Park, plaza: New look at Channelside's future

- We're getting a better idea of what the area around Port Tampa Bay will begin to look like in the coming years.

Developers presented their vision for Tampa's Channelside district yesterday.  They plan to bring in just about everything: Retail, business, and residential units.

They say the $3-billion project has expanded beyond initial expectations.  They plan to connect the port and channel districts through an enhanced street network.  They will also want to extend the Riverwalk under the Beneficial Bridge.

A new 500,000-square-foot retail space is going to replace Channelside Bay Plaza, which will allow for the construction of a new waterfront park and plaza.

"We're hoping to create an extension of downtown that is a gathering-space and really becomes a hub of the Tampa Bay area and activates the waterfront in the downtown area in a way that hasn't been done," offered James Nozar of Strategic Property Partners.

The project will happen in four phases: The park and plaza first, followed by residential units, office space, and a hotel. 

Developers hope to break ground late next year and have the first phase completed by the end of 2018.

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