Billion-dollar redevelopment plan for downtown Tampa unveiled

Thanks to the investment of community groups, politicians, media outlets and private companies, 2014 has marked a year when Tampa has reconsidered its image and doubled down on efforts to boost commercial activity. With remodeling set to transform the airport, commuters zipping around on a new bike share program and panels discussing the future of business in Tampa Bay, it's an exciting time to witness ambitious plans set into motion. 

This week, Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, revealed plans to reinvent an area of downtown Tampa into a major community and commercial center. Between Amalie Arena and the Selmon Expressway, Vinik has acquired enough property to develop 25 acres and 3 million square feet of new commercial space. Described by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a "corporate campus," the underutilized corner of downtown could be the next hub of innovation and activity as Tampa's profile rises nationally. 

"Jeff wants to start a national corporate relocation campaign with the EDC and Enterprise Florida," Jim Shimberg, an executive under Vinik told the Tampa Bay Times. "We're targeting companies that would have the potential to bring significant jobs here."

The ambitious project, says the Times, would hang an "Open for Business" sign over downtown Tampa. In total, the development team estimates the project could create $35 million each year in tax revenue and invigorate sectors of the economy with jobs and public excitement. Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, is a major contributor to the redevelopment plan, which is expected to take five to seven years to be completed. 

Enthusiasm for the endeavor confirms what we at On Point Executive Center already know: There's never been a better time to look for office space in Tampa

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