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Stevens Construction continues quest to gain Tampa Bay foothold

TAMPA — Just months after opening its doors, the new Walgreens Pharmacy inside Florida Hospital Tampa is busier than ever.

The pharmacy, a redesigned gift shop, is located on the main first floor of the 3100 East Fletcher Avenue location and features a reception area, pharmacy, offices, and a consultation room.

The collaboration between Florida Hospital and Walgreens aims to provide patients in the North Tampa area with coordinated care and greater access.

And the new pharmacy also reflects the ongoing effort of Stevens Construction to gain a foothold in the Tampa Bay market.

Based in Fort Myers, the company has found success with an expansion to this area, but it hasn't been easy.

"While we have been very fortunate to have a long-standing relationship with Florida Hospital here in Tampa, it has been more challenging to obtain projects outside of the hospital due to the community being so much larger than where we come from, and there is so much more competition," said Troy Hernly, vice president Central Florida, principal of Stevens Construction.

Its work with the hospital, however, speaks for itself. While the construction of the Walgreens pharmacy was first a point of discussion nearly two years ago, it wasn't until Stevens came aboard that the idea gained new life. Walgreens eventually hired it for the project.

Working with Stantec Architecture, Stevens redesigned the space to meet the needs of the hospital and the pharmacy with added amenities.

The company has worked on a wide range of projects with Florida Hospital including operating room expansions, equipment upgrades, CT renovations, patient room improvements and a complete exterior façade renovation in 2014.

One of the newer efforts was Inspiration Place, an 11,000 square-foot tenant improvement for Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.

Its expansion into this competitive market has kept the company on its toes.

"One of the biggest challenges in the Tampa market for us is a greater aggregate number of competitors," Hernly said.

"With increased opportunity comes increased competition. The sheer number of out-of-state general contractors opening offices in Tampa to try to cash in on the Tampa Bay growth is phenomenal."

The firm's work with Florida Hospital began five years ago and it's that partnership, combined with the city's economic growth, that led Stevens Construction to take a deeper interest in the Tampa Bay market.

"We've got the experience to do any healthcare, commercial or hospitality project — it's just that the community here in Tampa doesn't know it."

To increase awareness, the Stevens team has attended more networking opportunities and sponsored industry specific events.

Most recently, it sponsored an awards reception with the Hillsborough Medical Society.

It also will participate in three niche trade shows this summer and fall specific to the senior care, healthcare and hospitality markets—all of the company's specialties.

Contact Jennifer Lima at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

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