Rome Yard construction starts next year in West Tampa

The transformation of West Tampa stretches to a former city storage yard in 2024.

Related Urban, the affordable housing wing of South Florida development giant the Related Group, expects to start construction on the mixed-use Rome Yard project in approximately a year. 

Related provided a project update during a March 14 community outreach event at the Rome Yard property overlooking the Hillsborough River. Peter Van Warner, senior development manager for Related, describes a mixed-use, mixed-income community that will include affordable, workforce housing and market-rate housing. 

“We found that by truly developing mixed-income developments, it really helps lift up the community,” says Van Warner, who oversees the West River project Related is developing in partnership with the Tampa Housing Authority on the former North Boulevard Homes site. 

Van Warner describes a community that will give a nod to the “rich history” of West Tampa, including its former cigar factories, with touches like a brick observation “cigar tower.” With input from the community, the Tampa Housing Authority and city officials, the plan is a project that provides a community benefit with a workforce training center and a cultural and arts center. Forty percent of the development budget, an estimated $75 million, will go to minority and women-owned businesses. There will be retail space for local small businesses and space for local startups.

The mix of transportation options will include sidewalks, trails, bicycle and scooter lanes, HART bus stops and electric vehicle charging stations. The future expansion of the Tampa Riverwalk along the west side of the Hillsborough River will also connect the development to the downtown core.

“That’s going to be incredible,” Van Warner says of the future Riverwalk expansion during the March 14th event.

At build-out, Rome Yard is planned to have 954 residential units, 17,000 square feet of retail space and 30,000 square feet of amenities, including a park and an area for food truck rallies.

Related entered the Tampa market about a decade ago with the Pierhouse at Channelside apartments. It is now the company’s second-largest market behind South Florida. Related’s growth in the market has included Icon Harbour Island and Town Westshore, along with Manor Riverwalk, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Tampa and West River. The company has also purchased a prime waterfront property on the west side of the Hillsborough River near Kennedy Boulevard for $55.5 million, with plans to develop a mixed-use project overlooking the Tampa Riverwalk. 

For more information, go to Rome Yard
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.