You’re not alone if you don’t recognize the name Uptown Tampa. A new name for a familiar place, Uptown Tampa is roughly 20 square miles of land that includes University Mall, Fletcher Avenue, and parts of Temple Terrace. For ten years now, developers have been planning drastic changes in this area, and University Mall is experiencing the most notable changes so far. Serving as a sort of “ground zero” for the rapid development being planned for this part of the city, the old University Mall is being torn down in favor of something greater: a center for entertainment, recreation, and economic growth.
The area housing the University Mall will repurposed for multiple uses in both work and entertainment. This urban hub will feature offices, medical facilities, and research amenities, in addition to restaurants and shops. All of these various businesses in the heart of Uptown Tampa will be connected by a set well-lit outdoor paths that weave from business to business, all while overlooking a set of crystal blue lakes. The area that used to host the old mall is truly turning into something exciting for everyone near Uptown.
The Tampa Innovation Partnership, or “p!” for short, is the driving force behind all of the changes we’ll see at the University Mall, as well as all the changes to Uptown Tampa at large. Tampa p! is taking advantage of the Investing in Opportunity Act that marked Uptown Tampa as a center for potentially massive industrial growth and plans to transform the area with the government’s assistance. The partnership envisions an Uptown Tampa with more hospitals to care for the sick, more restaurants and recreation centers to entertain the weary, and plenty of new offices to create more desirable jobs for our city’s workforce.
To some, this sounds too good to be true: they could argue that while Uptown Tampa’s transformation is exciting, the resulting traffic boom will make navigating that part of the city even more difficult than it already is. Thankfully, Tampa p! has taken this into account as well. The new vision of Uptown Tampa will not only change its looks for the modern age, but it will run more efficiently too. New public transit systems will reduce locals’ need for cars to get around the area, so commuters may notice a faster commute as well as some updated scenery. The Tampa Innovation Partnership’s cooperation with the City of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and the Hillsborough County Governmentis making this dream more real every day.
Image courtesy of 813area.