New commercial and residential development is at the forefront of Hillsborough County’s expansive population growth. Residential developers have acquired large tracts of land around the major population centers, and current and planned construction is pushing out to the boundaries of the county.
Flourishing residential communities such as FishHawk Ranch, Magnolia Park and Waterset are providing an amenity-rich suburban lifestyle and driving the development of retail centers and service establishments. In Tampa’s downtown district, new residential projects are flourishing in response to the exponential population growth that is occurring in the urban center. The surrounding districts including Channelside, Harbour Island, Hyde Park, Tampa Heights and historic Ybor City are all benefiting from this urban movement and contributing to the growing downtown workforce.
A steady resurgence in the metro job growth has created new momentum for commercial development in the Tampa Bay area. The demand for space comes from a wide spectrum of industry sectors and reaches across all property types.
Solid job growth, particularly in finance and professional and business services, is driving demand for Tampa’s office space. Strong market fundamentals are attracting the interest of real estate investment groups that see opportunity In Tampa’s office properties.
At the doorstep of Tampa International Airport, the Westshore business district stands out as the state’s largest suburban office market with over 12 million square feet of office inventory. The Westshore district is also home to a vibrant 24/7 community and boasts some of Tampa’s finest restaurants, world-class shopping, extraordinary hotels and vibrant residential neighborhoods. Westshore’s area wide Development of Regional Impact (DRI) provides significant entitlements for office, retail, hotel and residential development for many years into the future. Also, the Westshore Overlay District Development Standards have been instituted to provide flexibility in the development process and to allow greater density without the need to rezone property. A number of office developers, such as Highwoods Properties, Cousins Properties and MetLife Real Estate Investments, control prime sites and can provide turn-key solutions for build-to-suit requirements in Westshore.
Corporate expansions are driving recent additions to Tampa’s skyline. Financial services giant USAA is doubling the footprint of its corporate campus in east Tampa. The state-of-the-art, 261,000-square-foot office facility opened in 2015, and a new 240,000-square-foot office building will open in early 2019. USAA’s Crosstown Center is the largest built-to-suit office project in Hillsborough County since 2001.
We’re also finding that new office development is a significant component of major mixed-use projects like Water Street and Midtown, which are moving forward near Tampa’s urban core.
Steady job growth, which includes the construction and manufacturing sectors, and a resurgence in the housing market is fueling the demand for industrial space in the Tampa Bay market. The emergence of larger tenants on the hunt for space is driven primarily by two factors – the need for facilities consolidation and the demand by distributors and retailers for expedited delivery.
E-commerce leader Amazon operates a one-million square foot fulfillment center in Ruskin and a similar-sized fulfillment center in Polk County. These massive distribution centers were constructed to fuel the company’s need for efficient service to the major population centers encompassing Tampa and Orlando. This trend will continue to drive future industrial development in Hillsborough County.
Strong growth of existing businesses and improved market conditions have fueled new industrial development. In east Tampa, EastGroup Properties is completing its Madison Distribution Center development, a four-building complex totaling 275,000 square feet. Elsewhere along the I-75 corridor, there is a strong push for new industrial facilities – both speculative and build-to-suit. Among these new developments are Grand Oaks 75 Business Park, 301 Business Center and Crossroads Commerce Center. All of these projects feature Class A amenities that are in demand by today’s logistics and distribution companies looking to establish or upgrade facilities in the Tampa market.
In Plant City, Central Florida Development added its second 100,000-square foot distribution center at County Line Commerce Center and has pads available for smaller build-to-suit office or industrial projects. The Plant City submarket also has a significant inventory of land sites with entitlements in place for future industrial development. Included among these sites are Lakeside Station Logistics Park, County Line Central Park, Central Florida Commerce Center and County Line Logistics Center – combined, these projects offer entitlements to accommodate over 7 million square feet of new industrial development.
Among the major retail brands that have found a home in Hillsborough County are Ikea, Bass Pro and Trader Joe’s. Brand names are attracted to the Tampa Bay area due to its population diversity and a mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods containing a wide range of age and economic demographics. These are among the reasons that the Tampa Bay market has proven to be a successful launch pad to test market new products and services. A prime example is the evolution of the first Outback Steak House in Tampa into one of the world’s largest casual-dining companies, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.
A handful of major new developments proposed and currently under development in and around Tampa’s Central Business District will transform the city over the next few years and create an urban environment unlike any other in the country.
Right outside of Tampa’s downtown urban core, Strategic Property Partners is developing Water Street Tampa, a mixed-use district that will span 50 acres once complete. Water Street will include more than 9 million square feet of residential, office, retail, educational, hospitality and cultural space, including the USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute and a JW Marriott hotel, both currently under construction. The project will also include plazas, public spaces and parks for gathering and wide, shaded sidewalks to provide comfort to pedestrians.
Nestled centrally located between downtown Tampa and the busy Westshore Busines District, will live the proposed Midtown Tampa, a half-billion dollar project that will include 240,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space; 750,000 square feet of Class A office space; 400 residential units and a 225-room boutique hotel. Developer of the project, New York-based Bromley Companies, envisions a transformative, truly walkable district connect downtown Tampa and Westshore.
The Westshore area just south of Tampa International Airport is also booming with warehouse and office space. The Westshore Logistics Center is a four-building, 166,680-square-foot industrial park that was recently remodeled after being vacant for several years. The Center is now available for occupancy and offers the largest block of Class A warehouse/distribution space in the Airport market. MetWest International, a bustling mixed-use development across from International Plaza, is adding a new 267,754-square-foot building fueled by Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ expansion in Tampa. The new MetWest building will be the first major office development within the city limits in more than five years. The new building is slated to open in May 2019.
Here is a summary of the major proposed developments:
Est. Development Value: $3 billion
Developer: Strategic Property Partners LLC
Project Site: 50 acres
Proposed Space: Hotel, retail, office, residential, public spaces
Channel District Vision Plan:
Est. Development Value: $1.5 billion
Developer: Port Tampa Bay & private investors
Project Site: 45 acres
Proposed Space: Residential, office, retail, hotel, central park
Est. Development Value: $820 million
Developer: SoHo Capital
Project Site: 39 acres
Proposed Space: Residential, hotel, office, retail, market hall
Est. Development Value: $500 million
Developer: Bromley Companies
Project Site: 1.8 million square feet
Proposed Space: Mixed-used retail, entertainment, residential, office, hotel
West River Redevelopment Plan:
Est. Development Value: $500 million
Developer: Tampa Housing Authority, Related Group
Project Site: 150 acres
Proposed Space: Mixed-income & market rate residential, retail, office