TAMPA — City officials will spend $1.5 million to buy land in the Channel District to create another park in the growing community.
Sitting as the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, city council members approved the deal Thursday.
“I’ve believe we’ve negotiated the best price we can,” Bob McDonaugh, the city’s chief of economic development, told council members.
McDonaugh said the city has spent four years negotiating with the land owners. The final price was more than the city wanted to pay, but, when the site was added to a piece donated by developer Ken Stoltenberg, the cost averaged out $40 per square foot, which is what the city had budgeted, McDonaugh said.
Together, the two parcels amount to just less than an acre.
The new park will front on East Madison Street between North Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive on the north end of the neighborhood. It will be the third Channel District park.
The other two are along Washington Street, in the heart of the district, and on 11th Street by the Pierhouse apartments.
McDonaugh said the site is prime space for a park. It sits in the shadow of Stoltenberg’s planned tower, known as The Martin, and is surrounded by other large residential projects.
All told, about 2,000 people will live within an easy walk of the park, McDonaugh said.
City Council Chairman Charlie Miranda reminded his colleagues that not too long ago, Channel District land was worth a lot less. The price is only likely to increase, he said.
“You must bite the bullet once it’s available,” Miranda said. “This is something that needs to be done.”
The rest of the council agreed unanimously.