TAMPA — A South Florida company that specializes in luxury high-rises has joined developer Larry Feldman's Riverwalk Place project in Tampa.
Two Roads Development, which has been quietly working with Feldman for six months, will be a partner and co-owner of the 50-plus story tower in downtown Tampa that Feldman proposed nearly three years ago.
Today's announcement came even as Feldman remains embroiled in a lawsuit brought by a company that says it was supposed to handle the residential part of the project at 103 S. Ashley Drive.
Both Feldman and Reid Boren, Two Roads' managing partner, said the suit would not affect their ability to move ahead with what Boren called "something very special for Tampa and the Tampa skyline."
"We think Feldman is just a terrific operator with a great reputation in Tampa and we think Tampa is the next great Florida market," Boren said in a phone interview. "And if you look at Tampa and put a pin down in the center of it all, it's just a spectacular site."
Feldman said the noted architectural firm Gensler is about 80 percent finished with design drawings of the tower, which will have several restaurants, about 10 floors of office space and more than 200 residential units over 35 floors. The tower will be "two to three grades" architecturally above any other high-rise in Tampa and will rival those in New York, London and other major cities, he said.
"Two Roads is the perfect partner to bring that to life because they are in a market that depends on that type of quality," Feldman said.
Plans are to release renderings within the next 90 days and open a sales center in the nearby Wells Fargo tower, one of several office buildings Feldman owns in the Tampa Bay area.
The construction schedule for the tower, on the same site as the doomed Trump Tower Tampa project of the mid 2000s, will depend on the dollar volume of pre-sales.
"There are quite a few construction lenders in the market anxious to participate in Tampa so we'll start when we achieve sales," Boren said. "But I'm very confident in this project and more than anything I think Tampa is a beautiful city with nothing but potential."
Based in West Palm Beach, Two Roads has built and financed several major projects including the 52-story Biscayne Beach tower in downtown Miami and the 57-story Elysee Miami tower currently under construction.
According to a lawsuit filed last year, Riverwalk Tower Investment--Intown LLC was to handle the residential portion of the Tampa tower while Feldman was in charge of the office component. Intown said Feldman tried to push it out of the project after becoming displeased with a consultant's recommendation that the tower needed more residential units and less office space than Feldman wanted.
Feldman has previously said Intown did not have any ownership or equity stake in the project.
"I can't emphasize enough that this (suit) is a minor issue, it really does not have any effect ton the project," he said today.
Boren said his company is injecting a "significant" amount of capital in Riverwalk Place — he wouldn't say how much — something it would not do if Two Roads was worried about the lawsuit.
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate