HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Groundbreaking for the massive project called Gas Worx took place in Ybor City took place Monday. The project will connect Ybor City to Water Street and Channelside.
The groundbreaking was more of a celebration because they’d already started construction. The first part of the development will bring 317 apartment units. That construction will wrap up in 2024.
The Gas Worx development is a joint effort between Kettler and Darryl Shaw.
“We spent the last couple of years working with Darryl to really make sure that everything was meeting up with the vision of the mixed-use development, the walkable neighborhood,” Graham Tyrell with Kettler said.
The development will bring 5,000 apartment units, over 500,000 square feet of office space, and 140,000 square feet of new retail. Overall, Gasworx will be about 50 acres.
“It comes down to supply and demand equation, and the more supply we provide reaching that demand, we are wanting to see those housing prices decrease. But it’s not a one-way equation. We have to ensure that we are having those high-paying, high skilled jobs as well. And a transit solution as well,” said Tampa mayor Jane Castor.
The development starts on the north side of Ybor city. The buildings there will be relatively low, with three or four stories to stick with the feel of historic Ybor. It will gradually change as you get closer to the Selmon Expressway. Then it will be more high rises to be consistent with the Channel District.
Tyrell said, “One of the main visions of gasworks is the connectivity. We're really looking at it as a very walkable community, so when you think about it, Channel District really terminates at Adamo Drive, Ybor City picks up on the other side of gasworks and were really trying to fill in that gap.”
For Drew Newman, a fourth generation owner of a cigar company, the project will hopefully continue to revitalize the area.
“A development like this is going to propel Ybor City further in a way that brings more people to our neighborhood. In a way that preserves its history and character. And give people not only a place to play. But to stay and live and shop and to experience all the things that make Tampa great,” said Newman.
“I’ve been a part of Ybor since the late 70s since I was a student at the University of Tampa, then becoming a police officer. And I’ve seen it transfer through the years and it's definitely on the brink right now,” said Castor.
The project will take about 10 years to complete. Tyrell said they don’t have an idea of the cost yet. His ballpark price tag was several billion dollars.