Encore Planned Community Breaks Ground Near Downtown Tampa

The Encore Project is set to break ground on May 11, 2010, providing downtown Tampa with an innovative mix of housing, business, retail and public art. And it's putting people throughout the Tampa Bay region to work.

Once completed, the Encore project will become a mixed-use district housing more than 1,700 people across a wide economic spectrum as well as offices, ground-floor retail, a hotel, a grocery store, a middle school, a park and an African-American history museum. The project's green initiative ensures that all buildings are LEED certified, with the added benefits of decreasing storm water runoff and high temperatures associated with dense urban populations during the summer months.

The $425 million project began in earnest in March 2010, with a job fair for construction professionals to work on the project, The entire project is estimated to be completed between 2017 and 2019. The project will create an estimated 4,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.

The 12 blocks between downtown Tampa and Ybor City is rich in cultural history, its Central Avenue once home to clubs where such legends as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway and James Brown played. Ray Charles lived and recorded a hit song there. The city decided in recent years to revitalize the community and bring it back to its original status as a thriving business and cultural district.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Encore! Tampa

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