Fifteen years ago it was only a vision. Today, there is a truly walkable retail neighborhood in Tampa’s Channel District, with restaurants, a hair salon, dry cleaners, pub and Grand Central at Kennedy condominiums.
Now Quality Distribution Inc. has signed a new 10-year lease at the $145 million mixed used development at Kennedy Boulevard and Meridian Avenue. It is expected to move in Sept. 1 and relocate about 250 employees to the location.
“It’s certainly the largest office deal in the market this year,” says Ken Stoltenberg, co-director of Mercury Advisors, developer of the project.
QDI, a global supplier of liquid bulk transportation, logistics and depot services, signed a lease for 45,000 square foot on the ground floor of the development that includes condominiums and retail. A 38,000-square-foot Publix Super Market, now under construction adjacent to Grand Central, is slated to open in the last quarter of 2018.
“Our hope is to be a catalyst for other companies to consider relocating here,” Stoltenberg says.
He called the new lease for 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd. a “stamp of validation” for the area. “We only have 11 condos units left to sell,” he adds.
QDI, which will relocate from 4041 Park Oaks Blvd. near Brandon, provides services to many Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemical Company and PPG Industries.
The buildout for its new headquarters is being financed by Bank of the Ozarks.
There remains just under 40,000 square feet to lease at Grand Central and “several tenants interested,” says Stoltenberg, who is partnering with Frank Bombeeck.
Grand Central’s East and West buildings were constructed in 2007, but the west unit didn’t sell out before the 2008 recession. The property received approval last year for 3- to 5-percent financing rates through the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, as long as buyers would make units their primary residence.
Mercury Advisors is developing Channel Club with a 22-story residential highrise at 1105 E. Twiggs St.