How Developers Discovered Tampa’s ‘Best-Kept Secret’

TAMPA, Fla. — When Paul Guzzo first set eyes on Tampa in 1999, he was not impressed.

“I thought, this isn’t a city — it’s a ghost town,” said Mr. Guzzo, a native of Trenton who, like so many other Northerners, had moved south for the balmy weather. “It was like a small town looking to become a big city.”

Against his better judgment, he stayed, and has since been able to observe the gradual metamorphosis of the city’s center: A slew of developments, some completed, others planned or under construction, have imbued Tampa with a sense of dynamism that most people here agree it sorely lacked. Even some of Bill Gates’s billions are in on the action.

“You couldn’t have imagined that it would become what it is,” said Mr. Guzzo, 42, who writes about the area’s history, among other topics, for The Tampa Bay Times. “There’s stuff to do downtown. There are people there 24 hours a day. That’s the difference.”

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Miami-based Related Group is diversifying in multiple ways, to the benefit of St. Petersburg and Tampa.

The Related Group is continuing to branch out, both from its home base of Miami and from the condominium towers that made the company synonymous with urban living.

As part of a push to diversify both geographically and by product type, Related is focusing increasingly on providing upscale apartments in select urban markets, including Tampa and St. Petersburg.

The latest evidence of the pivot can be found in Icon Central, a 15-story multifamily rental project that is under construction in downtown St. Petersburg.

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Solar-powered Miami office is made entirely from repurposed shipping containers

Argentina-based Reale Arquitectos just unveiled plans for a stunning office building made completely out of shipping containers. Currently under construction in Miami, the contemporary structure is made out of four repurposed containers strategically configured to give the building plenty of open spaces and great ocean views. In addition to the shipping containers, the project take advantage of a variety of green building strategies including solar power and a rainwater harvesting system.

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