Progress is being made in the project to transform Tampa’s Uptown District.
After nearly a decade, the transformation of the area surrounding University Mall, coined Tampa’s Uptown District, is starting to take shape. Many of the mall’s former department stores are being converted into office, retail, and entertainment space as well as USF’s Institute of Applied Engineering finding their home in the mall.
Fowler Avenue runs straight through the middle of the 19 square miles that make up Uptown District with University Mall serving as a center point.
“That piece of property at University Mall will become ground zero for the emergence of an innovation district that we’ve been planning for, I’d say, 10 years now,” said Executive Director Mark Sharpe
Sharpe has big plans for the mall and surrounding area with hopes that it can be a “mixed-use live-work-play-development.”
“We’ll have restaurants and shops, but we’ll also have Class-A offices. And then we’re looking at the two lakes just to the north of the mall, and we envision those lakes being cleaned up, lit with lights, and the construction of a boardwalk that would take you between the development at the mall and the VA hospital. We envision people living along those lakes, so you’d have student housing perhaps, professional housing, and then variances for hotels as well,” says Sharpe.