A proposed real estate project in downtown Tampa just might become the largest new residential development in the area.

The Lafayette Place development features more than 1.7 million square feet of space for residential, retail, hotel and office development. The Hillsborough River Realty Company plans to develop the six-acre tract on the west side of the Hillsborough River.

The proposed development includes three buildings. Lafayette Tower, fronting the Hillsborough River, will contain office, hotel and retail space. Lafayette Parkview, on the land just behind the tower, would include residential, retail and parking space. Residential, retail and parking space would occupy the Lafayette Central building. This building would sit in the nearby Grand Central District.

Hillsborough River Realty applied to the city of Tampa for mixed-use zoning for the location in October. The company hopes to have the rezoning completed by March 2017.

No Pressure To Hurry

John LaRocca, senior vice president for Hillsborough River Realty Company, said the company wants to see other projects slated for development in downtown Tampa succeed because “success will breed success.”

“We’re not pressured to make something happen immediately,” LaRocca told the Business Observer.  “For those projects already in the pipeline in downtown Tampa and those that are close to getting permits, we want them to be successful, because that will mean our project stands a chance of being successful.”

Many projects are currently in various stages of development in downtown Tampa. One such project is a $2 billion project in Channelside. Another is a 52-story Riverwalk Tower. Development of the old Tampa Tribune building on the west side of the river is planned for conversion into a 400-unit apartment complex.

Hillsborough River Realty owns the Lafayette Place site debt-free. Company president John Avlon told the Tampa Bay Times that the property was initially planned for a single-use as an office building. However, the company decided to follow the latest development trends and pursue multi-use zoning instead.

“It became evident to us that with mixed-use rather than a single massive use, Tampa is better served by it, the river is better served by it and the neighborhood could be better served by it,’ Avlon said.

Development in Downtown Tampa

The Lafayette Place name comes from the former Lafayette Street Bridge which the land sits next to.  A photo of it is on the Hillsborough River Realty Company homepage. The bridge name changed to Kennedy Boulevard Bridge after the 1963 death of President John F. Kennedy. This is according to Hillsborough River Realty Company.

The two parcels of land near the Hillsborough River are bisected by Parker Street, with the WFLA building to the south along the river. The third parcel is in the nearby – and growing – Grand Central District.

The number of projects underway in the downtown area fit into the city’s plan, called InVision Tampa. In this plan, the Hillsborough River sits at the center of downtown development.