TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The old JC Penney inside of the University Mall is being ripped a part and turned into a new mixed use office space.

It’s a project that’s been in the making for five years. The development company, RD Management, is leading the project that is turning the old JC Penney at University Mall into a new space known as ‘The RITHM at Uptown.”

”This development that’s coming which is called Rithm at Uptown is an innovation community model,” said Christopher Bowen, Chief Development Strategist with RD Management.

The plan is to tear down the 150,000 sq. ft. two-story building and replace it with a 163,000 sq. ft., three story mixed used building. According to the developer, the building will include, “30,000 square feet of space for restaurant and retail use within the building and along the new streetscape designed as an integrated part of the office complex. The building will also be designed with several outdoor terraces on floors 1-3, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor gatherings, events, fitness programs, meetings, dining and recreation.”

About 8,000 sq. ft. of space will account for a penthouse that will include an indoor/outdoor rooftop club and a conference center. Bowen believes this upgrade will help turn the entire area around.

“In a few years, you will see this area reach out to other areas in Tampa Bay and start impacting them in a positive way and doing a reversal of how can we help you? How can we bring jobs to your community? How can we innovate? That’s coming, that will be the most fun part about this,” Bowen said.

The street-level retail space, primarily food and beverage related, is expected to open by the end of 2021. Space in the office building, including the rooftop club and conference center is projected to be ready by 2022.