New apartment building coming to Water Street

Tampa’s new Water Street Downtown is where Tim Nevsimal is finding a new market selling retro electric bikes. Change is coming fast here and people are spending money. 

"Every day there’s a new bar or new restaurant opening up," says Nevsimal. "There are a lot of new places and new faces."

They’re breaking ground for a new apartment building on nearby Whiting Street. 701 Whiting will feature more than a hundred small apartments, mostly studios. 

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"If you think about studio living, we’ve all gone to apartments and the first thing we see is the bed in the middle of the room, and I think we’ve eliminated that," says Christopher Bicho, president of Landings Real Estate Group. 

His new building will eliminate it with a bed that lowers from the ceiling with the touch of a button or even a voice command. It’s called the Ori Cloud Bed. It will come installed in each of the 104 apartments, which will be around 400 square feet in size. 

"Then in the morning when you wake up you hit the button and the cradle brings it right back up into the ceiling, so you really end up with an apartment that feels like a 500 square foot to 550 square foot apartment," says Bicho. "It’s a game changer for Tampa."

Bichot hopes to have the 701 Whiting Street building open in 17 months. He projects it will cost around $2,000 to $2,400 dollars to rent the apartments. He says that price point will be appealing in what he calls Tampa’s Water Street Sub-Market, where many residents are from other places or at a transitional point in their lives. 

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"We’ve really geared it for that."

The 25 to 35-year-old demographic who doesn’t have $3,800 dollars for a one-bedroom, can’t afford the $7,000 for the two-bedroom, and they get their own space," says Bichot. 

Getting their own space may hold appeal in this new neighborhood where some don’t want to own a car. They opt for bikes or e-bikes instead. They may become the consumers who sign a lease for an apartment with a futuristic bed that turns a small space into a different small space.