Driving off Gandy Boulevard and onto Tampa land, there is a development taking shape in the former New Port Tampa property.
It’s a revitalized vision from BTI Partners, a developer based in Fort Lauderdale, led by Noah Breakstone, the chief executive officer.
“It’s very difficult, and unique, to be able to find 52 acres, on the water, that has incredible access to downtown Tampa and downtown St. Pete and that has a deepwater marina,” Breakstone says. “It really had some incredible attributes.”
The process began for Breakstone in 2010, following the Great Recession of 2008.
“I really took the time to travel the state and looked at many of the markets throughout Florida. When I came across New Port Tampa, the predecessor’s name of the community, I fell in love,” he says. “The first time I saw it I fell in love with the project, because it’s such a unique site with a great location.”
New Port Tampa had zoning for 1,750 residential units. The development, as it stands today, has 1,350 residential units.
“It wasn’t about maximizing the density. It was really about how to best use the space,” Breakstone says of his vision.
In addition to the two residential components, Town on the Water and Bainbridge at Marina Pointe, as well as two-story townhomes and ultra-luxe condo towers on the peninsula. The first tower is set to be completed by summer 2022.
Westshore Marina District is also home to a town center up of 22,050 square feet of retail storefronts, such as Rock It Cycle, Cru Cellars, Salon Color Bar and Duckweed Urban Grocery. Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani will soon open Chuck Lager American’s Tavern in the village-style retail center.
“The way we curate our community is by asking; If I lived there, what would I like? What would be meaningful to me in my life?” Breakstone says. “You get the proof in the pudding as you walk around and see what it is today.”
The property was developed with a “live, work and play here” attitude in mind. There are walkways throughout and for those that want to simply dock and dine. BTI Partners kept that in mind.
“You can come by boat. You don’t even have to live in the district to be able to enjoy it,” Breakstone says.
The true gem of the property, no doubt, will be the luxury towers, officially called Marine Pointe.
“A lot of people don’t recognize that on every floor, as the building goes up, it actually projects out another six inches. So, from the ground floor to the top floor, the building tilts out about eight feet on each side,” Breakstone says. “It’s not only that you’re on a higher floor but the square footage is increased.”
Part of the project has an environmental component, for example, a large anchor was pulled out of the water and will be refurbished and used as art in the park. There will be a living seawall that will build out and provide an environment for sea life and sea plants to grow.
“It becomes a vibrant type of living wall that surrounds the peninsula,” Breakstone says.
The Westshore Marina District project hasn’t evolved without its challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic being one of them.
“When COVID started, we were about to just start construction and we stopped. We didn’t know what was going to happen to the world at that time. We were a little unsettled and we wanted to make sure our staff, and our team, were safe. We wanted to make sure our contractors and subcontractors were safe,” Breakstone says. “We slowed it down for three or four months, before we rebooted, and we felt that we could see the light.”
The success of the Marina Pointe development has inspired Breakstone, and the BTI team, to look for more opportunities in the Tampa Bay region.
“I love Tampa. I really do. I find Tampa to be a very welcoming environment. We’re going to see a lot more businesses continue to be attracted to this market for the quality of life and environment,” Breakstone says. “We are actively looking [for future projects]. We have a couple things that we’re close to, that we would like to announce in the near future.” ♦