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Updated May 2024


DoubleBranch shaping up to be a $2 billion-plus mixed-use development in Pasco County
By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Published: Mar 8, 2024

The first phase of DoubleBranch, a mixed-use development in Pasco County, is well underway.

As of late February, underground utilities were being installed, and permits were being sought for the first phase of industrial development, said executives from Columnar Holdings, the master developer of DoubleBranch. The first phase will include 481,000 square feet of warehouse space in three buildings: 124,000 square feet, 155,000 square feet and 202,000 square feet. Available spaces will range from as small as 30,000 square feet to the entirety of the 202,000-square-foot building.

DoubleBranch was previously known as Pasco Town Center. Columnar paid $52 million for most of the site — 875 of 965 acres — in one of 2022's most notable real estate transactions. By September 2023, Columnar had spent $60 million on the project with plans to invest another $75 million in infrastructure.

The public is also invested in the project: Columnar landed a Pasco County incentive package worth $55.8 million, most of which will be awarded through property tax rebates.

Vertical construction on the industrial space should start in the third quarter, Mike Wolf, Columnar senior vice president, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. The warehouse space will begin construction speculatively without a tenant in place.

Wolf said the total investment in DoubleBranch will likely exceed $2 billion.

Robyn Hurrell, executive vice president at Colliers Tampa Bay, is marketing the industrial space at DoubleBranch for lease.

"In our experience, the floodgates open when you tilt your first wall," Matthew Omundson, chief operating officer and partner at Columnar, said of the demand for speculative warehouse space.

Hurrell said she anticipates interest from building supply distributors, typically among the largest occupants of warehouse space in the Tampa Bay region. But she also expects interest from manufacturing users in the life spaces space due to Pasco County's ongoing focus on recruiting the life sciences industry.

"I imagine it's going to be a strong mix between those two types of industries," Hurrell said.

Columnar is also planning a 270-unit, garden-style apartment complex featuring three-story buildings that should deliver in late 2026, Omundson said. The 80 acres of the project that fronts State Road 52 will be a "true mixed-use" development, he said, with plans for retail space, medical office space and possibly a hospital. That portion of the project will also include green space.

To pursue health care tenants, Columnar has engaged Thomas Wittenberg, the Tampa-based president of HealthTrek. Wittenberg specializes in the real estate needs of companies in the health care and life sciences industries.

Wittenberg said the developers are in "parallel discussions" with multiple health care systems for a presence in DoubleBranch. He said some are interested in building freestanding emergency departments as a precursor to a full-service hospital. The developers are pursuing health systems before talking to physician practices interested in the project.

Beyond the health system, the life sciences component of DoubleBranch could come together in various ways, Wittenberg said. It could be a corporate campus or a cold storage warehouse for a pharmaceutical company. There's also the possibility, as Hurrell mentioned, of manufacturing for a life sciences company.


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