Mixed-Use Zoning Confirmed for DeBartolo’s Georgetown Site

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
This week, city officials have confirmed the zoning of the former Georgetown Apartments site for 1,233 residences. Although the owner of the 162-acre site, a group headed by DeBartolo Development, has no immediate plans of breaking [...]

This week, city officials have confirmed the zoning of the former Georgetown Apartments site for 1,233 residences. Although the owner of the 162-acre site, a group headed by DeBartolo Development, has no immediate plans of breaking ground on the project, guidelines were necessary for drawing up an accurate proposal.

The site stretches between South West Shore Boulevard and Old Tampa Bay. The previous owner, Fort Lauderdale-based Motta Group, bought the property in 2005 for $125 million, planning to clear it and build 1,249 condominiums and single-family homes, but the plans failed and the property went into foreclosure in 2008. The current owner purchased it in 2009 for $31.5 million in a deal that included an option for the Trust for Public Land to buy half the site through Hillsborough County’s Environmental Acquisition and Protection Program; according to the Tampa Tribune, negotiations broke down over asking price and other details. The apartments were demolished in 2010.

DeBartolo plans a mixed-use residential waterfront development with single-family, multifamily and retail. While the original plan of creating South Tampa’s second-largest waterfront park by transforming the western half of the site into a nature preserve fell apart, plans for a clubhouse, a fitness center and a marina with 189 boat slips still stand.

Located within close proximity to downtown Tampa and the Westshore Business District, the property is near the Howard Franklin Bridge, which connects St. Petersburg and Clearwater commuters to the city, and Interstate 275, Tampa’s main vein for commuting across town. Besides the unobstructed views of downtown Tampa and Tampa Bay, the site is surrounded by water on three sides and offers access to white sand beachfront, a lagoon, a marina and an internal canal system with direct access to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.