The Hillsborough County Economic Development Department is proud to announce the completion of the redevelopment of the property located at 3500 E. Fletcher Avenue, a.k.a. the University Professional Center. The project was a recipient of a $279,613 matching grant from the County’s Targeted Redevelopment Pilot Project program and the first project to receive such funding in the University Targeted Redevelopment area. The property, owned by Eastbourne Investments, Ltd., and managed by Ciminelli Real Estate Services, already boasts a number of new tenants, most of whom are part of or do business with, the University of South Florida across the street.
This project’s return-on-investment is represented by the continued viability of a 106,184 square foot medical office building within the redevelopment area so they can create new operations and add jobs. The result is a dramatically different office building and a wonderful addition to the University area, now known as “Uptown”. The 4.8-acre property, before improvements, consisted of “Class C” office space at a 34% vacancy rate. The goal was to upgrade to “Class B+” office space and achieve full capacity of 400-500 employees.
The project included demolition of interior walls, windows, doors, and mansards; infrastructure such as parking fencing and landscaping; exterior upgrades including replacement of walls, windows, doors and a 5 story, glass atrium; and interior renovations such as new finishes on ceiling walls and floor, replace HVAC, plumbing, fire suppression and electrical systems, which were all eligible improvements in the County’s Redevelopment Incentives for Pilot Project Areas Program. As part of this Agreement, the Project Applicant provided a 5:1 private-to-public capital investment match. The funds are distributed after the applicant produces invoices and proof of payment for the agreed-upon redevelopment activities.
In August 2016, the Board of County Commissioners approved the Redevelopment Incentives for the County’s Redevelopment Incentives for Pilot Project Areas (RIPPA.) The primary objective of the program is to draw out and encourage private sector office/industrial investments focused on property and buildings that encourage retention, the attraction of new businesses, and jobs for our community. The program offers various matching grant incentives to address deficient site and building issues encountered when redeveloping a project site. These matching grant incentives can assist in the cost of rehabilitating an existing building and infrastructure upgrades to the site or can be used to address infrastructure deficiencies associated with the construction of a new building and associated site. Other available matching grant incentives are geared toward façade improvements of small businesses and the catalyst incentives needed to jump-start new development that may not be consistent with office and industrial development but would create the impetus of attracting such development by the attraction of private capital investment to the area. As part of this program, property owners, business owners, and developers can apply for matching grants to assist with various aspects of redevelopment. The completion of this project in the University area, coupled with the significant construction being invested in the nearby AdventHealth Hospital and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, are the types of projects that act as a catalyst to boost the economy within the vicinity, as well as add to the attraction for additional investment.
Recently, both the County and the City of Tampa approved measures to partner with the Tampa Innovation Partnership (formerly known as the Tampa Innovation Alliance) in order to move forward with the creation of the Uptown innovation district creating a new land use and zoning necessary to create an environment for targeted growth. The result will be a district-wide plan whose governance structure will make it easier for developers and businesses to navigate as they look to make their mark in or relocate to the district. This redevelopment district will be the largest single redevelopment area in Hillsborough County and possibly, the Tampa Bay region.
To find out more about the County’s Redevelopment Incentives for Pilot Project Areas, contact Eric Lindstrom, Competitive Sites and Redevelopment Manager at 813-276-2747 or LindstromE@HCFLGov.net, or Valerie Ferrell, Redevelopment Coordinator at 813-272-9514 or FerrellV@HCFLGov.net.