ENCORE! Tampa, the city within a city that has risen in a gradual crescendo of activity since 2009 on the northern edge of downtown, is about to get bigger and better.
With residents already living in 662 apartments designed for seniors and multi-sized families in the musically themed buildings named Ella (as in Fitzgerald, who wrote the song “A-Tisket-A-Tasket” while visiting the old neighborhood), Trio, Tempo, and Reed, even more is underway for the 40 acres situated between downtown Tampa and Ybor City.
“ENCORE! is a national model. It really is. You won’t find another project that has the types of features that ENCORE! has in the U.S.,” says Leroy Moore, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer with the Tampa Housing Authority. “Specific to Tampa, it’s certainly our most diverse community because we purposely ensured that there was a variety of housing that’s attainable to people of all employment and income brackets.”
ENCORE! Tampa is also designed as a walkable community with mixed uses, including shops, offices, schools, and park space. And construction in the entire development is designed to earn LEED certification, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
“It creates an opportunity for families to survive and thrive,” Moore says.
Here are seven of the newest and upcoming additions at ENCORE!
Meacham Urban Farm
1108 E. Scott St., Tampa, FL 33602
This 2.1-acre farm opened earlier this year. It provides organic and sustainable foods free of pesticides, herbicide, and synthetic fertilizers. A partnership between the Tampa Housing Authority and three first-generation farmers at Meacham Urban Farm is funded by part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant. The farm not only accepts food stamps (EBT); it doubles their value for residents.
Supporting local small farmers, shoppers get to see exactly where the food is grown, including some 35 different vegetables and fruits, chickens, soy-free eggs, and honey.
The Butterfly Conservatory of Tampa Bay
The groundbreaking for this half-acre Butterfly Garden took place in February of this year. The Garden offers a green oasis with 300 native species at ENCORE’s Technology Park planted by a team of volunteers in hopes of educating locals about native Florida plants and pollinators. The garden will bring together all the best of Florida’s native plants amid thousands of native and exotic free-flying butterflies when complete.
Partnering with the Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation, the gardens are on target to open to the public in late 2021. In the meantime, you can check out their temporary butterfly education exhibit at 4113 Henderson Blvd. during normal business hours.
Related story: Tampa butterfly whisperer shares secrets on attracting monarchs, pollinators to neighborhoods
1251 Ray Charles Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33602
With plans to open in early 2022, Legacy ENCORE! will be five stories tall featuring 228 apartments that are intended to become market-rate multi-family housing. Bringing the community together in a space that invites equal amounts of work and play, the apartment complex is designed to provide spaces to both unwind and relax and for a more active lifestyle featuring a variety of activities.
Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center with a yoga/spin bike studio, a bike repair shop, a saltwater pool, outdoor living room lounge area, a dog run, pet spa, and more.
The Independent at ENCORE!
East Cass Street, Tampa, FL 33602
This six-story, 288-unit apartment complex is set to open in early 2022 with market-rate apartments. The Independent will feature one, two, and three-bedroom apartments and a mezzanine level of two-story loft units. Amenities include a fitness center, clubhouse, resort-style pool, and an overlooking lounge area with retail space offered on the ground floor.
1280 E. Harrison St., Tampa, FL 33602
With no completion date yet set, the building is designed to be eight stories tall and featuring 106 market-rate multi-sized apartments for families above a 22,000-square-foot grocery store. In the early stages of design, Moore says they are targeting start of construction by late summer 2022.
(Ground floor of Ella at ENCORE!)
1218 Ray Charles Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602
Currently under construction, Precinct Pizza will be opening on the ground floor of Ella at ENCORE! later this fall (sometime in September/October). Bringing in authentic New York food, their menu features pizza, appetizers, salads, pasta, hero sandwiches, hamburgers, rolls, calzones, and desserts.
ENCORE Community Job Training Center
620 E. 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33602
This 7,500-square-foot building was turned over to the Hillsborough County Schools in November of 2020 and will soon be opening as the Community Job Training Center. The Hillsborough County School District will be holding programs inside, providing training opportunities for people who live nearby. Planning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony is underway. Residents can expect the center to be up and running by late August.
Visit ENCORE! Tampa's website to stay up to date on upcoming additions and events.