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Channel District: More condos on the horizon

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Channel District: More condos on the horizon

Two proposed projects could bring more than 1,100 units. The City Council will consider the rezoning requests Nov. 4

By JANET ZINK, Times Staff Writer

Published October 15, 2004

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The condo craze continues in the Channel District.

Two proposed projects could bring more than 1,100 units to the area.

Anthony Development Group wants the city to rezone land at 514 Channelside Drive to build 250 condominiums and 12,229 square feet of retail space. The property houses a warehouse and Newk's Cafe, a restaurant and bar that would be torn down, according to papers filed with the city of Tampa.

Crescent Heights, a Miami developer with projects throughout the country, seeks to rezone a parking lot on the northwest corner of Jefferson Street and Channelside Drive to make way for two 30-story towers with 855 condominiums and about 25,000 square feet of retail space.

The Tampa City Council is scheduled to consider both rezoning requests Nov. 4.

Thomas Newkirk, who owns Newk's Cafe, said Anthony Development Group approached him about buying his property, but discussions are preliminary. They have no contract and have not agreed upon a price for the land, Newkirk said. However, he agreed to let Anthony Development pursue the rezoning.

"They have no rights to my property," Newkirk said. "They have no rights to anything. I'm surprised they would spend the money to go forward without having some understanding of what I would want for my property."

Newkirk said he isn't looking to unload the real estate but is happy to entertain offers.

"Everything is for sale," he said.

The Newkirk family is one of the developers of the Meridian, 37 art-deco-style lofts at the corner of 12th and Whiting streets.

Crescent Heights last month paid $6.1-million for the property at Jefferson and Channelside Drive, said Shay Mayron, the company's regional manager. The company chose the location, he said, because it sees downtown Tampa in the midst of a transformation where people already work and play but need places to live.

"City living is becoming more popular," Mayron said. "People are moving out of suburbs."

Studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom homes will range from 600 to more than 2,000 square feet. They will cost from the high $100,000s to more than $500,000.

Both projects are among those planned to bring more than 5,500 homes to the Channel District and downtown business district.

- Janet Zink can be reached at 226-3394 or [email protected]

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