The Real Deal Miami

Vacant block in downtown Tampa draws $7.5M bid

The winning bidder for the one-acre block plans to build a 22-story mixed-used building there

October 02, 2016 12:30PM

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HRI Properties submitted the winning bid for this vacant lot next to Tampa City Hall. (Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

HRI Properties submitted the winning bid for this block next to Tampa City Hall. (Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

HRI Properties of New Orleans submitted the winning $7.5 million bid to buy a city-owned block in the middle of downtown Tampa that has been vacant, except for parking spaces, for almost 20 years.

The one-acre block is located next to Tampa City Hall at North Florida Avenue and East Kennedy Boulevard. In July, the City of Tampa issued a request for proposals to buy and develop the block.

HRI is planning to build a 22-story tower encompassing 223 hotel rooms, 225 apartments, parking garage spaces for 408 vehicles and 7,000 square feet of retail store space. The development also would include a restaurant to be named later and a street-level Starbucks coffee shop. Monthly apartment rents would start at $1,900

The New Orleans-based company has been “targeting a project in downtown Tampa for many years,” Thomas Leonhardt, president and chief executive officer of HRI, told the Tampa Bay Times. In 2011, HRI proposed to redevelop a former federal courthouse on North Florida Avenue in Tampa.

HRI has completed $2 billion of mixed-use developments in the United States, and this would be its first Florida project. Its 22-story structure in downtown Tampa would cost an estimated $120.8 million to build.  HRI expects to start construction in next year’s third quarter and to open the mixed-use building in May 2019. [Tampa Bay Times] — Mike Seemuth