Plans for new hotel in downtown Tampa meeting some opposition

Controversy over plan for new hotel in Tampa
Controversy over plan for new hotel in Tampa
Posted at 5:47 AM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 06:49:01-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A new building in downtown Tampa is up for debate in City Council on Thursday. Most people were supportive of the project when it was first proposed, but as design plans changed, so have many opinions.

The building will go up across from the old courthouse in Downtown Tampa, at 405 E. Kennedy Boulevard. 



Originally, the plan was to have mixed-use development with about 200 apartments and retail space. Now, renderings from the developer show a completely different plan. It will be a 17-story hotel without apartments and less retail space. That will shrink from 5100 sq. feet to 3400 sq. feet. 

"The design that was proposed at that time was great, beautiful. What's being proposed now, has no character, has no design features. It lacks any type of iconic anything and we were expecting better," urban planner Tony Lacolla said. 

City Council member Mike Suarez said the new building doesn't belong between the Tampa Heights restoration and Jeff Vinik's Water Street. 

"Those two projects need some center and this is center to everything and if we don't exploit that and make it work for us as a city, we're going to find that we're going to lose out on the kind of livability that we need in downtown Tampa," Suarez said.

A city spokesperson said a New Orleans developer put in a competitive bid, $2.5 million more than any others. 

You can voice your opinion at City Council on Thursday. The meeting starts at 9 a.m.