TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.
WCI, Lennar Corp.'s high-end subsidiary, paid $2.5 million for the land on which it will build 35 townhomes. They will be adjacent to the 396 rental apartments planned by the Related Group.
The townhome project "will be the first for-sale offering, and with the WCI brand it indicates a level of product that we think is a great benefit to the site," said Beck Daniel, an executive of BTI Partners, master developer of Westshore Marina District. "This is the first thing that the retail buyer can look at and say, 'This is an opportunity for us to buy.'"
WCI, which developed the nearby Westshore Yacht Club, is under contract to buy another 9.5 acres of waterfront land by the end of the year. Tentative plans call for additional townhomes.
In all, BTI has sold or put under contract $40 million of land in marina district, on the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge near the intersection of Gandy and Westshore boulevards.
Miami-based Related has yet to start construction on the 8.5 acre tract it bought for $11.81 million in February. But Daniel said work appears to be "imminent" while his own company proceeds with infrastructure improvements including roads and paving.
Ultimately, the marina district may include up to 1,750 residential units, a 200-room hotel, shops, restaurants, office space, up to 240 boat slips and a 1.5 mile waterfront park.