Developers say robust demand for residences led to decision
The developers behind the planned Riverwalk Place have decided to abandon plans for some 200,000 square feet of office space in the 53-story tower and add additional condominium residences instead.
Two Roads Development of Miami and Feldman Equities Ltd. plans to supplant the office space with roughly 80 new condo residences, which will be priced from $600,000.
The new units will bring to 290 the number of condos in the Ashley Drive tower. Had the office component been delivered, it would have marked the first major office building to be constructed in downtown Tampa in a quarter century.
The $350 million project — which will be the tallest building along the Gulf Coast and is the last undeveloped tract along Tampa’s Riverwalk — is one of the most anticipated developments slated to commence construction in the region in 2019.
Feldman CEO Larry Feldman and Reid Boren, Two Roads’ managing partner, say they are responding to customer demands for additional residences in the tower, which would be the first major mixed-use development in downtown Tampa.
To date, the developers say they have received reservations on roughly $70 million in sales in the building. It could not be determined how many units are currently reserved.
“A developer’s job is to follow the customer, and that’s what we’re doing,” says Feldman, during the ceremonial opening of a Riverwalk Place sales center in the Wells Fargo Center office building — owned by Feldman and Tower Realty Partners — that is adjacent to the construction site.
“We’ve had way better demand for the residential units than we expected,” Feldman says. “And we’re convinced that Tampa is greatly underserved in the luxury market.
Boren acknowledged that melding the office space and residential space together in a single building appeared to be somewhat difficult for consumers to become accustomed to in Tampa.
“Being the first is always difficult,” he says. “But it was a great offering to the market before and it will be a great offering with this change.”
The Gensler-designed tower, where units will average around 2,000 square feet, will continue to provide a mix of uses, thanks to at least four restaurants that will be located on the ground floor.
Mack Feldman, Larry Feldman’s son and a company executive, says the developers remain committed to expanding the Riverwalk to create depth and enhance the pedestrian and diner experience.
Larry Feldman says the decision to eliminate the office space should not be viewed as an assessment of downtown’s market.
“This is no comment on the downtown office market, it’s very strong,” Feldman says. “It’s just that the condo market, we feel, is even stronger.”
Riverwalk Place is slated to take roughly three years to build.
“We’re on the cusp of something magical,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says, during the sales center event on Nov. 7.
“We need amazing buildings to be a first-class city, and that’s what this building does,” the mayor says. “It sends a message.”