TAMPA (FOX 13) - Helping to break ground on the new Manor Riverwalk, Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn's vision of the new downtown is surely, but slowly becoming a reality.
"It is the beginning of a dream come true," he said.
The waterfront apartments will be built on the site of the old Tampa Tribune building on South Parker Street. Its developer, The Related Group has decided to take on the project solo.
"Look at the site, these are irreplaceable sites," said Jorge Perez, Chairman of The Related Group. "You can't replace the ocean, you can't replace the river, you can't replace the bay. When all of those are in the downtown location... I could not find this place anywhere else. It was love at first sight."
On top of the 400 luxury apartments that will be built at Manor Riverwalk, Perez says he is committed to also developing more affordable housing.
"We've made it a company philosophy, when we go into an area, to also try to provide for those people so they can live in the city," said Perez.
Buckhorn added, "You've got to have a city that's complete. You can't have a city where folks get left behind."
Perez's new property will also include an extension of Tampa's Riverwalk on the west side. The mayor says the city has most of the development agreements that will take the Riverwalk up to Rick's on the River.
"I think the momentum is here," said Buckhorn. "From this project, all the way up through Plant Park, Riverfront Park - which will be completed next spring - and then around to the West River Project, I think over the next decade, it's going to transform this entire area."