 2021. Two of Tampa Bay’s largest public corporations, Kforce and Primo Water, moved their global headquarters there. South State Bank, builders Kast Construction and real estate brokers Compass, among others, also moved large regional and local hubs there. Midtown West is 71 percent leased, while a smaller office building, the Loft, is 90 percent filled.
Midtown East also larger than Thousand and One, the new 375,000-square-foot office tower in downtown’s Water Street Tampa development; and SkyCenter One, the new 270,000-square-foot tower at Tampa International Airport. And it’s part of the reason Midtown developers the Bromley Cos. this quarter bumped its long-stated development cost from $500 million for its first phase up to $1 billion in total.
“Nothing of this size has delivered over the last decade that wasn’t a build-to-suit for a single tenant,” said Lisa McNatt, director of market analytics in Tampa for commercial real estate data firm CoStar Group.
Nevertheless, McNatt says there is strong demand in the market right now. SkyCenter One is over 90 percent leased 10 months after completion — “a solid success story,” she said. With nearly two years until it opens, Midtown East has plenty of time to find at least one top-tier tenant, and possibly more, particularly among “any of the tech tenants relocating and expanding to Tampa,” she said.”
“Newer Class A deliveries, particularly in a solid location like Midtown East, are going to attract tenants at a faster pace than buildings that offer fewer amenities for tenants and don’t benefit from locational advantages,” McNatt said. “Since developers have long lead times due to construction time frames, there’s plenty of time to get the building leased up prior to delivery.”
Bromley clearly views Midtown East as a game-changing commercial property. Wednesday’s official announcement bore the subject heading: “The war for talent is over. Talent has won. Right here.”
“The promise of Midtown Tampa has been realized,” Bromley Cos. CEO Nick Haines said in a statement. “It is no longer a vision but a place where Tampa’s best and brightest individuals and organizations have already decided to live, work, play and stay.”
The tower will have covered outdoor terraces and sit near Tampa’s first True Food Kitchen, the recently opened wellness-focused restaurant backed by Oprah Winfrey and Andrew Weil. It will feature adaptable floor plans and energy-efficient design, with select green certifications in the works.
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The building will feature retail and restaurants on the ground level, complementing the 185,000 square feet of retail already announced and opened, including Tampa Bay’s first REI Co-op and a new Whole Foods.
“Midtown Tampa charged us with designing a meaningful addition to Tampa’s skyline that provides a compelling and competitive edge to its occupants to return, retain and recruit the very best and brightest talent,” said Rob Rule, the building’s architect and a principal with the firm Rule, Joy, Trammel and Rubio. “Midtown East is the culmination of our workplace best practices and will serve as a standard-bearer for Tampa’s best address to conduct business.”
It won’t be Midtown’s last office building, either. Future projects include 500,000 square feet of space in two other potential towers, Midtown North and Midtown South.
Haines said Bromley has essentially completed what was planned as its first phase of Midtown’s development.
“This first phase is what’s open for business, and then everything after that — whether a new office building, residential tower, new shops and restaurants — all equate to natural and ongoing evolution of this great place we’re creating,” he said in an email. “People don’t crave to live, work and play in phases, so after delivering on the initial vision, we’re going to let this neighborhood evolve naturally over time.”