This is the third substantial Novare/In-Town project in downtown Tampa to be approved. The first (Skypoint) is near completion (32 stories) and starts closings in April. The second has just started construction work a block away (Element -- 35 stories). These projects are the first residential highrises in/around downtown's core.
And this one will go on the block immediately north of Skypoint.
Red Carpet Rolled Out For Twelve
By JANIS D. FROELICH The Tampa Tribune
Published: Mar 29, 2007
DOWNTOWN - City urban planner Wilson Stair said it's a nice touch that condominium residents of the Twelve project will be able to order room service from the hotel housed in the same building.
But what really upped his enthusiasm for Twelve Hotel and Residences, which won city council approval last week without controversy, is the dynamic statement the 47-story building will make at street level. Its entrance, including an outdoor cafe, will stretch around Ashley Drive and Cass Street, and the front of the parking garage will be decorated with artwork.
Twelve will occupy a key location in the Ashley Drive makeover - across from the proposed art museum site - and Stair and other city officials say they weren't about to let that plum spot go to just any ho-hum structure.
Twelve, which will have 410 condos and 135 hotel rooms, is the fourth project for Atlanta-based Novare and its Tampa investment partners, intowngroup. Council members are familiar with the work of Novare and intowngroup, including the near-completed SkyPoint and the under-construction Element condo projects in downtown. The partners also plan a 425-condo project, including a rooftop restaurant, at 110 N. 12th St. in the Channel District.
Stair said Twelve is the best of Novare and intowngroup's trio of downtown projects.
"They worked up to this," he said. "It started pretty bare bones."
He characterizes the city's effort to get the best out of the developer as akin to "building a boat in a bottle."
"The ornate, art deco architecture wasn't there to begin with," he said. "But they were able to solve a number of functional issues while taking Twelve a different direction from what was originally planned."
Stair said the biggest challenge was placing such a large building on one of Tampa's small city blocks.
Twelve will have 837 parking spaces, including 190 it will offer to Tampa Electric Co. employees. The Element project also will offer 190 spaces to the utility, which lost parking space when it sold land to Novare and intowngroup. TECO will use the 380 spaces on weekdays.
The partners' three projects are filling a void in downtown's somewhat tattered north end. Still, it's unusual for a project as large as Twelve to breeze through a council hearing with so few comments from council members.
Twelve, 801 N. Ashley Drive, will replace a parking lot. The property, also bordered by Polk and Tampa streets, is crucial if downtown's gateway is to become a dramatic entranceway, Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena said.
In response to his question, Councilman John Dingfelder was assured that the project's retail stores would open to the street.
Novare has developed a Twelve project in Atlanta and has another on the way there. The Tampa project will include a restaurant, Lobby at Twelve, intowngroup President Greg Minder said.
Reporter Janis D. Froelich can be reached at (813) 835-2104 or email@example.com