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Crews reach top of 31-story downtown Tampa tower

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 p.m. July 6, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Crews reach the top of the AER tower in downtown Tampa just over a year before construction began.
Crews reach the top of the AER tower in downtown Tampa just over a year before construction began.
Courtesy rendering
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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About 57 weeks after a ceremonial groundbreaking kicked off the construction of the long-awaited Arts and Entertainment Residences in downtown Tampa, crews have topped out the 31-story tower.

The top was reached June 30 — just a month after the one-year anniversary of the May 26, 2022, official start of the project. (Crews for Coastal Construction were already drilling the deep foundations and preparing to install the pile caps at the time the city officials showed up with their shovels and photographers.)

AER is a luxury tower being built at 300 W. Tyler Ave. It's sandwiched on two sides between the parking garage for the Glazer Children’s Museum and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, and the Hillsborough River and the John F. Germany Library branch on the other two sides.

In addition to the 334-unit luxury tower, a 514-space parking garage will sit atop 13,688 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The project is a baby of sorts for former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn who pushed for more than a decade to get it approved and built.

At the groundbreaking last year, Buckhorn talked about how he tried to sell the idea of moving a few blocks around and taking the back half of the library to create a usable block to fit the building on 1.014 acres but was met with blank stares "as if we had 12 heads."

“Despite all the handwringing and all the bed wetting, today’s the day,” he said at the groundbreaking.

The tower is going up in a space where West Tyler once reached an apex, meeting up with other city streets. Buckhorn said last year that the city was able to take down an unused portion of the library and move the road in order to create both a better traffic flow and a block of land that was unused.

To commemorate the topping out, two palm trees and an American flag were raised to the top of the building.

AER is scheduled to be completed spring of next year.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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