TAMPA, Fla. - Even as people worry about inflation and the economy, the Tampa Bay building boom is still booming, at least for now.
Related group, developer of the Ritz-Carlton Residences on Bayshore Boulevard, are on track to build two new condo towers in addition to the one now under construction just south of Bay To Bay Boulevard.
"It’s full speed ahead," said Jon Paul Perez, president of Related Group.
The company announced it’s going ahead with plans for a second tower for Ritz-Carlton Residences.
"We saw that there was great demand in excess of what we had to offer in phase one," said Perez.
The company has pre-sold dozens of luxury condos in the first tower with starting prices of over $1 million. Perez doesn’t believe concerns about the economy will stop brisk sales.
"Although it might be at a slower pace, I still think there’s more demand than supply, especially in the Tampa market," he said.
Perez said most buyers, so far, fit into two categories, local empty nesters who have sold their single family homes at a premium, and people moving to Tampa from out of town.
He said Related Group also has a deal with a nearby synagogue, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, just south of the Ritz project, to buy a portion of its campus for another condo tower that will be separate from the Ritz Brand.
Perez said it won’t saturate the market. "We’re not flooding the market with hundreds of high-end condos, it's a boutique style very high end."
Near the site of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Related Group has bought and torn down dozens of older apartments. More are slated to go. It’s sending people like Chris Grace, who has rented an apartment for nearly three years, looking for housing elsewhere.
"I’ll probably have to move out of South Tampa to get the price I’m at right now," said Grace.
Perez said new high-end condo towers will raise property values for surrounding owners and create hundreds of construction jobs. However, working with people being displaced by luxury housing has become a hot issue in both Tampa and St. Petersburg.
"Unfortunately you either have to downsize or move out, one of the two," said Grace.
Related Group is also building workforce housing in Tampa’s West River neighborhoods and has plans for many more affordable housing units in the new Rome Yard development. Perez said Related Group is committed to provide housing for all income levels.