Plan revived for tower at Bayshore, Bay to Bay
One of South Tampa’s prime corners, a popular parking spot for joggers at Bayshore and Bay to Bay boulevards, will house a luxury condominium tower if a developer’s plans come together. Bill Robinson of Citivest Construction tried to develop the tower in 2008 but shelved the project amid the real estate crash. Now, he’s once again marketing a 15-story tower with high-end real estate broker Toni Everett and expects to begin recruiting buyers for presales shortly, Robinson said Friday. Whether the team can sign up enough potential buyers, at more than a half-million dollars a unit, will determine if he can close on his financing and make or break the project. Relatively few developers are planning condominiums nowadays because the momentum has shifted to high-end apartment towers and complexes. However, Robinson said the project’s desirable address will drive demand. “There’s no real multifamily property available on Bayshore,” he said. The corner at Bayshore and Bay to Bay is the de facto parking lot for joggers, inline skaters and the Bayshore Patriots, a group of residents who cheer on the military. However, users of the dirt lot have known for years that it eventually would be put to a more profitable use. Bill Hamblin, president and co-founder of the Bayshore Patriots, said he doesn’t expect the new condominium will have much effect on the Patriots. Businesses and organizations nearby probably will let the group’s members park vehicles in their lots once a week. A flagpole and a commemorative sign marking the area as Patriots Corner sit on city property. “It’s inevitable,” Hamblin said about the development. “We’re not really going to worry about it.” Everett said the proposed tower will have 32 units, floor plans from 2,600 to 3,500 square feet and floor-to-ceiling glass offering views of downtown and Tampa Bay. Prices will be “north of a half-million, easily,” Robinson said. He said he has the site approvals he needs from the city. Robinson is a veteran condo developer who built The Stovall, another Bayshore Boulevard tower, in the late 1990s, a few blocks south of his planned tower. In 2004, he proposed a third condo tower at Bayshore and DeSoto Avenue but faced opposition from the city’s Architectural Review Commission. That commission found its proposed 24 stories out of character with the surrounding Hyde Park Historic District. When the city rejected his plan for that condo, he began a long court battle against Tampa. The city finally settled with Robinson for $3.75 million last year, but denied any liability in the case. Robinson said Friday he doesn’t expect his litigation with the city to hurt his chances for his new project at Bayshore and Bay to Bay.
Reporter Elizabeth Behrman contributed to this report.