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295 More Feet Means A Lot To Developer

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295 More Feet Means A Lot To Developer

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CHANNEL DISTRICT - Developer Fida Sirdar doesn't see his proposed 32-story, Phase 2 condominium of The Place at Channelside as a misfit.

Other high rises are in various stages of development for the Channel District, including the recently proposed Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' 55-story tower.

The Fairmont, with 400 hotel units and 180 condominiums, would be across from Sirdar's almost 3-acre property at 918 Channelside Drive.

Sirdar is scheduled to go before the Tampa City Council on Thursday for a zoning change because the Channel District has a 65-foot height restriction.

The Place Phase 2, with 198 units plus retail space, would be 360 feet tall. Phase 1 of the project will have 243 units.

Sirdar sees the urban-style development, where the average condominium will cost $375,000, as economically necessary.

``If you want a mixed-used area, you must increase density,'' he said. He said greater numbers of residents are needed to support the retail businesses and restaurants.

Meeting with residents on April 1, Sirdar told them he plans community improvements such as wider sidewalks, murals, fountains and sculptures.

Sirdar said the last time he sought a zoning change for his 86-foot Phase 1, the council later approved The Towers of Channelside, at Meridian Avenue and North 12th Street, which is twice as high.

Genie White, president of the Channel District Community Association, expressed reservations about high-rise condominiums because they don't reflect the district's pedestrian-friendly scale.

Henry Lewis, who operates City Blue Print at his four-story office/residential structure at 11th and Washington streets, said even though the Phase 2 tower will block the sun, he is not opposed to it.

``We want retail,'' Lewis said. ``The residents at next door Channelside 212 Lofts are really anxious for places to walk to.''

Reporter Janis D. Froelich can be reached at (813) 259-7143.

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