Advertisement
  1. Real Estate

One of Ybor City's most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

A groundbreaking is scheduled Thursday for a planned 4-story boutique hotel at 1402 E Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Rendering courtesy Aparium Hotel Group
A groundbreaking is scheduled Thursday for a planned 4-story boutique hotel at 1402 E Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Rendering courtesy Aparium Hotel Group
Published May 22, 2018

TAMPA — Developers are poised to launch construction this week on one of Ybor City's biggest new projects in years — a four-story, $50 million boutique hotel being created by a Chicago company that seeks out neighborhoods rich in color and character.

In Ybor City, it found just what it wants.

The 176-room hotel is planned for the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue. It's mostly a parking lot now but is loaded with local history.

A couple of buildings on the block once were home to the Czar nightclub, and before that the Pleasuredome, Tracks and El Goya, a disco and gay bar famous for its huge dance floor and over-the-top drag shows.

Decades before, the block also was home to the El Dorado, the notorious gambling house and bordello run by Tampa crime boss Charlie Wall.

Go even farther back, and history arrives at one of Tampa's oldest restaurants, Las Novedades. In 1898, the restaurant was the scene — or so the legend goes — of "the Charge of the Yellow Rice Brigade," when a detachment of Teddy Roosevelt's 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry rode their horses into the dining room shortly before heading off to fame on San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War.

SIGN OF CHANGE: Boutique hotel proposal latest evidence of Ybor City's evolution

"Ybor City kind of has it all from our perspective," said Mario Tricoci, the CEO and co-founder of the Aparium Hotel Group, which will manage the hotel. "It's close to the urban core. Lots to celebrate. Tons of soul."

Plus, he said, there's the chance to work with a strong local team that includes Ybor City investor Darryl Shaw, the CEO of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, the CEO of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, as well as the Capitano, Garcia and Ellison families, investor Alex Walter, Alfonso Architects, Batson-Cook Construction and EWI Construction.

Tricoci and luxury hotel veteran Kevin Robinson, who had already worked together on the Elysian Hotel in Chicago, founded Aparium in 2011. It has since opened 11 hotels, with several more in the pipeline in cities like New Orleans, Minneapolis, Detroit, Memphis and Denver.

"We look at important markets across the United States that are under-served, at least from our perspective, by any real authentic or true hospitality experiences," Tricoci. Tampa, like many cities, is chock-full of hotels at various levels of service, but, generally, he said, they're places where "you don't know if you're in Tampa or Cincinnati or Detroit or L.A. They just all sort of look the same because they're branded. They don't have soul."

The Ybor City hotel will include an interior courtyard with a pool, a full service restaurant and balconies that overlook both the street and the courtyard, echoing Ybor City's Cuban architectural influences. Tricoci could not predict what the room rates would be, but, given the current hotel supply, he would expect it to enter the market as the rate leader — that is, the hotel with the highest average daily rates over the calendar year.

Construction on the Ybor hotel, which does not yet have a name, is scheduled to kick off Thursday with a ground-breaking. If all goes well, the new hotel could open toward the end of 2019.

MORE: Go here for more Business News

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

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Meridian Concourse Center in Clearwater. [Avison Young]
    The Meridian Concourse Center consists of three buildings.
  2. At the request of a state lawmaker, Citizens Property Insurance Co.’s board is again bringing in an outside evaluator to help the insurer decide if and how to cull its policyholder base. Pictured is  Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) (left) and Barry Gilway, CEO of Citizens. [Courtesy of Sen. Jeff Brandes and Citizens Property Insurance Co.]
    At the request of St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes, the insurer will look for ways to shrink.
  3. This house on Schefflera Road in Tampa's Carrollwood area was occupied by squatters who say they are the owners. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN  |  Times]
    "We were constantly asked, ‘What’s going on with that house?' "
  4. Only three out of 100 U.S. homeowners is in some stage of mortgage deliquency today compared to one in 10 after the 2008 housing crash. [DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP]
    Nationwide, the mortgage delinquency rate is at the lowest level in 20 years.
  5. A line leads to the Flock and Stock at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa. Soon, local coffee vendor Blind Tiger will take over one of the shipping container booths to serve its local roasts. ["TAILYR IRVINE  | TIMES"  |  Times (2018)]
    This will be Blind Tiger’s sixth Tampa Bay location.
  6. A huge number of homes owned by Baby Boomers will sell in the next 20 years. How will the trend affect the Florida housing market? [CAMERON GILLIE  |  NAPLES DAILY NEWS]
    The enormous generation born between 1946 and 1964 owns about 40 percent of the homes across the country.
  7. Four board members at Horizon House co-op had their locks targeted by a vandal Thanksgiving week. Clearwater police are currently investigating the incident. [Edward Schmoll]
    Four members of the Horizon House HOA board had their front-door locks vandalized during the Thanksgiving holiday.
  8. Developers of a proposed apartment complex near St. Petersburg's Mirror Lake area want to tear down this bungalow and replace it with a ramp to the parking garage. [Susan Taylor Martin]
    The only access would be via a narrow court lined with vintage houses.
  9. Noah Shaffer of Confidant Asset Management says the restaurant sector in the Tampa Bay area has done well in 2019 and to expect more openings in the coming months. Chick-fil-A Brandon South opened earlier this year.
    So far, the economy appears robust enough to support further expansion, says a local industry professional.
  10. A new retail center and health club are proposed for the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon. Preliminary plans show the fitness club near the most eastern edge of the lagoon. [SCOTT KEELER  |   Times]
    Ryan Companies proposes grocery, retail stores and health club at neighborhood’s entrance
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement