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Tampa Heights YMCA's mixed-use redevelopment gets first nod from city council
By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Published: Mar 25, 2024

The redevelopment of Central City YMCA’s Tampa Heights real estate is a step closer to reality.

Tampa City Council on Thursday gave preliminary approval to plans to redevelop a 6.2-acre piece of YMCA-owned property along North Florida Avenue. The mixed-use development will be 1.25 million square feet and anchored by a new YMCA that's nearly double the size of the current facility.

“We thank the City Council and all elected officials for this support. This will be a great development for the community, and pivotal in sustaining our capacity to serve a growing Tampa Heights neighborhood,” Matt Mitchell, President and CEO of Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, said in a statement.

Tampa’s Ellison Development, led by Casey Ellison and co-founded by Sidd Pagidipati, is leading the redevelopment effort.

The redevelopment won three approvals to move forward: the rezoning of the property; the vacating of multiple alleys near the site; and an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan to change the future land use of the property.

The new YMCA will be built across North Florida Avenue from the current facility. A sky bridge over North Florida Avenue will connect the new YMCA to the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA’s corporate offices and parking.

The current YMCA will not close until the new one is built.

The rezoning request passed 5-1, with councilmember Luis Viera voting against the project. Councilmember Bill Carlson recused himself from the vote, citing a conflict with a “shareholder” in the project who is a client of public relations firm Tucker Hall, where Carlson is president. The Pagidipati family is a Tucker Hall client.

“I think this is a very special project,” Guido Maniscalco, council chair, said.

A second hearing will be held April 18.

Here’s a breakdown of the plans:

110,000-square-foot YMCA

More than 20,000 square feet of curated green space

200-room lifestyle hotel

184,000 square feet of office space

100,000 square feet of retail space

400 multifamily units; 10% will be designated for affordable housing

The Standard Oil building at 110 E Oak Ave. will be preserved and possibly used as a hotel lobby and restaurant space, said architect Sol Fleischman, whose firm FleischmanGarciaMaslowski designed the development.

Casey Ellison, CEO of Ellison Cos., said the retail space will include incubator space for minority-owned businesses.

"It feels good to be part of a project that will bring such a positive change to its community,” Ellison said in a statement. “We couldn't ask for a better partner than the YMCA. Their work in the community is critical, and the Central City Development will allow them to expand their reach while also creating a much-needed link between Ybor City and the Heights. We're excited to help bring it all to life."

Kimley-Horn is the engineer; Dark Moss is the arborist. Tyler Hudson, a partner in Gardner Hudson Brewer, is the zoning attorney representing Ellison.



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