Ybor City, once known for its cigars, clubs and crime has undergone some changes over the years. This now trendy historic district... is made up of an eclectic group of people who live and work there. And it's making a name for itself in an unexpected field.
Over the years, developers started restoring buildings, condos and apartments went up and things really started to change. Restaurants, shops, breweries and art galleries are all part of the patchwork of businesses that make up Ybor City today. But look closer, hidden behind historic facades are businesses on the cutting edge of the future... tech companies. More than 30 of them have set up shop here.
Clearly Agile is one of those companies. Fred Mastropasqua and a partner started this company almost three years ago. They looked downtown, but decided it was too corporate. They looked at Westshore business district, but it wasn't very walkable. Ybor was just right. "Here it's more laid back, it feels more casual, but yet still professional and there's lots of places to walk to and to eat. It's like it's almost happy hour all the time."
He says it's the perfect atmosphere to attract the kind of people they're looking for. It doesn't hurt that there are several schools nearby with classes in technology fields. HCC has a campus right there and the University of Tampa is just minutes away. Mastropasqua says he really likes that Ybor is becoming a hub for tech companies, because they all complement each other.
And there's room to grow. According to the Ybor City Development Corporation, they have more commercial space to rent than any other place in the city.