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Popular brewery fighting developer's plan to rezone property

81 Bay
Posted at 10:57 PM, May 07, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — As a fiery debate continues in Tampa over a recent boom of luxury apartments, a popular brewery might fall victim to the building trend.

After building a loyal following over five years and surviving the economic pains of a pandemic, 81Bay Brewing Co. could soon pour its last craft beer at 4465 West Gandy Boulevard.

“We found out through public records that their plans did not involve us in any way,” said owner Michael Beard. “They were trying to turn this into a big apartment complex.”

ABC Action News has learned, a developer wants to rezone the property where the brewery operates from commercial to multi-family use.

This would allow the developer to build a new apartment complex.

According to Hillsborough County property records, the owner is listed as GF Alt Finance II, based in Tampa.

ABC Action News reached out to a company representative by phone and email about rezoning plans, but we have not heard back.

“Our growth is stationary except for these plywood palaces,” said Stephanie Poynor. “They have taken our community and completely changed the dynamics of it.”

Poynor leads a grassroots group called Stop Overbuilding S.O.G.

For over a year, the group has pushed back on a recent boom of new apartment buildings in South Tampa.

According to Poynor, more than 4,000 new units have been approved by the City of Tampa in a 4 square-mile area since 2019.

“We have industrial traffic on top of our regular traffic,” said Poynor. “We have schools that are full. We don’t have any room to grow.”

The public is invited to weigh in on the future of the Gandy Boulevard property.

The rezoning proposal will be discussed at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

Beard is counting on several of his loyal customers to speak up in defense of the brewery.

“We designed this place to bring people together and if you start wiping away those businesses and just putting in more apartments, you’re not going to have any places like that anymore,” said Beard.