Just off of Gandy Boulevard in Tampa — a busy stretch of highway dotted with drive-thru restaurants, big box stores and a sea of surface parking lots — a South Florida developer is bringing to life its vision of a walkable urban neighborhood, where residents might not need their cars much on evenings or weekends.
The mixed-use Westshore Marina District, which spans 51 acres at the intersection of Gandy and Westshore boulevards, will be home to more than 1,250 residential units, from apartments to condominiums to townhouses. It will also include nearly 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space:
- 22,050 square feet of storefronts in a town center-style development
- 10,000-square-foot multistory, dual-concept restaurant on the water along Gandy Boulevard
- 10,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor of the first condo tower, Marina Pointe
- 15,000 square feet of retail and office space on another parcel along Gandy Boulevard
It’s the retail, executives at BTI Partners say, that will bring urban walkability to the district. BTI Partners is the district’s master developer and will also build the condominium towers planned within the project. BTI is nearing deals with both restaurants and retailers, and while no deals have been finalized, there’s more interest in the town center’s storefronts than there are spaces available, said Beck Daniel, executive vice president of development for BTI.
“Young professionals and empty nesters love the idea of the walkability,” said Noah Breakstone, managing partner of BTI. “The value of having restaurants, and a farmers market and not having to get back into your car to deal with traffic is a huge advantage.”
BTI has converted the reservations on Marina Pointe, its first condo tower, to contracts, Breakstone said. That tower is 50 percent presold and slated to break ground in the first quarter of 2019.
“You can always imagine something and plan for it,” Breakstone said, “but when it comes to fruition, it’s great to see that the plan worked.”