Across the country, there are mayors, city leaders, and top business leaders desperately looking for ways to revitalize the neighborhoods across their city and transform them into “happening” locations that draw in visitors and keep the cash registers in motion.
In Tampa, that entire concept is so old news. The newsflash today: Tampa is booming with new development.
West Tampa, South Tampa, and the downtown are attracting new, exciting projects that are certain to provide a major energy boost across the Tampa Bay area. These days, the bigger challenge for city leaders is keeping up with all the developers and businesses eager to get in the door.
Tampa is a hot commodity right now. The city’s sales sheet to new developers and businesses is likely quite short these days. Tampa’s attributes? They include:
- Tampa’s booming economy;
- Lots of jobs in Tampa Bay;
- Affordable homes less expensive than the national average;
- A downtown that’s already a smokin’ hot cultural scene.
Tampa is doing exceptionally well these days because that welcome mat put out years ago got plenty of takers in the past five years. As a result, the city’s downtown already has a solid reputation as a place that draws in huge numbers of visitors looking for a great nightlife, arts and cultural amenities, and plenty of outdoor activity as well. No wonder so many new developers want in on the action.
And that growth is accelerating, courtesy of a man making lots of news these days.
And that, along with Tampa’s strong job base and an excellent supply of homes on the market, continues to make downtown a magnet for new developers – only now they have to get in line.
Take, for example, what’s happening with the city’s old Channelside.
What’s Happening at Channelside?
Any update on Tampa’s revitalization needs to start with a man named Jeff Vinik, and his love for the city and ambitions for helping this city succeed.
Well known in Tampa Bay as the owner of the popular Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, Vinik is putting a whopping $3 billion into a makeover on the south side of downtown, the old Channelside entertainment complex. The plan is to morph it into an even more exciting place called Sparkman Wharf.
This project is part of the much larger Water Street Tampa development, a highly expansive project that covers everything from retail to residential to new commercial development.
And both Sparkman Wharf and Water Street Tampa are expected to complement downtown’s well-deserved reputation for a thriving nightlife.
Channelside Tampa is an entertainment complex located in one of the fastest growing parts of Tampa, known for its nightclubs, outside patio bars, live music, outdoor dining, and upscale restaurants. It’s the place locals have gone to so they can dine and watch cargo ships and commercial cruises enter and leave Tampa’s Port at the same time.
Located near the Florida Aquarium, Channelside has been entertaining visitors for the past 15 years.
Now, a serious makeover is on the way.
As part of Vinik’s $3 billion vision, Sparkman Wharf will offer residents and visitors alike everything from rooftop bars to craft cocktails and elegant restaurants — a top-to-bottom re-working of Channelside, with an anticipated completion date of 2020.
Sparkman Wharf will also include 180,000 square feet of office lofts, and the Fermented Reality Biergarten, which plans to offer more than 30 Florida craft beers on tap.
Also part of the lineup is The Corners Pizza, a Detroit-style pizza shop; Flock & Stock, a restaurant serving burgers, chicken sandwiches, tenders and fries; BT-in-a-Box, offering French-Vietnamese dishes; and Montados, which will serve Spanish-style tapas and Spanish wines.
The list is expected to get much, much longer. And this is why people are excited about living in Tampa, with all the activities going on there.
What Is the Water Street Tampa project?
Sparkman Wharf will be part of Water Street Tampa, which got its own boost in the spring with the groundbreaking 26-story JW Marriott hotel, marking the official start of this project’s efforts to fully transform the city’s skyline.
Once completed, Water Street Tampa will cover 50 acres from the southern tip of downtown Tampa’s waterfront to the central business district. More than 9 million square feet of commercial, hospitality, entertainment, residential, cultural and retail space will be part of it.
The JW will be the official host hotel when the city hosts the Super Bowl in 2021. By the end of this year, more than a dozen other buildings will be under construction there. Water Street Tampa is being developed by Strategic Property Partners, which is controlled by Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC.
And the vision for Water Street keeps expanding. The JW will include Tampa Bay’s tallest rooftop bar, and the Marriott Waterside and the JW will offer a combined 1,246 rooms and 175,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Are Other Sections of Tampa Booming as Well?
It’s not only the part of Tampa where some exciting projects are going on.
One of Tampa Bay’s biggest developments is being constructed in West Tampa, a 1.8 million-square-foot project called Midtown Tampa, a mixed-use facility that will include 240,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, 750,000 square feet of office space, 400 condos or apartments and a boutique hotel offering 225 rooms. There are also plans for a pedestrian plaza. It would be one of Tampa Bay’s biggest developments.
The concept behind this project has been for a walkable district that makes this section of West Tampa both pedestrian-friendly and a hub for new business and retail.
Also in the works is the $200 million Westshore Marina District, a new master-planned community along 1.5 scenic miles of waterfront and green space in South Tampa.
Planned on 52-acres, the $400 million Westshore Marina District is a waterfront project on industrial land that’s been vacant for a while. Once completed, it will be filled with hundreds of townhouses and condominiums, restaurants and stores, and Marina Pointe, a complex with a 150-slip marina, the largest in Tampa.
The plans also call for three 16-story towers with 110 condominiums each.
What Is Embarc Collective?
There may be even more development in 2019, possibly from Tampa’s own residents. Vinik recently launched Embarc Collective, a $10 million project aimed at attracting even more businesses to Tampa Bay, by providing tech entrepreneurs with resources to help their business succeed.
The collective went live at the start of August in the city’s District 3 building, which last year hosted the Art of the Brick, a traveling collection of more than 100 Lego sculptures that Vinik brought to Tampa through his Vinik Family Foundation.
This project will offer community programming in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, as well as resources for entrepreneurs.
That means Tampa doesn’t have to spend much time reinventing the wheel when it comes to attracting new developers and job creators. Embarc Collective is expected to help attract even savvier business-minded entrepreneurs to the city starting next year.
Talk about an impressive future.
Tampa truly has a lot going for it right now, with a very low unemployment rate, solid job growth, and a healthy supply of affordable homes, including brand new homes being built by developers like Domain Homes.
Different sections of the city are getting downright exciting with the new development going on there. It’s undeniable that the city’s future is looking as bright at it gets. Tampa is a family-friendly city with lots to do and a lot of great projects in the pipeline.
Studies are making it clear that families have good reasons to be moving to Tampa – and a lot of families are doing just that, lured by the strong economy and affordable housing market. Add to the mix great cultural amenities and the appeal is obvious.
They arrive needing someplace to live, which is why builders like Domain Homes are constructing new houses here, anticipating the strong demand.
Domain Homes procures older, dilapidated houses in some of the city’s most appealing neighborhoods, and replaces them with brand new, move-in ready homes.
The neighborhoods that Domain Homes builds in include highly sought-after, established neighborhoods like South Tampa, West Tampa, North Hyde Park, the Heights, and St. Petersburg. These locations are close to the top-rated school districts, the downtown cultural amenities, shopping, and to the job centers.
Contact Domain Homes today at 813-580-8111 to learn more about the homes we have available today to match your dream of homeownership in the Tampa Bay area.