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Big-box neighbor for Tampa Ikea among likely options

TAMPA — Ikea in Tampa may soon have a new neighbor. Perhaps a Costco. Perhaps a Wal-Mart Supercenter. But definitely something large.

Developers are demolishing a 112,164-square-foot warehouse along Adamo Drive, the first of several buildings on roughly 26 acres they've acquired in pieces since 2004. The project will take some time, as some miscellaneous retail tenants along Adamo Drive have leases that run through 2016, meaning they'll either need to run the course of their leases or be persuaded to make way.

“We've got several developers chasing the site, so it's just a matter of time,” said Bob Dickman, chairman and chief executive of The Dickman Co. real estate services firm. “Adamo is a gateway to city, so it's about time to really open it up and clean it up.”

The first building to come down is a dilapidated warehouse that most recently held operations of the Duro Bag Manufacturing Co. That building has run its course and is no longer worth updating to current codes, Dickman said. So the official landowner, Tampa Industrial Partners LLP, is taking it down.

That's only the most recent step in a long road for the landowners. Tampa Industrial Partners bought the first three patches of land next to the current Ikea site, totaling just over 17 acres, in July and August 2004 for $7.9 million.

Then a few years later, both Ikea and Wal-Mart were targeting a 29-acre site directly next door along Adamo Drive, Dickman said. The negotiations went up to the last minute, then Wal-Mart pulled out over a contract clause. Ikea won out and officially bought its site in January 2008 for $25.4 million.

Then in March, Tampa Industrial Partners paid $4.1 million for a 4.3-acre wedge-shaped space next to land it already owned. The Hillsborough County property appraiser had valued the land at just $340,000. The timing proved unfortunate. A few months after Ikea opened, the economy took a nosedive unlike anything seen since the Great Depression.

Then in July, Tampa Industrial Partners bought a 3.37-acre site that includes the former Duro Bag building for a relative bargain of $825,000. The property appraiser had valued the site at $1.5 million.

Now with 26 contiguous acres, including wide frontage along Adamo Drive, the property owners are starting to entertain pitches from national retailers, Dickman said.

Declining to name names, he said some are big-box retailers, some are home improvement stores, some are large grocers that could park a supercenter there, and some may even envision residential development there.


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