Signs abounded Monday that New York's best-known real estate mogul is serious about building a $220-million luxury condominium complex in downtown Tampa that, at 52 stories, would be the tallest condo project on Florida's West Coast.Now:
Jeff Vinik isn’t just developing some new buildings in the Channel District. He’s remaking an entire area of downtown into a new neighborhood, and nearly building a second skyline for Tampa’s urban identity.Then:
"There was and is now an immediate buzz and level of activity (for pre-sales) that we've never seen in any of our previous projects," said Simon, who along with his four partners has completed more than 1,000 luxury condominiums and townhouses in the bay area.Now:
Largely funded privately, the project includes nearly a dozen new buildings, including hotels, office buildings, apartment towers, restaurants, medical school facilities, retail promenades, parks and entertainment venues, with a budget topping $1 billion. In all, the project could remake 40 contiguous acres along the waterfront and rank as one of the largest downtown development projects underway in the Southeast, letting Tampa join ranks of other U.S. cities seeing a resurgence of urban spaces.Then:
"We are developing a signature landmark property so spectacular that it will redefine both Tampa's skyline and the market's expectations of luxurious condominium living,"
“We have a blank canvas to develop an entire district to help revitalize downtown and change this area for generations to come,” Vinik told several hundred people gathered at the Marriott Waterside hotel for the revealing ceremony. “It’s critical we create a unified district, and it’s critical that this district have a soul and a brand.”Then:
Located on a 1.5-acre site at 111 South Ashley Dr., adjacent to the Hillsborough River, the building will include 190 condominium and penthouse units ranging from 1,991 square feet to 6,150 square feet. Prices range from $700,000 to more than $6-million for the penthouse and other top units.
It would be the tallest building on the west coast of Florida, exceeding the 100 N. Ashley Building across the street by 17 feet, said Tampa attorney Ron Weaver, who shepherded the rezoning of the parcel.Now:
In all, the plan calls for 575,000 square feet of new hotel/meeting space, 250,000 square feet of retail, 1.1 million square feet of office, 660,000 square feet of residential, 330,000 square feet for USF colleges and more space for utilities and parking, totalling 2.9 million square feet of development, with a budget topping $1.07 billion.
The builders hope to fetch record prices in downtown Tampa -- and among the highest in the region -- based on the Trump name, the views of where the river meets the bay, the proximity to cultural and nightspots and a host of amenities. The complex will feature concierge and valet services, a business center, fitness center and spa, a restaurant, retail shops, billiards and game rooms. Marketing materials describe the use of "exotic wood finishes, imported marble floors with inlaid onyx highlights and a fine art collection."Now:
The hot phrases now in development are “mixed use” and “live/work/play” and “24-hour neighborhood.” Apartments over restaurants, offices over shops, hotels over nightclubs and everything mixed together. Your living room may be mere yards away from Starbucks. And where the customers want to live, the developers are right there to build. The amazing thing is the vast, vast expanse of Jeff Vinik’s 2.9 million- square-foot Tampa project is just one of several that scale underway.Then:
Ever wonder what happened to the site of the failed 52-story Trump Tower Tampa?Now:
The bank took it back in foreclosure Wednesday.
Colonial Bank attempted to sell the waterfront downtown Tampa site at a foreclosure auction at the courthouse but ended up buying the land back.
The foreclosure marked the end of dreams for many who expected the building to become Tampa's tallest. It also brought to a close another chapter for investors and buyers who sank money in a project that fell apart.
Perhaps the most visible challenge in the area has been remaking Channelside Bay Plaza, which now stands largely empty.We wish Jeff Vinik the best in his vision. But remember the Trump Tower before we get too excited about it. Or Channelside, for that matter.