Vinik Plans for Smaller, More Affordable Downtown Apartments

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Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 12.27.15 PMWritten by: Michaella Radich

In an effort to appeal to young renters and those in search of affordable housing, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, Jeff Vinik, is considering building smaller apartment units along the waterfront in downtown Tampa.

Vinik and his partners at Cascade Investment are heading the residential transformation of the 40-acre urban town center, which will cost nearly $2 million. The company plans to build 1,000 residential units in the first phase of development, among which smaller units could play a key role.

Vinik, who said “Price points are critical,” at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Lunch in St. Petersburg, is leaning toward 500 to 600 square feet units. He said units this size are just right for Tampa’s market and downtown buyers who are looking for something affordable, livable, and efficient.

While affordability is Vinik’s main goal in downsizing unit square footage, rising costs of building materials and construction labor, as well as increasing number of new residential buildings planned for the next few years, could compromise Vanik’s vision for a modern, waterfront residential space in the affordable range.

Vinik has communicated with several Fortune 100 companies, trying to persuade them to move to the bay area. These conversations have raised concerns about the growth of Tampa’s downtown area, largely due to transportation issues within the city and the quality of Tampa’s workforce.

Neither of these issues seem to major roadblocks for Venik. Tampa area universities and colleges have implemented workforce-oriented programs to better prepare new graduates to enter the workforce in a large, ever-changing city. Venik also spoke at the Tiger Bay Club about $30 million worth of work on road realignments, water, sewage, drainage, and other infrastructure projects in Tampa that will begin this spring.

Some of the planned infrastructure projects will include creating a centralized air conditioning plant for the entire downtown district, including the University of South Florida’s new medical school building. Vinik anticipates this project will lead to a variety of new rooftop amenities, including swimming pools, dog parks, and restaurants.

Vinik plans to remain focused on his current endeavors, as he tries to bring his plan for affordable, livable, and efficient modern downtown living to reality.

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