KD Keller transforming JH Williams Oil site in Tampa's Channel District to mixed-use Parc Madison

With projects such as Grand Central at Kennedy and the Channel Club, Ken Stoltenberg is one of the developers who turned downtown Tampa’s Channel District from an aging industrial area into a booming mixed-use neighborhood.

Stoltenberg continues to redevelop and reshape the Channel District with his new company KD Keller Development.

“The idea is to find local people who run businesses and have real estate assets associated with those businesses, but they’re not real estate developers,” Stoltenberg explains. “I can work with those folks to turn obsolescent assets into legacy family assets, either through redevelopment or a repositioning of the property to take advantage of the current market conditions, which in the Channel District and downtown, are changing rather rapidly for the good.”

KD Keller’s first project will transform a remnant of the Channel District’s industrial past, the JH Williams Oil property, a former petroleum storage facility, into Parc Madison, a mixed-use project with 351 “Class A” apartments and 5,500 square feet of retail adjacent to the city’s Madison Street Park.

Stoltenberg says the project is a prime example of what he wants to do with KD Keller.

“With Parc Madison, we were able to take a legacy asset of the JH Williams family and give them the option of taking a market cash offer for the property or investing some or all of that money in the development to get a greater payout,” he says. “In this case, they decided to take a cash payout. But the option was there for them, and KD Keller principal owner Ken Stoltenberg.that’s something that a lot of other developers don’t provide. That’s significant.”

Stoltenberg says KD Keller offers flexibility to families seeking a higher and better use for their business property.

“With the program I have, the landowner or family can be as involved or not as they see fit,” he says. “We can be flexible there. If they want one of their children to learn about development, I’m certainly equipped to do that. If they want to take a hands-off attitude and let me do everything, that’s fine too.”

In the case of the JH Williams property, Stoltenberg says the family is able to “achieve what they wanted to financially,” while one of the less visually appealing properties in the Channel District is transformed into a modern mixed-use project that adds to the neighborhood’s live, work, play character.

Parc Madison is expected to open along Channelside Drive between Twiggs and Madison streets in the fourth quarter of 2023. 

“We’re excited about bringing it online at that point because it helps to complete the development of that block,” Stoltenberg says.

A track record of success

Stoltenberg has a track record of success in the Channel District. Before launching KD Keller Development three years ago, he was a partner in Mercury Advisors, which opened the mixed-use Grand Central at Kennedy back in 2007 and the Channel Club upscale apartment tower in 2018.

“We were the only project there that made it through the crash of 2008,” Stoltenberg says of Grand Central at Kennedy. “We were able to survive and execute our plan, which was to sell off the rest of the condo units, the office and the retail. We have largely succeeded in that to date.”

Earlier this summer, the development team behind Grand Central at Kennedy sold the development’s retail and office space for $38.1 million.

“The interesting thing about that story is that when the Channel District got started as a CRA (community redevelopment area) the entire value of all 220 acres was thirty-eight-and-a-half million dollars on the tax rolls,” Stoltenberg says. “It’s now over a billion dollars. I’d expect over the next five or so years it’s going to be closing in on two billion.”

At Channel Club, the successes include bringing in the Channel District’s first full-service grocery store, a Publix that opened in 2019 at the base of the apartment tower.

“Once you get one, it’s easy to get the next two,” Stoltenberg says. “Now, we have a Sprouts in Tampa Heights and a (Publix) GreenWise in Water Street.” 

Late last year, the partners behind Channel Club sold the development’s apartments for $136 million, or approximately $420,000 per unit.

“It’s not the highest price paid in this area, but it’s up there,” Stoltenberg says. 

Looking for the next opportunity

Stoltenberg is now looking for his next opportunity to work with the family owners of an underutilized business property on the redevelopment of their site. He says his track record in the Channel District shows he can produce results.

“I’ve been there a long time,” Stoltenberg says. “We’ve executed two successful developments there that really made the neighborhood what it is now. I’m working on a third one and I think there is still a lot of opportunity in Tampa Bay, given the demographic trends of people moving here and the companies coming here. I think there are probably a lot of folks in a situation similar to the Williams family who have real estate associated with a business that is not in any way related to real estate development. If they give me a shot and let me look at what they have, I can figure out a plan that will allow them to either monetize or maximize the assets  they have that are currently underutilized.”

For more information go to KD Keller.
Funding for this story was provided by KD Keller Development.
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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.