A transformation is underway in the Channel District just south of Ybor City and east of Tampa’s downtown. Dominating the landscape is the 23-story Channel Club, a $90 million mixed-use project easily visible from the Selmon Expressway.
The roof went on this month, and construction at the 37,000 square feet complex is on track for leasing, beginning in June.
“We hope to have the first folks moving in in late September of this year and open up the Publix at the same time,” says Ken Stoltenberg, co-director of Mercury Advisors, developer of the project.
“It’s an exciting time to be there,” says Stoltenberg, whose firm is also developing the neighboring Grand Central at Kennedy condominiums, which rises some 15 stories high.
The Tampa Bay Rays on Feb. 9 announced plans to move from Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg to Ybor City, a move expected to draw more traffic to the nearby Channel District. A 14-acre site bounded by 4th Avenue on the north, Adamo Drive on the south, Channelside Drive on the west and 15th Street on the east had been identified by Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan in October.
Just a few blocks away, construction also is underway at the $152.6 million Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, an anchor at the $3 billion Strategic Property Partners’ development at Water Street downtown. The 11-story building across from the Amalie Arena is expected to attract at least 2,200 students, faculty and staff to the 53-acre project.
Construction began last September at Channel Club at 1105 E. Twiggs St. in this former warehouse district near Port Tampa Bay, which is transitioning into one of the Tampa Bay Area's hottest urban scenes led by a residential neighborhood that is increasingly home to start-up companies, art venues and locally-owned restaurants, pubs and shops. The complex features 324 apartment units, a restaurant, fitness center, and hair salon, making it a “truly walkable community,” Stoltenberg says.
“You have everything,” he says. “Anything you normally would run around and do for errands on a Saturday morning, you can walk,” he says.
Half of the first floor will be occupied by Publix.
At the mixed-use Grand Central at Kennedy, located at 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Crunch Fitness recently opened its 22,000 square foot center. With Quality Distribution Inc. and Saint Leo University, Tampa Campus, the facility is 90 percent occupied, he says.
The $145 million development includes 392 condominiums, around 80,000 square feet of office space, and 108 square feet of retail.
Grand Central’s East and West buildings were built in 2007, but the 2008 recession interrupted sales. In 2016, the property was approved for 3- to 5-percent financing rates through the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae. The rates were applied when buyers made the units their primary residence.
Also coming to the neighborhood are Hampton Inn and Home2Suites, a dual-brand Liberty Group project under construction at the southeast corner of Kennedy and Meridian Avenue. It is expected to attract cruise ship passengers embarking from Port Tampa Bay and guests at the new USF College of Medicine.