A South Tampa Renaissance: WS Development’s Plans for Hyde Park Village

There was big news for South Tampa just a few weeks ago when the Boston-based firm WS Development confirmed that it was buying Hyde Park Village for $45 million (link: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2013/09/23/ws-development-confirms-purchase-of.html).  It’s great news for South Tampa for a lot of reasons, showing a huge vote of confidence in the area and opening up even more exciting possibilities.

It’s no secret that Hyde Park Village (http://hydeparkvillage.net/) has been struggling a bit, with a number of empty storefronts and buildings that are beginning to show their age (most of the current structures date from the 1980s).  WS has said they’ll be investing heavily to spruce up the place physically, as well as lining up incentives to attract new tenants, and pursuing new ideas for making Hyde Park Village more of a destination. If you’re wondering about the extent of their ambition, the new developers have taken to referring to the project as “South Tampa’s Downtown.”

Just as important as the new energy is what the purchase represents for South Tampa going forward. The $45 million purchase price represents huge growth over the $31 Million paid by MW Hyde Park LLC in 2005.  That shows that investors have tagged South Tampa, and to some extent the city as a whole, as good bets.  It’s the kind of purchase that could very well trigger other investors to follow with similar or connected projects.

The concrete details of Hyde Park Village’s future will be worked out in collaboration between the developers and current tenants, who will get a say in what they want to see.  One intriguing possibility would be resurrecting plans for condos within the development – space was cleared for them years ago, but they were put on hold during the downturn (http://tbo.com/news/business/price-tag-for-hyde-park-village-45-million-20130925/).  If those condos get built, they could be a really great place to live, within a few minute’s walk of great shopping at Anthropologie, Brooks Brothers, and Pottery Barn – not to mention all the other great offerings of South Tampa.

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