Tampa's rapidly growing Westshore district snags popular Container Store

Westshore district real estate a major attrraction

TAMPA - They put the first Tampa Bay area Ikea store in Ybor City, Whole Foods on Dale Mabry Highway and Trader Joe's went to Sarasota.  But now a hot national chain store is opening their first area store in Westshore.

Container Store General Manager Marvin Price can hardly contain himself.  He's heard the pun before.

Price enthusiastically showed me a few of the 10,000 distinct products the brightly lit store at Westshore and Boy Scout Road carries, from garbage cans to spice boxes.

Containers and space organizers are a three-quarter-billion-dollar business for the Dallas-based chain.  The company was ranked the 22nd best place to work in America by Fortune last year. The soon-to-open location at Westshore and Boy Scout has hired over 50 employees at above-market salaries. The only question is: What took so long to open in Tampa?

"We look at certain real estate in a market, and when that real estate becomes available, we take it," said Price.

Westshore is already the largest office market in the state, with more square feet than downtown.  But with a steadily growing number of high-end restaurants and a couple thousand additional apartment units coming on line, Westshore is poised to be one of the hottest "Live, Work, Shop" communities in the bay area.

That may be one reason (unlike the planned Bass Pro Shop in Brandon) the Container Store required no taxpayer subsidy to open in Tampa.

"In fact, the developer liked that location in Tampa so much, he's buying up adjacent property to put more stores and restaurants," said Bob McDonaugh, Tampa's Director of Development.

The grand opening for The Container Store is Saturday and Sunday.  Ten percent of all their sales on those days is being donated to the Junior League.

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