‘Grant’ Block In Downtown Tampa Awaits Major Redevelopment

grant blockDowntown Tampa will soon have another apartment tower in the Grant Block of North Franklin Street. A deal is in the works to sell the entire block to a buyer with a major redevelopment company.

The Atlanta based Carter & Associates has a contract to buy the site, which is bordered by Cass Street, Florida Avenue, Franklin Street, and Tyler Street. Carter has been looking at the Tampa Bay area, as rental demand has skyrocketed since the recession.

Chief development officer Conor Mcnally stated that the Grant block is “a good, stable economic base, and we see the momentum coming back into downtown.” He further added that the tower will be apartments and not condominiums and expects to break ground early in January 2015. No word yet on pricing.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is championing the deal after two decades of failed developments in the Grant block. He said he is also looking for developers to revive the Kress block just to the south. Once both sites have active construction, momentum should start to swing towards further development of the area.

Carter & Associates filed a request with the city to rezone a site at 911 and 915 North Franklin Street. Currently, the site is a large, empty building that takes up the whole block. Carter is looking to adjust the residential to commercial space ratio to build a large apartment complex.

That site was rezoned several years ago for a 44 story apartment tower but was canceled in the early days of the housing crisis. Carter has filed a request for a smaller building with 23 stories comprising 375 units. The L-shaped tower will be 262 feet tall with over 536 parking spaces. The project is expected to be a “podium” setup, with the residential tower sitting atop a large parking garage.

The size of the project is similar to recent projects like the Skyhouse and the proposal for a tower in the empty Amazon Hose & Rubber building.

Carter & Associates is no stranger to large projects in underdeveloped areas. Carter is responsible for the massive “Banks” renovation in Cincinnati that brought over 1800 residential units, 1 large hotel, and over 1 million square feet of office and commercial space; all riverfront properties.

Even though the deal for the Grant block isn’t signed yet, Mayor Buckhorn is confident the developer will follow through with their proposal. He said there is more than enough demand in the city to fulfill several towers in the area, including those already in the works such as the Straz tower on Riverwalk and the two new towers on Harbour Island.

Buckhorn said, “That doesn’t even reflect the retail that will be needed to serve that population. I guarantee they can fill up these projects and then some.”