As Tampa land for sale dwindles for builders, redevelopment is the main solution

The shortage of Tampa land for sale means redevelopment of existing properties. Last month, the city of Tampa unveiled plans for a new 50-acre waterfront complex called Water Street Tampa.

Once completed, the massive Water Street Tampa will include new office space, retail, cultural, educational and entertainment space. It will also have the first new office towers in downtown Tampa in more than two decades. Two new hotels containing more than 650 new rooms, including the city’s first 5-star hotel, are also a part of this deal.

Strategic Property Partners had to redevelop properties on the existing historic street in the heart of Downtown Tampa to complete the project. When it comes to finding vast amounts of vacant land for sale in Tampa to build on, the area is definitely confronting a serious shortage.

The Water Street Tampa project looks like a preview of what may become the future of new development projects, both commercial and residential. Developers will need to build on land now occupied by older, less viable properties.

Because when it comes to finding Tampa land for sale for these projects, the pickings are getting increasingly slim.

In fact, the development community appears well aware of the challenge. Domain Homes takes the approach of procuring older homes that have fallen into disrepair and replacing them with new ones. This process has enabled Domain Homes to provide prospective buyers with new homes in some of the most popular and desirable neighborhoods in Tampa Bay.


Why is there so little Tampa land for sale to pick from?


Tampa Bay has been a fast-growing region for a while. As a result, there’s less and less land available to builders today.

In a recent interview with The Tampa Bay Times, Mark Eilers, managing director of land services for Colliers International in Tampa, noted there’s high demand right now in both Tampa and St. Petersburg for land to build on, but it’s an ongoing struggle to find any.

As a result, Eilers noted that builders have little choice but to go in the opposite direction and redevelop where aging properties already exist.

Eilers helps clients buy and sell land. They specialize in parcels that are vacant or land that has already been developed. When it comes to vacant land, he noted, it’s clear there’s a very finite supply. Both St. Petersburg and South Tampa are running out of developable land.


What options do builders have now?


What can be done? Eilers said builders still have some options, including:

• Finding creative ways to repurpose existing real estate.
• Targeting unused industrial buildings.
• Amending land use rules to allow for residential development in areas now zoned for commercial or industrial use.
• If any vacant lots are available, consider buying houses nearby to create a larger parcel.
• Looking for mobile home or RV parks nearing the end of their economic life and rezoning them for townhomes or apartments.

Eilers predicted the Tampa region would also begin to see big-box retailers close up shop. These buildings are redeveloped for other uses. Depending on the location, he noted, it could become an apartment complex or a mixed-use facility.


How is this impacting Tampa’s economy?


Tampa continues to enjoy a very robust economy, with healthy job growth led by trade and transportation. Health care is also a booming field in the area. Job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are magnets for young professionals.

The demand for housing is up. The total value of taxable property is expected to grow by 8 percent or higher this year around the Tampa Bay area. In St. Petersburg, the taxable value of property is projected to grow by 9.4 percent, and nearly 9.3 percent in Tampa.

That growth will add an estimated $1.2 million to the city’s property tax revenues next year.

A strong economy and healthy job growth brings more people to the region looking for job opportunities. And that means a greater need for housing. Tampa’s housing market has been strong because home prices remain affordable. Great homes well below the sky-high level in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and New York City.

One of the challenges moving forward is the shrinking amount of land available for the construction of new homes. What is available will be quite expensive since land is in such short supply.

Eilers states the more likely strategy will be to redevelop existing properties instead.

A solution to the shortage of Tampa land for sale

For years, Domain Homes has been the Tampa Bay area’s urban renaissance new home builder. Domain Homes builds new homes in Tampa Bay’s most sought-after neighborhoods, including South and West Tampa, North Hyde Park, the Heights, and St. Petersburg.

We procure homes in these established neighborhoods and help families find opportunities to own a new home in these popular markets close to school districts, amenities, shopping, and the downtown area.

Domain Homes will continue to look for opportunities to replace a used home with a new one in neighborhoods that offer great value to prospective buyers.

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