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Anyone who knows downtown Tampa knows the wasteland. It’s on Ashley Drive, between Whiting and Broein streets, right on the Riverwalk.

The CapTrust building stood on the north side for years before being demolished about two years ago. And it has already been proposed to be the site of Trump Tower Tampa, a 52-story condominium complex that was never built. Another 50 story development was then planned for the site, Riverwalk Place.

But the wait to fill that vacant lot might have been worth it: plans are now in place to build what could be one of the best hotel and luxury developments in Tampa. The project comes from Pendry Hotels & Resorts, which recently signed on to bring a 37-story luxury tower to town with Miami-based developers Two Roads Development. The complex is expected to open in 2024.

People see what we see. A livable and cool city that is growing. Reid Boren, Development of two roads

Pendry, which opened in 2015 and is part of the Montage International chain of luxury hotels, resorts and residences, describes itself as a luxury boutique brand. A promotional video featuring the company paints a picture of a hotel that differentiates itself in each city, while offering amenities that travelers demanding the highest level of service have come to expect.

In Tampa, the hotel will feature 220 rooms, a luxury spa and rooftop pool on a terrace overlooking the Hillsborough River, as well as options like an upscale restaurant, lobby bar, and cafe. On the floors above the hotel, there will be 207 condominiums.

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Reid Boren, managing partner of Two Roads Development, which manages the limited partnership that owns the land.

He says Two Roads’ plans to build on the property have changed over time, saying there have been “several iterations.” The most recent was Riverwalk Place, a 52-story tower that had been under construction for about five years. But Feldman Equities, Two Roads’ development partner, pulled out last year, leaving the project in limbo.

At the time, Two Roads announced that it was redeveloping the tower and would pursue a luxury boutique hotel on the site. Boren says that after the announcement, he began responding regularly to calls from hotel operators who wanted to talk about construction at the site before making a deal with Pendry earlier this year. “I’ll take the chance on smart anytime,” he said.

“We were very fortunate that Tampa showed such great demand and, right now, doesn’t have a lot of inventory,” he adds. “That the business and tourism community… and the visibility of Tampa as such an interesting place to live, it all went our way. So we feel very lucky about that.

Boren says the decision to partner with a luxury hotel brand came from listening to local brokers who say buyers want the full service that comes with a luxury hotel but in a private residence.

The Ritz-Carlton residences under construction on Bayshore Boulevard will be closed, but unlike Pendry, they will only include residences. Tampa Edition, meanwhile, a key part of the multi-billion-dollar Water Street Tampa project, is considered the city’s first five-star hotel. Currently under construction, this building, the hotel part of which is under the Marriott flag, consists of 172 hotel rooms and 37 luxury condos.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in an emailed statement said Pendry’s arrival shows the city continues to grow and is the type of place where top businesses want to be a part. “Diverse, welcoming and thriving,” she says, “Tampa is a world-class community on a roll, and it’s no wonder that world-class hotels are eager to plant their flags in Tampa. “

At Pendry, the condominiums will be staffed with dedicated residential staff and provide all the amenities available to hotel guests. Residents of the condo will have a private entrance, but once inside the building, they will have access to the hotel and its offerings, including room service.

Prices for these units will start at $ 900,000 with penthouses in the range of $ 3-4 million.

On its website, Pendry describes its level of luxury as “refined comfort, a modern touch”.

Pendry currently operates in five cities including Hollywood, California, Chicago and New York and will soon open in Park City, Utah, Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington DC Montage, which started in 2002, has properties outside Los Angeles in Laguna Beach, on Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii, and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

Montage was founded by Alan Fuerstman, who remains President and CEO. His son Michael is the co-founder and creative director of Pendry.

The company was looking for a property to develop in Florida when the opportunity arose, with Alan Fuerstman saying the state “was a coveted destination among our guests and residential owners.”

In an interview with Forbes magazine to explain why Tampa was chosen, he said that “the Pendry brand ethic is New Luxury and Tampa’s location fits perfectly as this city’s trajectory continues to rise.” .

Boren declined to disclose the price of the development. He said construction will begin as soon as the property hits a pre-sale target he hopes to achieve by the middle of next year. “I’m sure we won’t be the last because people see what we see,” Boren says. “A liveable and cool city that is growing.