Heritage park Tower

 

2000

Vacancy: Observers believe new space will be filled fast

Developers of Heritage Park are willing to bet more than $200 million that the three-building complex in downtown Tampa will fill up during the next decade.

The Hogan Group in Tampa is partnering with Naples-based Collier Enterprises and the Teacher's Insurance & Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) to secure financing for the 40-story Heritage Tower and two shorter twin structures. The project is being called Tampa's largest and most ambitious urban development to date.

TIAA-CREF owns two of the eight vacant blocks in Tampa where Heritage Park will be built, with the rest of the 9.5-acre tract belonging to Collier and the city of Tampa.

The Heritage Tower will contain 500,000 square feet. Its companion buildings each will contain at least 250,000 square feet. Construction will begin on those after the main tower is completed about three years from now.

With more than 1 million square feet of brand new Class A office space opening up in Tampa, commercial developers might not have risked such an ambitious project during, say, the late 1980s.

But this is a different Tampa with development happening on practically all fronts from retail to residential. Sports fans and concertgoers now outnumber the rats that once scurried back and forth between warehouses at night.

"Tampa is truly moving toward becoming a 24-hour city," said Mike Hogan, president of The Hogan Group, which also is nearing completion on Channelside at Garrison Seaport, a 230,000-square-foot urban entertainment center near the Florida Aquarium and Ice Palace.

Occupancy rates in Tampa's downtown office buildings currently hover around the 90 percent mark with lease rates for Class A space bringing close to $30 per square foot per year. The central business district has 45,000 employees and 12,000 residents, and those numbers are bound to increase in years to come.

Tampa developers say they believe the market is strong enough to absorb Heritage Park's new space, even with other projects on the way from downtown to the Westshore business district.

 

 

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