1. Real Estate

Hotel developer closes on block next to Tampa City Hall for Hyatt project

TAMPA — HRI Properties has closed on its $7.6 million purchase of a city-owned block next to Tampa's City Hall and says it plans to start construction later this month on a dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel project.

In 2016, Tampa put out a request for development proposals for the 1 acre that it owned at the corner of E Kennedy Boulevard and N Florida Avenue, formerly the site of the Cold Storage Cafe.

When the city selected New Orleans-based HRI Properties over two other bidders, the company said it liked Tampa for its strong job creation and its impressive numbers on hotel revenue per available room. Having a whole city block available at the center of downtown also appealed to HRI, which had previously submitted a proposal to redevelop the old federal courthouse on N Florida Avenue.

BACKGROUND: Tampa looks to sell city block to New Orleans developer HRI Properties

Expected to open in late 2020, HRI's project consists of a combined 17-story, 230-room Hyatt Place hotel and a 115-room Hyatt House hotel, with approximately 4,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,200 square feet of ground floor retail space and 220-space public parking garage.

"The project will be a great addition to Tampa's central business district — creating 110 full-time positions and helping attract new business and leisure visitors to the local area," HRI Properties president and CEO A. Thomas Leonhard Jr. said in an announcement of the project.

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Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times