The purchase price of Hyde Park Village has now become public, and at $45 million for the property, local real estate experts say it’s a great sign for the market, and one that could open the door to more residential units in the Village.
WS Development bought the open-air shopping village in a deal that closed this week, and announced plans to meet with neighbors, work out a significant re-investment in the property, and recruit lots of quirky, independent stores and restaurants to the space.
The $45 million price tag “means someone believes in it, and that’s good news,” said Brenda Dohring Hicks, CEO of the Dohring Group real estate services firm. “People do want to walk and shop and have that experience. And that’s an incredible location amid exceptionally high demographics and stability — and it’s quality construction.”
Placed at the intersection of South Dakota Avenue and Swann Avenue, Hyde Park Village sits amid one of the most affluent areas of Tampa, and is just blocks away from the rows of mansions along Bayshore Boulevard. At one point, shops in the space were re-arranged to make way for a potential condo tower on site, but those plans died amid the real estate market downturn, and the overall village has become a mix of high-end retailers like Lululemon Athletica and empty storefronts.
The sale price does raise one question: Does this mean developers plan to revive plans for more condos or apartments in the property? Louis C. Masiello, vice president of development for WS Development, said he knows the property is presently zoned to allow more residential units. And such things are especially popular for mixed-use developments, but Masiello said his company’s focus for the immediate future is on meeting with neighbors and focusing on retail, not residential.
The issue, Dohring said, is that capital markets are quite fond of financing multi-unit residential projects right now, which is one reason so many new residential projects are under construction now. “It would not surprise me if they added residential. If they’re a smart developer, maximizing your density is what you should do.”
Some neighborhood groups around South Tampa have blocked new residential projects recently, arguing that the area is already too dense with traffic, restaurants and bars. But other projects are moving forward, eventually adding thousands of new units to the area around central Tampa.
Whether or not more residential comes to the Village, there’s another very encouraging sign, said David Conn, executive vice president of the real estate services company CBRE.
“This was a hotly contested sale, there was a lot of interest in it, and this became very competitive,” Conn said. “That’s good news for us that a lot of smart people thought the site has potential that has not been realized.”
Conn expects this new ownership group will have strong interest from retailers and restaurants nationwide that want to move into the Village,