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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #1
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TAMPA | Encore/Central Park Revitalization | several midrises | retail | office | residential | U/C

Might as well give it its own space:
Plan for Central Park unveiled
Developers want to use 28 acres of government property to create a mixed-income community.
By JANET ZINK, Times Staff Writer
Published July 28, 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


TAMPA - Developers with an interest in land adjacent to a downtown public housing project unveiled a plan Wednesday to combine their holdings with the government's and build a blend of low-income public housing and upscale condominiums.

Known as the Central Park Group, the developers outlined plans for redeveloping Central Park Village, a dilapidated 484-unit public housing complex just north of downtown Tampa.

They would combine the 28 acres of property owned by the Tampa Housing Authority with nearby land under contract for purchase by principals in the Central Park Group. That would let them create a 60-acre mixed-use, mixed-income community.

The development would include about 4,000 homes, with condominiums and townhouses with an average price of $300,000 and costing as much as $1-million. Public housing units would be mixed in with market-rate apartments.

"Nowhere do we plan on putting public housing as a stand-alone land use," said Bill Bishop, president of a Better Place Group. Better Place and Bank of America constitute the Central Park Group.

Current residents of Central Park Village would move into new homes either within the Central Park project or in other nearby locations developed by the Central Park Group as they were built.

"We need not ask any person to relocate from their home until we are in a position to provide them with a superior alternative home," Bishop said.

New homes would be available to everyone now living in Central Park Village who wanted one, Bishop said.

The first new units would be open by 2008, but as early as September of this year senior citizens in Central Park Village could move into new homes in Centro Place. Centro Place is a rehabilitation of the Centro Asturiano, a historic hospital now being redeveloped as seniors housing by Bank of America. Centro Place is about one mile away from Central Park.

The Central Park Group also wants to establish a 2.5 percent transfer fee of the sales price of finished real estate in the community from one homeowner to another. That money would go to charitable foundations that would pay for community programs, and toward the cost of operating and maintaining public and affordable housing in Central Park and other city neighborhoods.

The plan also calls for the Tampa Housing Authority to contribute its 28 acres to the project in exchange for a 33.3 percent interest in the land development effort, which Bishop estimates will be worth $1.6 billion.

The project includes retail space, an African-American history museum and public parks.

The critical piece of the Central Park Group's proposal is the assembly of land beyond the borders of the existing development. The group already has a contract to purchase the nearby Tampa Park Apartments and a retail complex on Nebraska Avenue, a total of about 22 acres.

To acquire additional properties, Central Park Group wants to establish a community redevelopment area, which provides tax breaks for new investment. It was the Hillsborough County Commission's reluctance to create such a district in 2003 that killed a plan by the for-profit developer Civitas to build a 157-acre master-planned community in place of the Central Park complex.

Bishop and Don Wallace, chairman of the Central Park Group, were key players in Civitas. Now their team is the only one bidding to redevelop the Central Park.

The 28-acre parcel is between Ybor City and the north end of downtown Tampa, which is the midst of residential redevelopment boom.

Michaels Development and Creative Choice Homes, the other two companies chosen by a selection committee to submit a proposal, withdrew from the competition last week after learning from Housing Authority attorneys that they couldn't join in a partnership on a proposal. John Weir, senior vice president at Creative Choice, said the two companies wanted to work together because they were competing with Bishop and Wallace, who had a two-year head start through their work with Civitas.

"The goal of our alliance was to offer a genuine alternative to Civitas," Weir said. "We regret the residents of Central Park, the Housing Authority and the city fo Tampa won't have a chance to evaluate that alternative."

Tampa Housing Authority spokeswoman Beth Leytham said the agency had no comment on the Central Park Group's plan.

"We're honoring the process that's been put in place and relying on the selection committee to go through it and make its recommendation," she said. In August a committee made up of county, city and Housing Authority officials will recommend to the Tampa Housing Authority whether to accept the Central Park Group proposal.

Janet Zink can be reached at 226-3401 or jzink@sptimes.com

[Last modified July 28, 2005, 01:18:21]
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/28/Hi...ral_Park.shtml
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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #2
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Jasonhouse, they have the pdf's at this site - pelase cut and paste, my good man.
http://www.centralparktampa.com/

Developing A Vision

By SEAN LENGELL slengell@tampatrib.com
Published: Jul 28, 2005






TAMPA - Sprawling plazas flanked by quaint shops, sidewalk cafes and parks. Shiny corporate office centers. Tony, low-rise town houses typical of Manhattan and Paris.
These, mixed with hundreds of new, rent-subsidized apartments, could replace one of Tampa's most blighted areas - if one group's vision becomes reality.

Backed by members of the former Civitas project, a partnership called the Central Park Group has unveiled plans to redevelop the aging Central Park Village complex along Nebraska Avenue between downtown and Ybor City.

The group, responding to a Tampa Housing Authority request for proposals to raze and rebuild the complex's rows of obsolete barracks-style buildings, is the only developer to respond by the agency's deadline Wednesday.

The proposal is more ambitious than the housing authority's request to replace the 28- acre, 484-unit site with subsidized and market-rate housing. The group proposes to transform more than 60 acres, including Central Park Village and the nearby Tampa Park Apartments, into a community featuring more than 4,000 homes - all designed in a pedestrian-friendly manner.

Bill Bishop, a principal partner, said the group has a signed contract to purchase Tampa Park Apartments, which is about 20 acres.

``We want to be a part of rebuilding a vibrant section of town,'' Bishop said. ``We need to build more great, interesting urban housing.''

About three-quarters of the proposed units would be market-rate condominiums, with most of the rest reserved as subsidized units.

``We will be building more affordable housing than we will be destroying,'' Bishop said.

Unlike recent high-rise condominium projects downtown, in the Channel District and on Bayshore Boulevard, Central Park Group would limit buildings to about eight stories.

Bishop said the development would feature architectural styles designed to blend with the community.

``It would be damaging to have any monolithic, uniform architectural theme,'' he said. ``It should be seamless. Fifteen minutes after it's built out, it should look like it has been there for years.''

New housing would be built before any old buildings are destroyed, allowing Central Park Village residents to move directly into the new housing, if they qualify.

Central Park Group includes such high-profile backers as Bank of America; Bishop, a developer involved in planning landmark communities such as Westchase in northwest Hillsborough County and FishHawk Ranch near Lithia; and Don Wallace, founder and chief executive officer of Lazydays RV Center.

Additional partners include Columbia Residential, an Atlanta-based affordable housing company, and Formation Methods, a real estate development company specializing in market-rate housing.


Civitas Experience Not Wasted

Bishop and Wallace are familiar with the Central Park Village site. Both were involved with the former Civitas plan to redevelop a large swath of land between downtown and Ybor City, including Central Park. The proposal died last year after the Hillsborough County Commission balked at the project's details.

That experience, Bishop said, gave his group a jump- start.

The Central Park Group was one of three developers chosen by a selection committee in May as finalists for the project.

Last week, however, the group's two competitors, Creative Choice Homes of Palm Beach Gardens and New Jersey-based Michaels Development Co., withdrew after the housing authority rejected their proposal to submit a joint bid.

Jack Weir, senior vice president of Creative Choice Homes, said Wednesday that the Central Park Group's connection with Civitas was a daunting advantage.

``The goal of our alliance [with Michaels Development] was to provide a genuine alternative to Civitas,'' Weir said.


Lacking Competition A Concern

Even with only one candidate remaining, the selection process will continue, housing authority spokeswoman Beth Leytham said.

Central Park Group will present its proposal to the selection committee Aug. 9. The housing authority's board of directors, which has the final say, will meet and possibly vote on the proposal Aug. 16. See the proposal at www.central parktampa.com. parktampa.com.

Board member Gerald White said he is concerned about the lack of competition.

``I want everything to be right and to fit, and for that to happen, we need true competition,'' he said. ``We've been down this road before with one company with Civitas.''

Bishop said he also was disappointed when his competitors dropped out.

``We wanted somebody to beat,'' he said.


Reporter Sean Lengell can be reached at (813) 259-7145.

http://news.tbo.com/news/MGBOS2CFOBE.html
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Old July 28th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the PDF link. Some of those files were pretty damn big, just a warning for those of you with dial-up.

The renders were better than I remember, but I just wish they would have used more brick. Perhaps they will when and if it's built, I don't want to see all masonry painted funky tropical colors. Looking at the site plan maps puts the whole thing in perspective and it looks like it will help reconnect Downtown and Ybor nicely.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #4
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Dial up... whats that?
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Old July 28th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #5
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smiley, that link didn't work.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #6
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I think it's supposed to be www.centralparktampa.com.

That one worked for me.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 09:55 PM   #7
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This works - the one in the article doesn't (nice webmaster Tribune)

http://www.centralparktampa.com/
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Old July 28th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #8
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ok... I got it. I looked at the one file "in pictures", and will post some stuff late tonight or tomorrow.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #9
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Looking over this plan, it strikes me what an important piece Central Park is in defining Tampa's core urban area. I hope the developer can make good on these plans as it really brings together the increasingly exploding CBD, The rise of the Channel District from nothing and the development of Ybor City from a slum into a hip city. Combine all this with Harbor Island, Davis Island, North Bayshore, The University Area and Hyde Park. I am struck by how well Tampa is coming together as a first rate urban city. I am very pleased.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #10
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frankly, I would rather they build taller on the portion fo the site towards DT core and the interstate, and then leave at least 20 acres along Nuccio for a big park.

The Curtin Hixon park will be nice, but DT is still going to NEED a real, big, usable park somewhere, and this is about as good a location as we will ever have...

Additionally, I see no accounting for mass transit ROW in this plan... Surely they don't propose to erect 4000 housing units between DT and Ybor, without providing some means for the streetcar system to link the nieghborhood to both??? That would be a seriously myopic mistake IMO.


[edit] Oh yeah, and GTE had damn well better do something useful with that huge plot of land, othe than sitting on it for "future use" for the next 25 years.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #11
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What land are you referring too?
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Old July 29th, 2005, 01:25 AM   #12
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^Their site near the interstate... It's like 15+ acres, but presently only has one building (thier new HQ), and then a buch of surface parking on it... it is an extrememly suburban, campus-like layout, and is totally incompatible with the coming nieghborhood redevelopment.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 04:04 PM   #13
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streetcar issue bigger than this

Doesn't the street car have a connection near Nuccio and 7th?

The problem with the streetcar in tampa is that the city believes it must have it's own "system" in place. ie, curbed rail lines that are detached from the roads. This means much larger rights of way and bigger more expansive roads that make it less pedestrian friendly. how many people do you see walking up Channelside? No one. I imagine this will continue to be the case even after more residential is completed.

Wouldn't it be better if the streetcar travelled in traffic, similar to the green line in boston or anywhere in Europe, instead of a seperate right of way? If they did that, it wouldn't necessarily matter if ROW was planned - it would be part of the street system and could grow with the street as needed.

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Old August 10th, 2005, 10:41 PM   #14
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Central Park Village Plans Unveiled
By SEAN LENGELL slengell@tampatrib.com
Published: Aug 10, 2005




TAMPA - A coalition of developers, builders, business leaders and bankers formally presented a $100 million-plus plan to redevelop one of Tampa's most blighted areas, Central Park Village.
A selection committee responsible for finding developers for the 28-acre Tampa Housing Authority property peppered the group with questions, and both sides were encouraged by what they heard.

``Hopefully we've taken another step today,'' said Bill Bishop, a principal partner in the Central Park Group. The meeting ``was very constructive.''

Bishop and his partners are proposing to redevelop 60 acres along Nebraska Avenue, between downtown and Ybor City, including Central Park Village and the adjacent Tampa Park Apartments.

The group proposes to build a mix of public housing, rent- subsidized apartments and market-rate units.

Selection committee member Leroy Moore, director of planning and development for the housing authority, expressed concern that the proposal lacked financial details about support services for families forced to move out of Central Park Village.

``It's a pretty glaring omission,'' he said.

Still, Moore said, the proposal featured commendable aspects, and he said the partners seem committed to improving the area.

``I see a lot of value in their proposal,'' he said.

Housing board member Gerald White called the proposal ``entirely promising.''

He appreciated that the group features Bishop and Don Wallace, the founder and chief executive officer of Lazydays RV Center, who are familiar with the area.

The plan includes plazas and parks flanked by shops and sidewalk cafes that could serve as a gateway to downtown.

``We propose nothing less than the wholesale redevelopment of the whole Central Park neighborhood,'' said Bishop, who has developed communities such as Westchase in northwest Hillsborough County and FishHawk Ranch near Lithia. ``It is a critical keystone element in the future development of Tampa.''

The Central Park Group is offering the housing authority a one-third interest in the project.

The group plans to build 1,000 multifamily apartments, with 60 percent rented at market-rates and the remaining units reserved as rent-subsidized housing.

An additional 160 apartments will be built for seniors.

New housing would be built before the old buildings are destroyed, allowing residents to move directly into the new housing if they qualify.

The site ultimately could feature 4,000 homes, including condos and town houses.

The cost for the multifamily and senior apartments is estimated at $122 million, the group said. Bishop said the property value for the entire project could be as much as $1.5 billion.

Much of the cost would be fronted by Bishop and Wallace, who formed a partnership called A Better Place Group, and Bank of America.

Crucial to the deal is the establishment of a tax increment financing district, which allows a portion of property taxes raised in an area to be spent on infrastructure improvements.

The plan also calls for a 2.5 percent transfer fee when property within the development is sold by the original owners. The money would be available for the maintenance and operation of affordable housing, among other things.

The selection committee will meet at 10 a.m. today to make a recommendation to the housing board. The meeting, at 1803 N. Howard Ave., will be open to the public.

The housing authority will meet Tuesday to discuss and possibly vote on the proposal.


Reporter Sean Lengell can be reached at (813) 259-7145.

http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGBSS4137CE.html
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Old August 11th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #15
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Redeveloping Central Park Gains Committee's Support
By SEAN LENGELL slengell@tampatrib.com
Published: Aug 11, 2005




TAMPA - A $100 million-plus plan to build thousands of homes on 60 blighted acres north of downtown is a step closer to approval.
On Wednesday, a committee charged with helping to find a developer to replace the aging Central Park Village public housing complex unanimously endorsed the proposal by the Central Park Group, a coalition of developers, builders, bankers and business leaders.

The committee's recommendation goes to the Tampa Housing Authority, which must decide whether to enter negotiations with the development group.

``This is potentially a tremendous opportunity for Central Park residents, the city and the housing authority to totally transform downtown,'' committee chairman Fradique Rocha said.

The Central Park Group, which includes local developer Bill Bishop, Lazydays RV SuperCenter founder Don Wallace and the Bank of America, plans to go further than simply replacing the 28-acre Central Park Village complex.

It also proposes redeveloping 60 acres along Nebraska Avenue, between downtown and Ybor City, into a community of 4,000 homes featuring a mix of public housing, market- rate apartments and high-end condominiums. Shops and parks also would be featured.

Bishop and Wallace are familiar with the site. Both were involved with the former Civitas plan to redevelop Central Park Village and the surrounding area. The proposal died last year after the Hillsborough County Commission balked at the project's details.

Overall, the five-member selection committee had praise for the Central Park Group's proposal, but it did have several concerns.

Several members said the plan lacks financial details and worried that it is too reliant on funding sources not guaranteed, such as a tax increment financing district, which needs government approval.

``While I think we all generally have a positive attitude [for the proposal], there are lots of inconsistences,'' Rocha said.

Committee member Fran Davin said the plan lacks details on how senior residents at Central Park Village would be relocated.

``The whole thing didn't come together cohesively in what they're going to do for the seniors,'' she said. ``That bothered me.''

Still, the committee, which includes representatives from the city, Hillsborough County, housing authority and Central Park Village residents, said if the proposal is approved by the housing authority, there would be plenty of time for it to evolve and be refined.

``Is it a reasonable approach at this point? Yes, it is,'' committee member Leroy Moore said. ``You've got to start somewhere.''

The committee will present its recommendation to the housing authority board at 9 a.m. Tuesday.


Reporter Sean Lengell can be reached at (813) 259-7145.

http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGBQ33FI8CE.html
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Old August 17th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #16
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Plan for Central Park okayed
The Tampa Housing Authority accepts a plan to turn Central Park Village into a blend of public housing and upscale condominiums.
By JANET ZINK, Times Staff Writer
Published August 17, 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


TAMPA - With little discussion, the Tampa Housing Authority board on Tuesday voted unanimously to accept a proposal from a developer to rebuild Central Park Village.

Applause, cheers and tears of hope followed the decision.

"We have been waiting for this day," said Ruth Dewberry, vice president of the Central Park Village Residents Council, as she dabbed at her eyes.

This is the fourth plan that has been proposed in the past five years for rehabilitating Central Park, but the only one that has come this close to reality.

"This is a historic day for the city of Tampa," said board member Gerald White.

The vote allows the authority staff to begin negotiating a development agreement with the Central Park Group, which includes developer Bill Bishop, Don Wallace, chairman of the board for Lazydays RV SuperCenter, and Bank of America. The group wants to combine the Housing Authority's 28-acre Central Park land with nearby property to create a 60-acre community that blends public housing and upscale condominiums.

The plan calls for more than 4,000 apartments, condominiums and townhomes.

Jerome Ryans, executive director of the Tampa Housing Authority, said it will probably take a few months to work out details of the agreement.

Replacement housing for the more than 1,300 residents of the 484-unit complex is of particular concern. The Central Park Group's plans call for only 182 new public housing units.

"Hopefully we can have some improvement in that number," White said.

Displaced residents who don't return to Central Park would need to find another type of subsidized housing, possibly using vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Central Park Group says new affordable homes will be available to all Central Park residents either in the old neighborhood or in locations nearby.

Susan Greenbaum, an anthropology professor at the University of South Florida who has a $15,000 grant to study the relocation of Central Park Village residents, said she's skeptical that affordable housing will be easy to build in Tampa's "overheated" housing market.

"I don't know how any developer can do affordable housing on ground that's so expensive," she said.

Still, she said, she likes the Central Park Group's vision.

"I'm really hopeful this can be what it promises to be," she said.

Moving forward also requires creation of a special taxing district to help pay for new infrastructure. Haggling between the city and county over the details of such a district killed a similar plan to redevelop Central Park in 2003.

Mayor Pam Iorio told the Housing Authority board Tuesday that she remains committed to establishing the taxing district.

"We have the city," said Housing Authority board member Manny Alvarez. "But we need the county. And we don't know where we stand with the county."

Ryans said he hopes residents will be relocated in the next year so that demolition of Central Park Village might begin by fall 2006.

The first new units could be open by 2008, the developers say.

But senior citizens in Central Park Village could move by the end of this year to new quarters in the old Centro Asturiano Hospital building on 21st Avenue and 14th Street, now being redeveloped as senior housing by Bank of America.

Janet Zink can be reached at 813 226-3401 or jzink@sptimes.com

[Last modified August 17, 2005, 01:08:12]
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/08/17/Hi...ral_Park.shtml
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Old August 17th, 2005, 11:14 PM   #17
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YES, its about time. Downtown is beginning to go in a syncronized plan with these projects. No more random stuff. Lets make Tampa into a neighborhood.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 03:06 AM   #18
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Yep, when all this falls into place DT Tampa will be ringed by dense urban neighborhoods, mostly upscale -- Hyde Park/SoHo/Bayside and Davis Islands are already in place, a 20-story condo tower is building in the last large open area on Harbour Island, Channel District is under construction, Ybor is filling up with lofts and townhouses. The Heights project will transform Tampa Heights. The Central Park development as proposed will fill in the ring to the north. The only weak sector will be to the west, but development from Hyde Park is beginning to move north of Kennedy. Adding together the new condos in Channel District, downtown, and the units proposed for the Heights and Central Park, means 11,000 new housing units in and adjacent to the downtown core. Next step will be filling in the acres of surface parking, demolishing the barn-like low-rise parking structures and making some real progress on a mass transit system for Tampa.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #19
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I just hope Tampa can handle all this development. I think we need to see some real job growth in the area to support all of this development. Jobs bring in people, but retirement does too. I think the plans are coming together nicely...now, it just needs to happen.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 06:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazzer
Yep, when all this falls into place DT Tampa will be ringed by dense urban neighborhoods, mostly upscale -- Hyde Park/SoHo/Bayside and Davis Islands are already in place, a 20-story condo tower is building in the last large open area on Harbour Island, Channel District is under construction, Ybor is filling up with lofts and townhouses. The Heights project will transform Tampa Heights. The Central Park development as proposed will fill in the ring to the north. The only weak sector will be to the west, but development from Hyde Park is beginning to move north of Kennedy. Adding together the new condos in Channel District, downtown, and the units proposed for the Heights and Central Park, means 11,000 new housing units in and adjacent to the downtown core. Next step will be filling in the acres of surface parking, demolishing the barn-like low-rise parking structures and making some real progress on a mass transit system for Tampa.
HEAR, HEAR!!!!!!!

I hope you urban soldiers work hard to make this a reality while I graduate and live in Seattle, Philly, or SF but will still come back to visit my parents, and partake in the progress Tampa has made.
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