On May 8, ULI Tampa Bay Young Leaders Group hosted a bus tour showcasing downtown Tampa’s hottest projects. The tour had 45 participants from all facets of the real estate industry.
The tour began with a happy hour at the Pour House in Channelside with Ken Stoltenberg of Mercury Advisors giving an overview of what’s in store for Channelside’s future. In front of renderings for new developments, Ken discussed the growth plans for Channelside and the Grand Central district which included entertainment options and even a dog park to provide a more pedestrian and lively feel to the area. After snacking on appetizers provided by neighboring Cena Restaurant, attendees boarded the bus and took the quick trip to the Le Meridien project located at the century-old Historic Federal Courthouse.
Attendees were advised to watch their step as construction was still taking place, giving the tour an even more exclusive feel. The construction managers for the project explained that nearing completion, Le Meridien will boast 130 boutique hotel rooms along with a high-end French restaurant, a brain child of the local SoHo Restaurant Group. Not only did The Beck Group of Tampa provide a sneak peek at some of the rooms, but attendees also were able to view the main courtroom where they described several historic mob rulings had taken place. Many of the historic details including wood trim, polished marble, and select wall paintings are still present throughout the property to maintain the historic integrity of the building.
From the Le Meridien, the tour made its next stop at Crescent Bayshore, a high-end 367-unit apartment community sitting on 4.6 acres along Tampa’s historic downtown waterfront. Set to open in mid-June, the tour group made its way through the patio area with a pool overlooking the bay, a two-story gym, and two different types of apartments that will be offered at an astonishing $2.30-$2.50 PSF. Project Manager, Brooke May described the challenges in designing the apartments because it has a concrete shell, which makes it one of the most hurricane-durable buildings along Bayshore.
The tour made its last stop at the Aloft Hotel located on the river at Kennedy Blvd. and Ashley Drive. The Aloft is being labeled as the hippest hotel in town featuring high end cocktails and a pool right on the River. Punit Shah of Liberty Group led the group through his hotel and touched on some of the “hip” amenities that none of the other downtown hotels offer including automated check-in upon entering the premise.
To conclude the evening, the group boarded E-Boats for a view of the city from the water. All agreed that it was the perfect way to end the night and highlight all of the exciting and sexy projects taking over downtown Tampa.
The Tampa Downtown Tour takes place annually and is offered to all ULI Tampa Bay members. It typically occurs in early summer/late spring. For a list of all ULI Tampa Bay events and to learn more about the Young Leaders Group, click here.