Crescent Puts Tampa on the Hot List

Crescent Communities is building its third apartment project in Tampa, this time in Florida’s largest office location.

The prolific Crescent Communities has broken ground on Crescent Westshore, a 374-unit luxury apartment community in Tampa’s Westshore business district, the developer announced late last week.

With more than 12 million square feet of office space and nearly 100,000 workers, the Westshore area reportedly is Florida’s largest office community. But Westshore is “more than just an employment center,” Jay Curran, senior vice president of Crescent’s multi-family group, said in a release. “Westshore has evolved to become a vibrant community that boasts some of Tampa’s finest restaurants, world-class shopping, extraordinary hotels and beautiful residential neighborhoods.”

The project’s location at West Boy Scout Boulevard and Lois Avenue is close to International Plaza and Bay Street Mall, which features shopping and dining options such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Apple, Burberry, Crate & Barrel, Fleming’s, Brio and Capital Grille.

Crescent Westshore will consist of four- and five-story buildings with studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units featuring quartz countertops, stainless-steel appliances, premium cabinets and designer lighting. Its amenities will include two resort-style saltwater pools, cabanas and a clubhouse; a large athletic center; and a state-of-the-art business center.

The complex is being financed through Crescent’s own equity, in addition to construction loans from Citizens Bank and Nationwide, and is expected to open in summer 2016. The architect is Dwell Design Studio, and the general contractor is Summit.

(Crescent Westshore is the fifth apartment community Crescent has developed in Florida in recent years and its third in Tampa, the other two being Crescent Crosstown and Crescent Bayshore. The latter property, on Bayshore Boulevard in the Hyde Park area, opened in October and was part of a nearly $700 million sale by Crescent of nine multi-family properties in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina to two separate buyers.)

The Tampa area’s apartment market continues to recover, with employment rising strongly and overall vacancy declining despite substantial new construction, according to a first-quarter report from Marcus & Millichap.

Healthcare, retailing and hospitality/tourism are important drivers of job growth, which will total about 37,000 new jobs this year. And even though about 5,000 apartment units will be delivered this year (versus 4,100 last year), average metro-area apartment vacancy is expected to slide by 30 basis points, to 4.9 percent. As a result, the report predicts, landlords can anticipate average rent hikes of 5.3 percent this year.