Port Tampa Bay Unveils its Vision Plan for the Channel District Area

Aug 13, 2015, 11:00 ET from Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Port Tampa Bay (PTB) announced its vision plan for its land within the Channel District area today that will transform Tampa's industrial waterfront into a dynamic, community centerpiece where people will come to live, work and play.

The vision plan maximizes the potential of 45 acres of port-owned land along Channelside Drive and the Ybor Channel and dramatically builds upon the area's ongoing revitalization. It calls for the development of more than 9 million square feet of mixed-use space and $1.5 billion in private investment over the next decade or so.

"Our vision is to create a waterfront community that is the envy of other top cities around the country,'' said Paul Anderson, president and CEO of Port Tampa Bay. "This is an unprecedented development that will revolutionize Tampa and benefit the entire region.''

While still in the preliminary phase, the vision plan features a bold mix of private development and public amenities, from residential, retail, office and hotel space to a central park, marina and multipurpose cruise ship terminal. A key element of the plan are two "landmark towers'' that will be among the tallest and most notable on Florida's West Coast.

"Great cities like San Diego, New Orleans and Vancouver have been built around their ports,'' Anderson said. "We believe this will stand out as an innovative example of how to take full advantage of valuable waterfront, while balancing the needs of the maritime community and adjacent neighborhood.''

The plan is the result of a partnership between Port Tampa Bay, the City of Tampa and the Channel District Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Upgrades aim to make Channelside Drive and the surrounding area more attractive and inviting, with wide sidewalks, lush landscaping, bike lanes and a desirable mix of stores and restaurants. The centerpiece central park and an elevated walkway with views of the port and cruise ships will draw residents and tourists alike.

"This is another exciting step toward bringing the waterfront back to the people,'' Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. "The time is right to take this area to the next level and create a new destination for generations to come.''

The port's vision complements Strategic Property Partners' project to turn 40 acres near Amalie Arena into a vibrant, urban neighborhood. Led by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, the project includes a downtown medical school for the University of South Florida and an office tower housing a company headquarters.

Reimagining the PTB waterfront property in the Channel District is part of a larger, overall plan for the 5,000-acre port over the next two decades. A detailed master plan for the PTB's land within the Channel District is expected in the next year.

Port Tampa Bay is Florida's largest port and largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact.

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SOURCE Port Tampa Bay