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Monday, May 21, 2018
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City seeks proposals for Ybor City land

TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn has put out a call for developers with ideas for turning a vacant city-owned lot in Ybor City into a hotel.

The city is also looking for someone to build multi-family housing on another city-owned property in the same area.

The city issued two requests for proposals for the projects Friday morning.

Buckhorn said the goal is to bring more economic development to Ybor.

“I will do anything I can if it stimulates development and is good for the surrounding neighborhood, and we believe these projects will do just that,” the mayor said in a written statement.

Buckhorn said the proposals are part of his effort to remake Tampa’s urban core from a 9-to-5 environment to a place where people live, work and play around the clock.

One way to do that is to fill the city’s empty spaces, he said.

“As Tampa leads Florida out of the recession, it’s the right time to bring new residential and commercial opportunities to Ybor,” Buckhorn said.

The hotel project targets land at the western gate to Ybor. The lot sits at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Nuccio Parkway across from the HART headquarters.

The lot backs up to the former offices of Volunteers of America. Bob McDonaugh, Buckhorn’s economic development chief, said last month that the Volunteers’ property, which is privately owned, could also be sold for the same hotel project.

Together, the parcels would give a prospective developer three-quarters of a city block to work with, McDonaugh said.

The site is within a block of two other Ybor hotels - the Hampton Inn and Suites and the historic Don Vicente de Ybor Inn.

The multifamily lot is along 12th Street between 16th and 17th streets on the north side of Ybor City.

The Ybor City Development Corp. has had inquiries from a Miami developer interested in putting apartments on the property, McDonaugh said.

Because the site sits within the Ybor City Community Redevelopment Area, the land has to be put up for bid rather than sold outright, McDonaugh said.

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Twitter: @kwiatrowskiTBO

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