Catching up with Punit Shah

Shah talks about his latest project and a philanthropic endeavor near and dear to his heart

Punit Shah was Tampa Bay Business and Wealth’s first-ever cover story, in September 2018.

Since then, he’s been a busy guy, despite a global pandemic.

“Covid put a pause on a lot,” Shah says. “But we used the downtime, during covid, to plan and focus on several multi-family projects.”

One of those was purchasing the Perry Paint and Glass Building, which he fully renovated and is now 100% occupied.

Meanwhile, the Punit Shah Family Foundation has maintained its support of the community and has now donated more than $3 million to charitable organizations, including cash and in-kind gifts, to the American Cancer Society, the Children’s Dream Fund and Metropolitan Ministries, just to name a few.

But one of the donations that the Shah family is very proud of, of recent, was gifting a rare 1861 Steinway Grand Piano, which was in the Shah family for 40 years, to the University of South Florida School of Music.

“My family is passionate about giving back to our community because of how much the community has supported us,” Shah says. “We enjoy contributing to the betterment of our city and to those causes where we can make a lasting impact.”

His latest passion project is developing the AC Hotel, on Harbor Island, in Tampa. His vision is to create a boutique hotel that would be in walking distance to the downtown hot spots like Amalie Arena, Water Street and the soon-to-be expanded, Tampa Convention Center.

“I have no doubt it will do exceptionally well,” he says. “If I didn’t think it would be successful, I wouldn’t do it.”

The AC Hotel project is expected to cost about $40 million and have 145 rooms and 10 floors.

The Liberty Group would own the property while McKibbon Hospitality Management has been tapped to manage the hotel.

“We want people to come to Tampa and support the downtown Tampa ecosystem,” Shah says.

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