Tampa Gas Worx project officially begins with groundbreaking to connect Ybor City with Channel District

First it was Water Street, but now, another giant transformation is officially underway in Tampa. A groundbreaking was held Monday for Gas Worx, a 50 acre residential and retail community that will bring 5,000 new residences on the southwest edge of Ybor City stretching toward Channelside.

The massive project is expected to bring new opportunities for families and businesses that want to reside near the area. Gas Worx marks the beginning of a new chapter in Ybor City’s history. 

Those involved in the project say it is another piece of the puzzle in Tampa’s makeover process.

Following in the footsteps of Channelside and Water Street, the Gas Worx project will fill in the gaps working its way toward the Channelside District over the next few years.

Officials say the land the project will sit on has been underutilized over the last couple of decades.

A rendering of the Gas Worx development.

A rendering of the Gas Worx development. 

The 50-acre project is a joint venture between Tampa developer Darryl Shaw and Washington D.C.-based real estate company Kettler. Those developers have described Gas Worx as a ‘transit-oriented’ company because of the heightened focus on fixing infrastructure, adding new multi-use trails, and creating a new stop for the Teco street car.

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Shaw says the design will compliment the architecture of the Ybor City Historic District.

"But honestly the culture and character of Ybor is the people," said Shaw in a FOX 13 interview following the groundbreaking. "It’s creating an environment that’s safe, they can live and work here, they can go to a restaurant, enjoy green space."

The development will also have 5,000 residences, more than 500,000 square feet of office space, and more than 140,000 square feet of retail stores.

It’s centered around an old warehouse that will be repurposed into a food hall or market-like hub where people can go to relax and hang out. That will be surrounded by miles of walking and biking trails.  The structures will get bigger closer to the Selmon Expressway.

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Shaw has spent months meeting with citizens groups. Some are concerned with how additional residents could fuel Tampa’s growing challenges with traffic and transportation.

Plans call for a major enhancement of Tampa’s street car system with larger and faster street cars that take passengers to more stations throughout Tampa. 

"It will become a form of transit as opposed to a tourist attraction," said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in a FOX 13 interview following the groundbreaking. "It will go to Ybor, Channelside, downtown, Tampa Heights, Gas Worxs, connecting all those neighborhoods."

Castor said Gas Worx will be a walkable community where people could choose not to own a car. She says 5,000 additional housing units coming to Gas Worx could ease rising housing costs by increasing the supply of available housing near downtown. 

New development near Downtown begs the question: Could the Tampa Bay Rays move here?

"I think conversations are ongoing," said Shaw. "I don’t know what’s going to happen with Major League Baseball. I would love for them to come here, but I think that’s got to play out."

The first 300 apartments in Gas Worx, including affordable housing, are scheduled to open in 2024.