TAMPA -- You can feel the buzz in Tampa. Downtown on the verge of a massive building boom.
You can already count the cranes dotting the skyline as new businesses, housing and hotel rooms are going up. Tampa is flexing its economic muscles, and driving the development is Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
"Tampa, particularly downtown Tampa, doesn't ask permission anymore. We are at full throttle. There are more things going on right now than in probably a decade," said Mayor Buckhorn.
The mayor has been a busy man cutting ribbons and bringing new business into the city, and the list of residential development is impressive.
Febuary 4th, developers will break ground on the 23-story Skyhouse; in March, the 24-story Martin on Meridian; later this year the 36-story Residences at Riverwalk; on Bayshore, a five-tower residential complex called Crescent is almost complete, and just off Cass, the master-planned community called Encore is underway, with several buildings already finished.
"There is a shortage of residential housing downtown, and the demand is huge. That's why they're building, and to say it's going to drive prices down is crazy," said realtor Bill Knecht.
Add to that three new high-end boutique hotels, Aloft and Le Meridian downtown, and the Epicurean across from Bern's Steak House.
Mayor Buckhorn says it's all about momentum, and Tampa's got it.
"This is an exciting place to be, and this is only just the beginning," said Mayor Buckhorn.
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