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Firm Has Active Plans For Site

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Firm Has Active Plans For Site

By DAVE SIMANOFF

[email protected]

TAMPA - A local development group is looking to sign on investors and tenants for a massive new office, hotel and entertainment center near Raymond James Stadium and Legends Field in Tampa.

Keystone Ventures LLC, based in Tampa, said Monday that it wants to build a $240 million complex, called Tampa Sport Centre, at the northwest corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The firm hasn't completed its purchase of the property. Nor has it received city approvals to begin construction.

Keystone Ventures's proposal calls for:

* A 160,000-square-foot conference center.

* About 150,000 square feet of professional office space.

* A sports medicine, research, nutrition and exercise science center.

* A fitness, training and rehabilitation center.

* A luxury hotel with up to 300 rooms, and a spa.

* A sports entertainment complex with restaurant and interactive games.

* A retail center.

* More than 200 condominium units.

At 1.2 million square feet, the proposed complex would be almost as large as Tampa's International Plaza mall.

Greg Neal, managing partner of Keystone Ventures, said that he is talking to companies that would want to move to Tampa Sport Centre and to investors looking to back the project. The company, he said, has a contract to buy Century Buick, Isuzu and Kia, an auto dealership on the 15-acre site targeted for the complex.

``It's not a done deal,'' Neal said. ``It is in development, and we're making excellent progress with qualified tenants and investors of a national and international scope. We're quite confident that all those details will be completed over this summer.''

Neal said he wants Tampa Sport Centre to serve as a resource for local athletes and a destination for fans.

``We are the home of world champions, and we are an area that is rich with professional athletes that have chosen to make this their home,'' he said. ``And all of us who have active lifestyles need help with our fitness, our nutrition and our training.''

Neal said he would like to start construction on the new complex in 2005 and open it in 2007.

Mayor Pam Iorio could not be reached for comment late Monday.

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I am dubious. This seems pretty ambitious for an area of car dealerships and small warehouses that is isolated from everything else.

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