Tampa developers are reviving plans for Del Villar, a long-dead Channel district condominium tower.
Mercury Advisors, the group behind the $90 million Channel Club— a Publix Super Markets Inc. store and 21-story apartment tower under construction on East Twiggs Street — are planning a 36-story condo tower at the corner of East Whiting Street and Channelside Drive.
The developers on Wednesday filed a non-substantial change request with the city, as this iteration of the project is smaller than previously approved plans. If city planners approve the new plans, the proposal won’t be subject to city council vote.
Ken Stoltenberg, a partner in Mercury Advisors, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal in early April that the group was considering reviving the project, and that units would be priced between $750,000 and $1.3 million.
The plans call for 61 condos in 36 stories; the site was originally approved for 124 units. The new plans also reduce the number of parking spaces from 256 to 145, with an amenity deck on top of a five-story parking garage. Retail space is no longer in the plans.
The condominium market in downtown Tampa has been non-existent for the better part of a decade, but developers and brokers say they are seeing an uptick in interest of existing units.
Grand Central at Kennedy, which was also developed by Mercury Advisors, has successfully sold off dozens of units that were previously operated as apartments over the last two years. When the real estate market collapsed in 2007, Mercury Advisors was left with 200 units to rent out; in early April, only a dozen or so remained to be sold.
A number of factors are reigniting the interest in condos in downtown Tampa and the Channel district. More restaurants have moved into the urban core over the last decade, and having a Publix in the Channel district is a big step toward making the area a truly walkable urban neighborhood.
Developments on the horizon are also boosting interest in living in downtown Tampa. The Del Villar site overlooks Port Tampa Bay’s waterfront property, which it is planning to develop into a large, mixed-use district in the coming years. Strategic Property Partners’ $3 billion, mixed-use district is within blocks of the Del Villar site.
The $150 million University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine campus, slated to break ground this summer at Channelside Drive and Meridian Avenue, will provide a large pool of potential buyers for Mercury’s high-end condos.
Ashley Gurbal Kritzer is senior reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.