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Midtown project still on schedule, despite pandemic

The development has topped out two buildings since May and its Whole Foods retail box is 'basically complete'
An aerial view of the construction Midtown Tampa July 30. The building on the left is an office space while the building on the right will house a Whole Foods. Both are visible from N Dale Mabry Highway.
An aerial view of the construction Midtown Tampa July 30. The building on the left is an office space while the building on the right will house a Whole Foods. Both are visible from N Dale Mabry Highway. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Aug. 8, 2020

TAMPA — Despite a pandemic, the 22-acre Midtown Tampa development remains on track with its grand opening scheduled around the Super Bowl in February 2021.

“The team has done a terrific job,” said Nick Haines, president and chief executive officer of the Bromley Companies, which is behind the project. “Our schedule continues to remain intact.”

The hotel and residences in Midtown are slated to open slightly before the Super Bowl, at some point in January 2021.

The $550 million project is located slightly south of Interstate 275, on the northeast corner of N Dale Mabry Highway and W Cypress St. It includes a dual-branded hotel, apartments, office space and retailers such as Tampa Bay’s first Shake Shack and True Food Kitchen.

An aerial view of the construction process of the Midtown Tampa project on July 30.
An aerial view of the construction process of the Midtown Tampa project on July 30. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

A parking garage is visible from the highway, with mixed use residential and retail buildings behind it. An office building, called Midtown One, also can be seen from the interstate. It was built to its full height in March and crews continue to work on its exterior. The office space is off N Dale Mabry and sits next to the nearly constructed retail box building Whole Foods.

Since April, the company has signed leases for 25,000 square feet of property. Most of the retailers in the project are small stores, with about 3,000 square feet on average per business.

Whole Foods, one of the anchors of the project, is “basically complete,” Haines said, and will be the first retail space that developers turn over to its tenants. Whole Foods will continue to build out the interior of the building.

Midtown’s REI outdoor gear store, the other retail anchor of the development, is scheduled to be turned over to the company in October. The other retail buildings will be completed in October through December.

The dual-branded Aloft and Element hotels under construction at Midtown Tampa. (The Bromley Companies)
The dual-branded Aloft and Element hotels under construction at Midtown Tampa. (The Bromley Companies) [ The Bromley Companies ]

The development has faced some challenges during the pandemic, such as labor shortages and material delays. However, it’s also looked for ways to adapt and recently announced it would be designing a “post-COVID office building.” The Loft, a 70,000-square-foot office, will have automatic doors, anti-microbial paint and UV light conditioned air.

Operation manager Christina Harden said she’s proud of how the project has adapted to the pandemic.

“It’s very uplifting,” she said.

The Loft is one of two buildings to complete construction to its full height since May. Novel Midtown Tampa, an apartment building by Crescent Communities, also has been built to its full height in that time period. Crews have begun installing windows on the Midtown One office building.

The buildings are in various levels of external completion, and the site still has several months of construction left. In the next two to three weeks, crews plan to replace the fencing around the project and pour concrete, steps which Harden said will be noticeable from Dale Mabry.

The final steps of the development will include interior work on the buildings, landscaping and adding bike lanes, Haines said. Throughout the project’s construction, he said, it’s been rewarding to see everything come together.

“I think it’s shaping up really well,” Haines said.

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