Despite steep costs, boom of downtown Tampa living continues

Despite steep costs, many still moving downtown
Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 02:03:57-05

A new high-end apartment complex is rolling out the welcome mat to tenants in downtown Tampa. But be ready for some sticker shock. Some two bedroom units cost more than $3,000 a month. Even still, it turns out there are reasons a lot of people are ready and willing to pay up.

Aurora is the newest place to call home in downtown Tampa.

"We want people living, working, and playing in our downtown core," said Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Aurora's building is gorgeous top to bottom. It has a sparkling pool, huge fitness center, and apartments with big bedrooms, nice kitchens and bathrooms. But it all comes with a pretty hefty price tag. The units rent from $1,500 to over $3,000 a month.

"The studies have shown that millennials coming out of school and coming to Tampa are willing to pay more for a high end property," said Buckhorn.

That rings true for Ben Bradley. The 25-year-old is working for a tech start-up company called iTrekkers. When he was looking for an apartment, he focused his search downtown.

"The amenities that they offer and the views, and the location, all make it very worth the value that we're putting in to live here," Bradley said.

And there's another bonus. He rarely has to use a car.

"I've been walking to work every single day. It's just 3/4 of a mile, so i love just stepping out my door, walking 10 to 12 minutes here, then getting my work done," said Bradley.

And the landscape of Tampa housing is expected to keep growing downtown. The mayor expects nearly 4,000 new apartment units to be added downtown within the next two years.

That's happening as rent across Tampa continues to rise. A new study says the average in the area is now over $1,200 monthly for two bedrooms. But the city's banking on more young people, and even empty nesters, deciding downtown living is the way to go, even if that means spending a little more.

"Everybody's excited about art and culture and technology and blending all those things together into the hub of a very business and technically driven city has just been a beautiful experience," said Bradley.