Tampa, Florida, builds new development while touting its history


(NewsNation) — Tampa, Florida, is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, and it’s set to grow even more with its new Water Street project.

According to its website, the city’s latest expansion project is a “new kind of urban community” in Tampa’s downtown, with walkable streets connecting homes, offices, shops and hotels along the waterfront.

Lynda Remund, president and CEO of Tampa Downtown Partnership, said about 3,500 residents are expected to move into this neighborhood.

“You can see the beautiful buildings that are going in,” she said. These include a lot of residential spaces, but also, the city’s first five-star hotel.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said money is being put into affordable housing in the city as well — $100 million.

“We are going at it from every possible angle,” she said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.” “Rent mortgage relief, home rehab down payment, providing the supply of housing from tiny homes to single-family residences to high rises— everything that we can do.”

Castor said the city’s also changed its zoning and land use regulations.

But even as Tampa continues to develop, it still retains elements of its history everywhere around the city, such as the Tampa Theatre, which opened in 1926. The historic landmark has kept the same ornate detail it was created with years ago.

“Some say the theater is haunted,” Redmund said.

In the Ybor City neighborhood, people can see the oldest restaurant in Florida, the Columbia Restaurant, which opened in 1905, or the oldest family-owned cigar factory, J.C. Newman Cigar Company.

“That’s where it really all started,” Redmund said. “There was an influx of different cultures that went there. The tobacco industry was huge for that area.”

On the city’s Riverwalk, people can see turtles, dolphins, and maybe even an alligator.

According to Redmund, there are many reasons people are flocking to Florida. Among them: “how friendly the people are and how welcoming they are.”

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