TAMPA - Tampa City Council voted to deny the building of a 212-unit apartment complex with retail and restaurant space underneath late Thursday night after several hours of public comment.
The project, SoHo Flats, would have replaced a largely vacant strip mall located at 936 S. Howard Avenue.
"I was trying to create a project that was mixed-use that would be complimentary to the district and that would add to the ambiance along Howard Avenue," the developer, Anthony Everett of Pollack Shores Real Estate Group said.
But the standing-room-only crowd largely disagreed.
"It's just too intense and it's not quality," Patricia Bastille, a local resident told the council.
"It's just not part of what we want Hyde Park to be," Del Acosta of the Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association said while donning a tee-shirt many of the project's opponents wore.
The biggest argument from the crowd had to do with traffic. The plan called for the partial closure of Eleta Street. Neighbors feared that would make an already bad traffic situation in that area even worse.
"It's too dense," Acosta said. "We love our neighborhood. We love Tampa. We want to make it a better neighborhood and stick to the rules."
After the decision was made to deny the developer's petition to build SoHo Flats, Everett told Action News he now plans to "re-evaluate everything."