10 Tampa Bay projects to watch in 2024

Gas Worx

Gas Worx, the 50-acre mixed-use district that will connect Ybor City and downtown’s Channel District, will hit multiple milestones this year.

In the summer, the first residential building will open with 317 apartments, says Graham Tyrrel, senior vice president with Kettler, the Washington D.C.-based real estate developer working on Gas Worx with Ybor City developer Darryl Shaw. Before that first building is complete, construction starts in early 2024 on a second residential building with 390 units. 

Then, in the summer, Tyrrell says work begins on three buildings that will be part of the “core mixed-use development” and add residential, office and “quite a bit of retail” space. A centerpiece of that phase of construction is repurposing a 30,000-square-foot  warehouse on site as a marketplace with restaurants and “food-centric” retail.

“It’s an interesting building on the inside,” Tyrrell says. “It’s got double barrel vault ceilings. It’s got a lot of open space. We think it will work really well for converting into an open plan marketplace.”

A rendering of the second phase of the Gas Worx mixed-use development, which will start construction in mid-2024.In total, the second phase will cover three city blocks located between Second and Fifth Avenues, Channelside Drive and Avenida Republica de Cuba. It will add approximately 500 apartments, 100,000 square feet of class-A office space and 85,000 square feet of retail. Grow Financial Federal Credit Union has already signed a lease for 50,000 square feet of that office space as the first announced tenant for phase two, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2026. 

That phase will also bring a 10-story building with approximately 375 apartments and first-floor retail. There will be a newly built pedestrian-oriented street between the marketplace and multi-family residential to the south. It will feature outdoor dining and be closed to vehicles during heavy foot traffic. That road will connect to Channelside Drive,  where the developers are adding the only TECO Line Streetcar stop between Ybor and the cruise terminal.  

“This will be a really important stop,” Tyrrell says.

The developers are also removing a roundabout near the warehouse to build a city park. 

At build-out, Gas Worx is planned for nearly 5,000 residences, 140,000 square feet of retail and half a million square feet of office space.  

Gas Worx is Kettler’s first project in the Tampa Bay area. Tyrrell says the company’s plans in the region now include two mixed-use projects in St. Petersburg - one in the EDGE District and one along the Central Avenue corridor near U.S. 19.

In addition to several projects in and around Ybor’s historic district, Shaw has also announced plans for Ybor Harbor, a 33-acre mixed-use waterfront development on Ybor Channel south of Adamo Drive and adjacent to Gas Worx. The announced plans for Ybor Harbor have up to six million square feet of residential, office, hotel and retail space at build-out. 

Mastry’s Brewing’s Pinellas Park hub

St. Pete Beach’s Mastry’s Brewing Co. has ambitious expansion plans to add a Pinellas Park location that includes a 30,000 square foot, $10 million new headquarters with a manufacturing facility, tasting room, food hall and an audio, video and design studio.

CEO and founder Matthew Dahm says the larger location will allow Mastry’s Brewing to triple or quadruple its current craft beer output and expand into producing ciders, wine and craft spirits.

The new location off Park Boulevard and 58th Street North is in an area Pinellas Park officials are eyeing for long-term redevelopment as the city’s downtown core. Dahm, a third-generation member of the Mastry family, which has deep ties to the business community in and around St. Petersburg, says he is working in collaboration with city officials to fulfill their vision.

He says the new location will be a destination with events, art, music, entertainment, a food hall and office space for co-ops. A rendering of an outdoor area at the Mastry's Brewing Co. location planned in Pinellas Park.

“We’re going to be bringing in everything people have grown to love about the craft beer community and culture,” he says.

Dahm says in addition to partnering with food vendors, Mastry’s Brewing also plans to strengthen workforce training and educational partnerships with programs like the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business and Brewing Arts Program.

Mastry's Brewing has eyed the Pinellas Park project for years but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the timeline. The company closed on the property in August and has demolished buildings on the site. Dahm expects to have construction permits in the first half of 2024. 

Gateway Expressway, Howard Frankland Bridge, I-275 

Two major Florida Department of Transportation Projects - the Gateway Expressway in Pinellas County and a new Howard Frankland Bridge - are slated to open in 2024.

Greg Deese, resident engineer with FDOT’s Tampa Bay office, says the Gateway’s two new elevated toll roads are expected to open in late spring, wrapping a project that started in 2018.

The new State Road 690 is a four-lane toll road running along the median of  118th Avenue to connect U.S. 19 and Interstate 275. Deese says separating commuter traffic on the raised toll road from the local traffic below on 118th is intended to reduce congestion for motorists on both roads. 

A January 2024 view of the point where Toll road 690 and Toll Road 686A split at 40th Street North.State Road 686A is a new four-lane elevated toll expressway running from the Bayside Bridge to just west of I-275. It runs along the median of Roosevelt Boulevard between the Bayside Bridge and Ulmerton Road. A new interchange at Ulmerton Road will is also part of this project. The new too road runs through the old Sunshine Speedway property to merge with SR 690. The new roads will have cashless tolls by SunPass or toll-by-plate. 

The Gateway project also includes the first express lanes on I-275. They will run from Gandy Boulevard to the western base of the Howard Frankland and eventually over to Tampa as part of the new bridge project.  

“Basically, it’s an added lane on the interstate with tolls varying based on congestion on the roadway,”’ Deese says. What it does is provide users with a travel time dependability so they know if I go on the express lane I’m more certain to get where I’m going in a certain period of time. That’s one of the benefits. You can also do some management things with them like adding buses that can use those lanes to add more premium service.”

The new span of the Howard Frankland is expected to open to traffic by the end of the year. 

“This will be a big year for the Howard Frankland,” Deese says.

That eight-lane bridge will include four southbound (Tampa to St. Petersburg) lanes and two tolled express lanes in each direction. Barriers will separate the lanes. There will also be a shared-use bicycle/pedestrian path across the bridge. Deese says the new bridge span is built to have a 100-year service life and will be designed and constructed to handle light rail should that day come.

When the new bridge opens, northbound traffic (St. Petersburg to Tampa) will shift to the current southbound lanes. The current northbound bridge, built in 1960, will be demolished. 

Deese says the project passed a significant milestone in January when workers finished driving the more than 3,000 foundation piles that will support the bridge. As work continues, crews will pour footers, install pier caps and fill in the deck.

Two I-275 projects in Tampa have completion dates further out. The I-275 capacity project will use the existing right-of-way to add a travel lane in each direction from north of Interstate 4 to north of Hillsborough Avenue and a noise wall. It’s slated for completion in 2026.

Design is underway for the I-275/I-4 interchange project- a spot some Tampa Bay motorists have long dubbed “malfunction junction.” 

Austin Petersen, a senior construction project manager with FDOT’s Tampa Bay office says  I-4 westbound ramp to I- I-275 north and I-4 west ramp to I-275 south will each have a lane added. He says the I-275 south flyover bridge to I-4 east will be rerouted directly to exit at Ybor City without having to get on I-4. A new flyover bridge will be built to connect I-275 south to I-4 east. 

The project will also include community projects on local roads below the interstate, including dog parks, pickleball courts shared-use paths. Petersen says the project is deep in the design phase at this point, with some drainage work and bridge foundation construction underway. It’s expected to be complete in 2027.  

Tampa International Airport expansion

Tampa International Airport is slated to start construction in late 2024 on a new terminal - Airside D. It will be TIA’s fifth airside terminal and the first new one in 17 years. It is also the third and final phase of the airport’s existing master plan for expansion. 

A rendering of Tampa International Airport's planned new terminal - Airside D.The project comes at a time when TIA sees 23.5 million passengers a year, with that number projected to grow to 39 million by 2042.

The 563,000-square-foot Airside D will add 16 new gates for domestic and international flights. It’s expected to open to passengers in early 2028. 

Tampa General Hospital expansion

Tampa General Hospital plans to start construction this year on a new Surgical, Neuroscience & Transplant Pavilion. The 13-story, 565,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical building will include 144 patient beds and 32 operating suites and increase intensive care unit capacity. It will be located next to TGH’s main building on Davis Islands.

The new pavilion adds to the burgeoning medical and research district TGH is Tampa General Hospital plans to start construction this year on a new 13-story Surgical, Neuroscience & Transplant Pavilion on Davis Islands.developing in and around downtown in partnership with the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. It is also the flagship project in the hospital’s $550 million facility master plan. Construction of the new pavilion is expected to take three years.

Tropicana Field redevelopment and stadium projects around Tampa Bay

In September 2023, the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced they had a deal in place for the team to stay in the city in a new 30,000-seat, $1.3 billion indoor stadium that will be a centerpiece of the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site the Rays and development partner Hines are working on. 

That deal will not officially be finalized without approval from the St. Petersburg City Council and the Pinellas County Commission of $600 million in public funding, not including interest on any debt, toward the stadium’s price tag. The St. Pete City Council also has to approve development agreements for the stadium and the larger redevelopment project on the 86-acre Trop site for the project to happen. City administration’s projected timeline has those votes taking place in early 2024 with infrastructure construction starting late in the year. 

If approved, the $6.5 billion, 20-year redevelopment project will be the largest mixed-use development in the Tampa Bay region’s history. The plan includes 1.4 million square feet of office, medical and commercial space; 750,000 square feet of retail; 90,000 to 100,000 square feet of conference, meeting and ballroom space; 750 hotel rooms, 14 acres of open greenspace and 14,000 parking spaces. A total of 100,000 square feet of entertainment space will include a concert venue with a capacity of up to 4,000. Fifty thousand square feet of civic space will include a new home for the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.

There will be 4,500 residential units, including 600 senior living units. The Rays and Hines say they will build 1,200 units of affordable and workforce housing between the Tropicana Field site and other areas of St. Pete. 

The new Rays ballpark is one of multiple stadium plans in the works around Tampa Bay.

The University of South Florida plans to break ground in fall 2024 on its long-planned Rendering of USF's planned on-campus football stadium.
$340 million on-campus football stadium. Right now, the stadium is expected to open in fall 2027.

The Philadelphia Phillies have unveiled plans to the City of Clearwater for a $320 million upgrade to the team’s spring training stadium and complex, along with a $250 million mixed-use redevelopment on property the team has purchased adjacent to the complex.

The Tampa Bay Sun FC, the women’s professional soccer team slated to start play in the inaugural season of the USL Super League in August 2024, is investing $4 million to upgrade and expand a downtown riverfront stadium on the west side of the Hillsborough River as a temporary home. The team will share the stadium with Howard W. Blake High School while working on plans for a permanent stadium.

Luxury towers

In Tampa and St. Petersburg, tall construction cranes dot the skyline as construction continues on several luxury residential apartment and condo tower projects.

Some of the major projects under construction include New York-based Red Apple Real Estate’s 46-story condominium tower in downtown St. Pete, The Residences at 400 Central. In addition to 301 luxury condominiums, that project also includes ground-floor retail and Class A office space.

Art House St. Petersburg, a 42-story luxury condominium tower at 235 First Ave. South, is under construction with a projected completion in 2025.

Along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, the first tower of the Related Group’s Ritz-Carlton Residences,Tampa is nearing completion in early 2024. Construction is underway on a second tower with 94 condominium homes and six villas.

In downtown Tampa, Arts and Entertainment Residences, a 31-story luxury apartment tower across from the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, is slated for completion this year. Construction is also underway on the 39-floor tower along the Tampa Riverwalk that will house the Pendry Tampa Hotel and Pendry Residences Tampa

The tower is slated to open in early 2026 with 220 hotel rooms and suites and 207 luxury residences. There will also be several restaurants and cafes, an open-air pool and terrace on the 12th floor and a 20,000-square-foot spa with a fitness center and more than a dozen treatment rooms. 

The Pendry is a partnership between Pendry Hotels & Resorts and Two Roads Development. It’s designed by Arquitectonica and being built by Coastal Construction. Coastal Construction is also the general contractor for Art House, Arts and Entertainment Residences and the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

Water Street Tampa

The first phase of development of Water Street Tampa officially finished in the fall 2022 with the opening of the Tampa EDITION luxury hotel. Since then, the massive redevelopment that transformed an industrial area of the downtown Channel District into an upscale mixed-use community has continued to attract corporate tenants, restaurants, lounges, retail shops and residents. Water Street has also launched a series of community events and worked to establish a neighborhood feel and identity.

Back in the summer of 2022, a public ceremony marked the start of demolition of the old Ardent Mills flour mill to make way for the next phase of Water Street Tampa. Since then, there has been no public announcement of the timeline for when construction will start on that second phase. 

When the second phase does move forward, Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik, a driving force behind the multi-billion dollar redevelopment around the team’s arena, will no longer be part of the project. In the summer of 2023, Vinik sold his share in Strategic Property Partners, the Water Street developer, to Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment Fund, which has been part of the partnership since the beginning.

Tampa Museum of Art and Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Two longtime centerpieces of downtown Tampa’s arts district- the Tampa Museum of Art and the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts- both have ambitious expansion plans.

The Museum of Art expects to start construction in 2024 on a $110 million Centennial Renovation and Expansion project that will nearly double its size with a 51,000 square-foot, four-story addition jutting out over a terrace toward the river. Glass walls will offer a view of the river, the University of Tampa campus and downtown. It will include a 150-seat auditorium that overlooks the river, where the museum can present lectures, recitals and multimedia performances. The museum will also install a 40 ft. by 30 ft. digital exhibition wall on the second floor of the addition.

A large event space in the new addition will feature a view of downtown Tampa. The museum can stage exhibitions there or have a 500-plate seated dinner for private events. A sculpture terrace will be visible to people on the Riverwalk. A fourth-floor rooftop terrace will include a bar for gatherings of up to 100 people, plus a demonstration kitchen for culinary arts. An indoor-outdoor restaurant off the Riverwalk, open to the public, will operate seven days a week from morning to evening on the first floor.

In December 2023, the Tampa City Council, in its role as the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency board, approved an additional $10 million for the expansion, to push the city’s contribution to nearly $25 million.

Private donations to the project total more than $57 million as of February 2024. During a December Urban Land Institute Tampa Bay event at the museum, museum Executive Director Michael Tomor described the fundraising effort for the expansion as “the largest cultural asset campaign that has taken place in West Central Florida that is not attached to a major university.”

The art museum’s longtime neighbor, the Straz Center, plans to start work in 2024 on an $80 million expansion that will present a dramatic vision along the waterfront, with a “veil’’ that undulates along the river and north facades. The work, funded by a combination of CRA funds and private donations, is expected to be complete for a grand opening in early 2027.

A rendering of the expansion of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.The expansion will add more planning, rehearsal and office space and increase by 30 percent the space in the Patel Conservatory, the center’s accredited performing arts and education center.

The project will expand the space around the current Riverwalk stage where free performances are held frequently. A rooftop bar and terrace will be open to the public but can also be used for large private gatherings.

The center will relocate and expand its three restaurants – Maestro’s Restaurant, Maestro’s Cafe in the Lobby of the Morsani Theater, and Maestro’s outside bar and grill, facing the river. Two large buildings built behind the veil on the center’s north end will house restaurants and catering kitchens for Straz events.

Clearwater Beach Marina 

The long-planned project to renovate the City of Clearwater’s aging Clearwater Beach Marina is expected to start this year.

The $34.6 million project includes a redesign and reconstruction of the marina, dredging, the replacement of docks, replacement and raising of the seawall and new utilities.

The project, which will be built in two phases, will also include the development of a MarinaWalk promenade that will have a plaza, shade and seating and connect to the existing BeachWalk.

The marina project has gone through design. As of early February, the Clearwater City Council has to hire a contractor and approve the final construction costs for the project to get underway.

Philip Morgan contributed to this report.
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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.