Renovations are underway at SPARKMAN WHARF, including the creation of new retail and office space. Expected to wrap up next year, construction has already begun on 150,000 square feet of new loft-style office space, plus space for 10 new ground-floor retail tenants and improvements along the waterside wharf.
MIDTOWN TAMPA recently unveiled plans for a dual-branded Element and Aloft hotel. Construction starts this summer, and the new seven-story hotel will include a rooftop terrace, lounge and pool. 226 rooms are expected to be available.
Bowtie and accessories boutique ELLA BING has opened a new storefront in Hyde Park Village. The shop carries Ella Bing’s handcrafted bow ties and wooden sunglasses, along with other accessories like hats. A portion of the proceeds from all of the company’s sales go to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay in support of their work in suicide prevention.
A record number of spring breakers traveled through TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT this year. The airport saw 2.8 million passengers between March 5 and April 9, checking 34,024 bags on March 30 alone — more than any one day since 2008.
Rocky Point’s newest hotel, the CURRENT HOTEL, is slated to open in June. A member of the Marriott Autograph Collection of hotels, the Current was designed to appeal to locals as well as visitors and will feature a retail space curated by Oxford Exchange, a Buddy Brew coffee shop, a J.C. Newman cigar lounge and Rox, the city’s tallest rooftop bar.
The Atlanta-based poké restaurant POKÉ BURRI is scheduled to open a South Tampa location on Kennedy Boulevard, just west of Dale Mabry Highway, in late summer. Poké Burri has become known for its build-your-own poké bowls and burritos, along with its Instagrammable secret menu items like sushi donuts and sushi pizza.
COASTAL PROPERTIES GROUP, the local affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, has recently opened a new office to service the South Tampa market. This marks the company’s 14th luxury real estate office in Tampa Bay. Coastal Properties was named Christie’s International Real Estate’s affiliate of the year in 2018, the company’s top honor.
Palma Ceia restaurant THE NEST NEIGHBORHOOD KITCHEN has transitioned to a delivery-only model, closing their storefront to customers. The Nest’s specialty egg sandwiches, breakfast bowls, French toast nuggets and lunch sandwiches are now available on Uber Eats, with plans to launch on other delivery services in the future.
DRNK coffee bar and QWENCH juice bar, along with DUCKWEED URBAN MARKET, have all confirmed new locations in the Westshore Marina District. This is the first Florida store for DRNK/QWENCH, which will serve coffee and tea on one side and raw juices, smoothies and acai bowls on the other. Duckweed will also open a boutique grocery store in the district’s retail center. Both concepts are scheduled to open in early 2020.
The FLORIDA AQUARIUM was voted the No. 2 best aquarium in North America on USA Today’s 10Best list. A panel of experts chose the continent’s 20 best aquariums, and the final 10 were selected by readers. Tampa’s aquarium came in behind only Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Formerly on North Franklin Street downtown, FLY BAR will relocate to the Mise en Place building on Kennedy Boulevard this fall. The reimagined Fly plans to feature an outdoor patio — though it will no longer have its signature rooftop bar — and a mix of old and new menu items. Current plans call for an opening sometime in November.
ALTIS GRAND CENTRAL is pre-leasing its studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartment homes ahead of an anticipated opening this summer. Community amenities include a saltwater pool, a sky lounge overlooking Downtown Tampa, an automated 24/7 package pickup station with refrigerated lockers for food delivery, a bowling alley, and an indoor pet spa.