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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Harbour Island residential project planned

TAMPA — Having just sold off its Pierhouse apartment complex in downtown Tampa, South Florida development powerhouse Related Group may be planning its second act with a multifamily residential project on Harbour Island.

Emails from city of Tampa planning officials show a developer is proposing a new building on land just west of The Plaza Harbour Island condo tower. The project, at 402 Knights Run Ave., would include an overhead walkway over Harbour Place Drive that would link the new building to an existing parking garage.

The city emails refer to the developer as Related Development, but that could be a reference to Miami-based condo and apartment developer Related Group, which is copied on some of the emails.

This week, people with knowledge of the project were guarded in what they would say.

A Related Group executive copied on the emails, Arturo Pena, declined to comment when reached by the Tribune this week. And Steve Wigh, a vice president of the island’s master homeowners group, the Harbour Island Community Services Association, declined to comment, other than saying Related Group made a presentation to HICSA this week about a proposed multifamily development.

In another clue, a newsletter published by another homeowners group, the ParkCrest Harbour Island Condominium Association, goes into more detail and tells its readers that a developer is planning an apartment tower on the land with more than 300 units. The owner will make the units “condo-ready,” giving it the option of converting them to condominium units in the future, the newsletter says.

It was unclear Friday what role the site’s current landowner, an affiliate of Boca Raton-based real estate investor Crocker Partners, will have in any apartment tower. Crocker Partners executive Angelo Bianco declined comment.

If Related Group moves forward with a new project, it would be its second recent downtown Tampa-area project. The company built a 356-unit luxury apartment complex in Tampa’s Channel District called Pierhouse that just opened in September. It sold the complex to Florida’s public pension fund, the State Board of Administration, last month for $76.5 million.

Related Group is best known in South Florida for its luxury condo projects in downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Broward County. Chairman Jorge Perez is listed at No. 350 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, with an estimated wealth of $2 billion. He’s a vice chairman and partner in the Miami Dolphins football organization.

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