For Rent, For Lease. These signs filled Channelside for quite some time shortly after the recession, serving as a reminder of what was and what could have been in 2009. Feelings of stagnation and a general sense of discouragement have plagued the downtown area.
Now, the facelift Channelside has needed for so long is finally underway. Developer and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced his plans in late 2014, plans that point towards a vibrant, lively place to live. He hopes to make Tampa “the nation’s next great waterfront city.”
Here is a quick glance at ten things you need to know about what’s going on and where we are headed:
Downtown Tampa Area
Riverwalk is a paved two-mile pedestrian trail along Channelside. The expansion opened in March 2015, stretching along the bay to include some daytime entertainment at places like Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park or the Florida Aquarium, and it connects to various nightlife offerings like the Straz Center or Channelside Bay Plaza. Plans indicate that it will connect to the Heights Riverfront, which will offer 50 acres of residential, office and commercial retail space.
2208 W Morrison Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
This modern Mediterranean style menu offers small plates along with crafted cocktails and artisanal cheeses. Enjoy being overwhelmed by their selection of over 300 bourbons and the extensive wine list that dares you to try something new to pair with your meal. It’s fine dining at its finest.
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Tampa,FL 33612
A major part of Vinik’s $2 billion first phase of the Channelside expansion, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine is expanding along with a companion medical office building. This will bring numerous opportunities for employment and education to the area, adding to the already impressive medical field in Tampa.
777 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
A relatively new addition to the city’s gastropub scene, Anise offers Korean and Asian inspired shareable plates with, you guessed it, crafted cocktails. Keep your ear to the ground for any upcoming wine and champagne tastings or five-course curated meals with cocktail pairings. Loosen your tie and put on your dancing shoes for Vinyl Gallery Saturday, a musical experience hosted by the in-house DJ.
Yep. This sounds bizarre, but it is truly amazing. Tampa will be the first entire neighborhood in the world to be WELL Certified, a building standard created by Delos that is focused on human health and wellness. WELL certification focuses on seven concepts relevant to human health – air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Buildings will include purified air and water, circadian lighting, which helps balance the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and flooring that is posture supportive.
Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Dr #127, Tampa, FL 33602
Opened in early 2015, Hablo Taco promises awesome Mexican food and a fun happy hour atmosphere. Enjoy some margaritas at what is shaping up to be a great starting point for revitalizing the Channelside Bay Plaza as a culinary powerhouse.
116 N 12th St Tampa, FL 33602
While there is not a lot of information yet, District Tavern will be a centerpiece in Channelside, located on the ground floor of the Skyhouse Channelside apartment building. Time to count down to the opening of this awesome gastropub that will use locally sourced ingredients and will serve a large selection of craft beer.
10210 Highland Manor Drive, Suite 325, Tampa, FL 33610
This mobile enterprise software company was recently named Small Business of the Year by the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce. Their small size makes for what seems to be a fun, innovative place to work, and they are already expanding operations into Arizona. They are an indicator of the entrepreneurial spirit in the Tampa area.
1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Armed with a barbacoa grill, fresh local ingredients and a penchant for creativity and flavor, Ulele delivers tasty “native-inspired” foods and spirits. What could make this place any cooler? They brew their own beer in house. Not only is this new addition to the city a strong presence in the competitive restaurant scene, it is also a representation of the originality and vibrancy of the growing Tampa Heights area.
Tampa hosts three Fortune 500 companies (Tech Data, Jabil and WellCare Health Plans). This represents the diversity of industry in the bay area. Top industries include healthcare, financial, manufacturing and tourism. Some other notable businesses in the area include Raymond James Financial, Publix Supermarkets, Baycare Health Systems, MacDill Air Force Base and Home Shopping Network. That’s right, you can come stock shelves, nurse people back to good health, sell jewelry on television, play with numbers in a corner office or serve this great country as a military officer. The possibilities are endless here!
Tampa looks to grow and expand in many exciting ways. From grub and beer to technology, wellness and nightlife, the city opens itself to so much potential. But as Vinik has stated, it cannot be done without support. Click here to make suggestions on how Tampa can reach its utmost potential and be the highest standard of awesome.