Proposed development would reshape Tampa's skyline

A new initiative would change the face of the heart of the city.

TAMPA – It will change the skyline of downtown Tampa and where you live, eat and work. Mayor Bob Buckhorn says you won’t even recognize the skyline.

The Hillsborough River Realty Company (HRRC) has applied for a mixed-use development rezoning of six acres near the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge across from the University of Tampa.

The proposed development would be known as “Lafayette Place,” compromised of three towers for office, hotel, retail and residential use as well as parking.

Lafayette Tower would face the Hillsborough River and include office, hotel and retail space. Connected to it by a skywalk bridge would be Lafayette Parkview. Lafayette Parkview will offer high-end residential condos, plus retail stores and parking. 

The third building for high-end residential, retail and parking will go behind The Christian Science – First Church and be called Lafayette Central.

Those who live and work in downtown Tampa say this is what the area needs.

“It’s beautiful!” said Pattie Endsley.

Endsley’s lived in the South Tampa area for 30 years and has hoped to see this type of change.

“I always think there's so much more to be built up here. Anything like that, I think growth is great,” she said.

Jorge Hernandez works at Punch Gym. The personal trainer says new development would mean more business for him and he could see himself living in one of the towers.

“If I could live right down the street and walk to work, that'd be great with personal training," he said.

HRRC says their studies show the west bank of the river can handle any increase in traffic. They say part of the goal, however, is to create a community environment that encourages walking. 

“If it helps drive the cost down in rent I think it would be good. I think it would be good for jobs, creating jobs and bringing more people to Tampa,” said Christian Berger.

As for estimated costs of the ambitious development, company representatives say that will depend on approval from the zoning board.

They believe the board will approve the mixed-use development, but don’t expect to know anything definitive until at least March.

Construction could begin in 2018. 

(© 2016 WTSP)


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