Downtown Tampa welcomes new development - WFLA News Channel 8

Downtown Tampa welcomes new development

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Buckhorn promises 10 years from now downtown Tampa will be unrecognizable. Buckhorn promises 10 years from now downtown Tampa will be unrecognizable.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says the skyline and streets of downtown Tampa are evolving.

"There's a buzz about Tampa that hasn't existed in a decade," said Buckhorn. "We have got our swagger back."

A $9 million project is underway to extend the Riverwalk to create nearly 2 miles of an uninterrupted waterfront walkway.

"We are connecting all the pieces," said Buckhorn. "This Riverwalk will be done by Thanksgiving of this year."

Hotels are being built and three residential towers are about to go up. Crews just broke ground on a 23-story apartment near Washington Street Park called SkyHouse Channelside.

Construction will begin on a second new residential complex in Channelside in March. Then this summer, work begins on the Residences on the Riverwalk near the Straz Center.

"Downtown and Channelside have changed tremendously. New shops opening up, restaurants. It's pretty cool," said Channelside resident Bob Page.

After years of a development drought, Mayor Buckhorn says downtown Tampa is on the verge of a boom.

"I think 10 years from now, you are not going to recognize this environment. It's going to be a dynamic, exciting, urban-centric, water-centric place to be," explained Buckhorn.

Buckhorn says attracting young professionals to live and work downtown is high on his priority list.

"We're competing for talent all over the world. We're competing for the intellectual capital all over the world and they want to live in an urban environment that's hip, that's active, that's cool, that's diverse, that celebrates that diversity," said Buckhorn. "Our focus for the last three years has been to try to create that environment here."

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