Live, Work and Play starts with Living in Westshore

The Westshore District is undergoing transformations in multiple categories, including a crucial one in residential development growth. Whether it is Westshore apartment living or single family residences, Tampa is rising in popularity with employees working in the District and new residents moving to the city. The District’s real estate development has been booming, causing a shift in what was once strictly a business district to become more of a mixed-use residential area. 

Need for More Multifamily Residences 

As the Westshore District continues to thrive, the demand for more multifamily residences is increasing. Although already an established residential community featuring significant amounts of residential apartment buildings,complexes and subdivisions, more young professionals and families are flocking to the area. In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis led to increased numbers of people from out of state moving to the Tampa Bay area. In fact, Tampa Bay was ranked number four in the United States for net inflow of residents in 2020, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and 2021 appears to be trending the same. The pandemic and continued investment into the District is serving as a catalyst for Westshore’s residential development needs.The growth isn’t limited to just the Westshore area either. Multiple neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay area have gotten residential facelifts and expansions, and now it is Westshore’s turn. 

“There is a definite need for more multifamily in the Westshore District,” says Pat Kelly, current President of the Westshore Alliance. “Of the 30 market rate apartment communities either under construction or delivered in Tampa since 2018, only 3 are located within the Westshore area.” 

Out With the Old, In With the New

One of the big developments coming to the Tampa Bay area is happening within the Westshore District. South Carolina developer, Woodfield Development, has filed a rezoning request for a 2.84 acre property to develop an eight floor, 328 apartment, 618 parking space complex.  The current site on Mariner Street and Bay Center Drive is home to a couple of office buildings that the developer described as “outdated and dilapidated.” Woodfield Development plans to raze these and develop a new luxury apartment complex that will accommodate the needs and expectations of those pursuing residency in the area.

This development is the third apartment building project proposed in that specific area of the District, south of Interstate 275 and Kennedy Boulevard. Local investors, Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel have proposed plans for a mixed use tower at 5600 Mariner Street, and Crescent Communities - currently developing the Midtown Tampa Novel project - plans to build a luxury complex in Bay Center, making it a waterfront development. 

Another residential development coming to Westshore is rising up in the Rocky Point neighborhood. In partnership with Northwood Ravin, the Rocky Point development is going to be a 180-unit mid-rise waterfront community with aquatic-related amenities. Construction on this development began in Q3 of 2020. 

Working Towards Walkability

Walkability in a neighborhood is a trend that catches like wildfire among residents and developers alike. People have embraced an opportunity to work, dine, and find entertainment opportunities without having to get in their cars. In fact, websites and apps exist for prospective residents that rate the walkability of a city or neighborhood. Recent studies done by the Westshore Alliance found that 65% of people who live in Westshore’s apartment communities also work in the District. The research justifies working with developers to make the area more inviting with increased access to walkable paths that undoubtedly will appease residents and visitors.

“Similar to downtown Tampa, the Westshore District attracts residents who value walkability,” says Westshore Alliance President Pat Kelly. “More multifamily in the District will only help to further {the} walkability, taking cars off the road and reducing greenhouse emissions.”

As Kelly discussed, making Westshore more walkable will have a multitude of benefits. People will be getting in their cars less, leading to less traffic on Westshore’s roads. Parking issues are eased with fewer cars arriving at destinations, leaving room for more visitors, too. Less pollution from car emissions will have positive impacts on the environment and air quality. In addition, the District’s mantra is: Live, Work, and Play. When Westshore residents are able to experience the convenience of walking to work and play venues, it will lead to a happier and more prosperous community from both a residential and economic perspective.