Tampa’s central business districts, Downtown Tampa, Westshore and Ybor City are all very important to our thriving community as the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County continue to grow at a rapid pace.
In 2007 HCP started the process of studying market trends and community sentiment on topics ranging from parking, transportation, jobs and what can be done to change from a stagnant city to a live, work and play urban core.
So much has happened since that time. In the 80’s and 90’s, Downtown Tampa was a ghost town after 5 P.M., on the bright side, Harbor Island was under development and we had a people mover from the island to downtown.
Channelside consisted of old warehouses until visionaries took a chance with the Florida Aquarium to anchor the redevelopment of the district. Westshore district was home to two malls, Westshore Mall, and the Tampa Bay Center (now the new Bucs Headquarters). Nearby, we had the Hall of Fame Municipal Golf Course (now International Plaza).
Within that development we now see several office towers, restaurants, hotels and residential communities severing a growing demand of people who want to be living in an urban core. We have Tampa Stadium, we now have Raymond James Stadium. While Westshore took shape, downtown and Channelside were being reborn with the development of several units of residential towers of various types.
The combination of these central business districts along with South Tampa’s residential development, our population numbers have increased and thus improved our quality of life in the urban core. Waterfront views, outdoor spaces and all kinds of things to do make our urban core one of the most unique places to live or visit.
Our millennial population thrives in this environment. For many years, this young talented age range left our market for other thriving cities, we now seek to retain and attract them. Our growing small and large corporate community needs them in the workforce.
The days of urban sprawl development with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County are limited. We are running out of land to develop without sacrificing our agricultural land. We continue to see infill development throughout the community which will continue to create density and further put pressure on our ability to commute independently. Ride sharing and public transportation is necessary in order to allow our community to offer affordable options for everyone. The future will only hold what we envision it will be today.