Several years ago, Downtown Tampa was a ghost town after 5 p.m. But now, thanks to non-stop new construction and major overhauls of existing areas (plus a popular and powerful Tampa Bay Lightning team), downtown is bustling at all hours of the day and night.
In late 2017, former Tampa Tribune executive Kermit Kauffman downsized — moving from his South Tampa home of 27 years to a condo in the Channel District. He quickly fell in love with his new neighborhood. “I like the convenience of it,” Kauffman says. “I walked over to the arena for a Lightning game last week. I’m a runner and can cross the street and get on a running and biking trail that takes me to the Tampa Riverwalk and Bayshore Boulevard. It is easy to access the Selmon Expressway and the interstate, easy to get to the Brandon and Westshore shopping areas and the airport. Plus, I just really like the vibe down here.”
Located at the edge of downtown, the Tampa Heights area has become one the most talked about locales in Tampa thanks to Armature Works, Ulele and the other foodie destinations that have made their home there. For longtime residents of Tampa’s original suburb, it’s always been a top neighborhood.
“I moved into the Heights in 2006 and will never leave,” said Abbey Dohring, principal of The Dohring Group, a Tampa commercial real estate ﬁrm. “We love that we are steps away from the Riverwalk, and our children love riding their bikes to Armature Works, up Franklin Street and into downtown. The neighborhood has deﬁnitely evolved over the past decade, particularly with the growing population of young families and independent retail businesses. There is an immense sense of community, and we’ve made friendships that feel like family on every street.”
Realtor Traci Burns from Smith & Associates says that Palmetto Beach is another neighborhood to watch.
“The whole area is going through a redevelopment,” she adds. “The land is affordable, so builders can build reasonably priced houses. The mixed-use development of the waterfront there is going to completely change the area.”
Cristy Holt, team lead of the Living Loving Tampa real estate group, agrees.
“[Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer] Vincent Jackson’s company, CTV Capital, has big ideas for the waterfront, including restaurants and retail like Hyde Park,” she says. “It is a cute, historic neighborhood with homes from the 1920s, ‘40s and ‘70s, and some new construction.”
Holt adds that the original casitas built to house cigar factory workers, Desoto Park — with its view of McKay Bay — and the beautiful waterfront drive down Bermuda Boulevard all add to the charm of the neighborhood.