What's new and what's next for Tampa's downtown Channel District

When you think of Tampa’s downtown Channel District, you might think first of the rapidly growing Water Street Tampa development and the eclectic small shops and foodie faves that now call Sparkman Wharf home. 

You might think about the Port of Tampa Bay, where you may have embarked on an ocean cruise liner for a lengthy vacation or climbed onboard one of Yacht StarShips nightly sunset dinner cruises. Or you might have visited the Florida Aquarium, a waterfront destination since the mid-1990s.

But there are a whole lot of other lesser known and  celebrated creative spaces and places to live, work, and play around the Channel District that are buzzing with daily activities, ongoing construction, road work, and residents enjoying the evolving urban scene.

Mercury Advisors, a multi-disciplinary development firm, has been at the forefront of some of the most interesting and visionary projects developed in recent years and currently underway.

Mercury built Grand Central at Kennedy in 2007, including space for Stageworks Theatre, classrooms, offices, restaurants, pubs, and shops accessible from the street level. A Hampton/Home2Suites hotel, Pierhouse, Skyhouse, The Slade, and other apartments, bars, coffee shops, and other shops followed. In 2019, Mercury  opened The Channel Club apartments and attracted Downtown Tampa’s first major grocery store, Publix, to the ground floor.  

“We think it’s a great neighborhood now. There’s thousands of people that live there and all of the retail and service businesses that you’d want for that walkable, urban, neighborhood are there,” says Ken Stoltenberg, Director at Mercury Advisors. “It’s got a great vibe to it. … There’s a lot of activity and that’s what the folks that live here want. They want to be in an active neighborhood where there’s always stuff going on, things to do, people to meet, and places to go.” 

The neighborhood’s location is convenient and walkable to downtown office buildings and within an easy drive, bus or trolley ride, to all the large employment centers in Tampa and the Bay Area, including the Westshore Business District, Ybor City, the Tampa airport, USF and even Pinellas County. 

So, what else is in the works for this Tampa neighborhood popular among urban dwellers? Check out these latest development projects.

Courtyard at Grand Central Renovations
1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602

After a $1.7 million renovation, the Courtyard at Grand Central reopened earlier this year with almost 200 outdoor seats making it a very popular outdoor gathering spot. The courtyard had already provided outdoor seating for the bars and restaurants on the street level of Grand Central, but new additions include an outdoor bar and kitchen for Cena, and outdoor bars for Pour House and City Dog. There is also now a common dining space for Poke Co. and Gelato-Go. 

Renovations started in March 2020 when all the restaurants had to close during the start of the pandemic. Mercury Advisors recognized and seized the opportunity to tear up the old and reconstruct this new courtyard.  

Elevé 61
858 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

With plans to break ground on or around Dec. 1, 2021, Mercury Advisors is already doing the pre-construction work on a brand new luxury condominium building. With 35 stories, it will become the tallest residential tower in downtown Tampa. The expansive three-bedroom, three-bath condominium residences will be unique in the growing Channel District. 

The condos will have breathtaking views overlooking the city and, with no shared walls, residents won’t have to worry about loud neighbors. Along with the 61 luxury sky residencies, Elevé 61 will have a private Club Lounge with a bar, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, a Social Room, a resort-style pool terrace and sun deck, and more. 

Channelside District Residential Tower
419 N. 12th St., Tampa, FL 33602

Daniel Corporation is bringing more apartments to the Channel District. The 19-story, 324-unit residential tower will be in the heart of Channelside and is slated to open in the Fall of 2022. It will offer studio, one, and two-bedroom floorplans with ultra-premium finishes and amenities bringing luxury living to Tampa’s fastest growing urban neighborhood. Penthouse units will feature elevated finishes and 13-foot ceilings. Catering to future residents, there will be units that are accessible from the street level. With unobstructed views of Tampa’s beautiful skyline, these upcoming apartments will be a great addition to those looking to live right in the middle of the excitement of downtown. 

Parc Madison
1237 E. Twigg St., Tampa, FL 33602

Formally known as Channel Club II, Parc Madison will be a mixed use 353-unit apartment complex. It’s estimated to break ground Dec. 1 of this year. KD Keller and ECI Group will be redeveloping the 1.8-acre former petroleum storage facility into this mixed-use complex. Within the eight-story building, there will be 5,373 square feet designated to retail space and 288,337 square feet of multi-family rentable space. The average size of the units is 821 square feet. 
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Read more articles by Lauren Wong.

Lauren Wong is a graduate of the University of Tampa with a degree in journalism who is freelancing while she looks for a full-time job. Originally from the Chicago area, she enjoys travel and aspires to be a travel photojournalist. During the summer of 2019, she worked for Premier Travel Media in Chicago and as a correspondent for Input Fort Wayne, another Issue Media group online magazine based in Indiana. She loves spending time outdoors camping, kayaking, and taking pictures.