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Miami apartment developer working on plans for Tampa Tribune site

TAMPA — A Miami luxury apartment developer has taken a step toward trying to build what city officials believe will be a riverfront residential complex on what is now the headquarters of the Tampa Tribune.

The Related Group filed a request with the city of Tampa on Wednesday asking whether removing the Tribune building site from a larger rezoning from 1999 would be a substantial change to the property's approved development plan.

Related's request does not indicate what it would seek to build on the 200 block of S Parker Street, south of W Kennedy Boulevard, along the western bank of the Hillsborough River. Related vice president and development manager Arturo Peña said an agreement in place includes confidentiality provisions, so "we cannot speak on it at this time."

Mayor Bob Buckhorn said he understands the Related Group is looking to build eight stories of residential development on the site. "I'm excited," he said. "That's the first major project on the west side of the Hillsborough River, which I hope will stimulate others.

Buckhorn expects that if a sale and redevelopment went forward, Related would have to work out a lease arrangement so the Tribune could leave the property, but he said he doesn't know any details. Tribune publisher Brian Burns could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Founded in 1979, the Related Group has built more than 80,000 condominiums and apartments. Most of its projects have been in Florida, but it also has built several in Mexico and Brazil.

In Tampa, Related built the Pierhouse at Channelside, a four-story, four-building complex with 356 apartments on 6 acres at 120 S Meridian Ave. It sold the project to Florida's pension fund for $76.5 million in 2014.

Related also filed plans to build a 21-story tower with 340 apartments on Harbour Island. The project, however, has been slowed by legal challenges from neighbors who worry about traffic and object to its plan to build a skywalk so its tenants could park in the neighboring Two Harbour Place building.

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

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