TAMPA — Luring development into vacant or rundown areas has been a go-to strategy for the administration of Mayor Bob Buckhorn, with projects such as the Ulele Restaurant at the Water Works Building and Le Meridien Hotel in the historic Federal Courthouse.
But city officials are more cautious about a proposed development in the rundown area between Channelside and Ybor City. Local firm Phillips Development recently filed plans to build two residential towers and a grocery store there, on the old TECO People’s Gas site at the north end of Channelside Drive.
The proposal has been greeted by Ybor Chamber of Commerce leaders and other local developers as a potential boon for the area, bringing needed foot traffic to Ybor City and possibly signaling the start of urban infill work between Ybor and Channelside.
But the scale of the project – some 1.7 million square-feet of development – has city economic leaders adopting a wait and see approach.