Whole Foods Market first tenant in new Dale Mabry development

Image 1 of 6

It's a multimillion-dollar project in the works, billed as a way to link downtown Tampa with the city's booming Westshore area.

The site is 22 acres of prime real estate, planned to be transformed over the next three years into a 1.8-million-square-foot mixed-use development.  Dubbed Midtown Tampa, the project includes 750,000 square feet of office space, 240,000 square feet of retail and entertainment area, 400 multi-family residences, and two hotels.       

"What's happening in Tampa and Tampa Bay as a whole is pretty extraordinary, so I’m excited to see what happens," said Gina Foti.

"I think it's exciting for Tampa as long as they can manage the traffic, you know, that's the big thing,” shopper Mark Asmer said. “But it should be good."

So far, FOX 13 has learned the plans include plenty of parking, and the first major tenant has signed on.          

Whole Foods Market announced Tuesday plans to relocate its store from less than a mile down the road. The new, 48,000-square-foot space will make it the largest Whole Foods in the Tampa metro area.

"When I heard they were moving I thought they were closing, but I’m glad they're staying. It's not that far away, so we'll still be stopping in," said Asmer.

The developer, The Bromley Companies, has been piecing together parcels of land at the project site for at least two decades.

"This is Main and Main for retail in the city of Tampa,” said Tampa's administrator of economic opportunity, Bob McDonaugh. “The traffic counts are phenomenal, Dale Mabry and I-275, great visibility, great neighborhood, not far from the Westshore Business District, not far from the airport, near a regional mall. There are a lot of components that make it a great site."

The location south of I-275 -- bordered by North Dale Mabry Highway, North Himes Avenue, and West Cypress Street -- is exactly why the vision of Midtown Tampa is to connect downtown with Westshore. As well as bring a huge boost to the economy.

"So I think it kinda fills a void and puts a period at the end of the sentence," McDonaugh said.

The site still needs to be rezoned for this development, a public hearing is set for the City Council meeting April 12.  If everything is approved, Midtown Tampa could be open for business by 2021.