At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga.
Thanks for your interest in 220 Madison, an affordable urban living alternative to "Luxury" urban apartments. Please complete the form below to be placed on our priority list for our initial group of residents.
An interesting story that ran in today’s Tampa Bay Times. It is impacting the whole multifamily housing industry, including us.
Click here to read it.
We will continue to work through it.
Garcia saw right through the mess.
“It was solid concrete block,” he said. “You’ve gotta look at the bones. If it has good bones, you can do a lot with it.”
Garcia and his partners in Urban Core Holdings LLC closed on that property in December 2014. Today, it’s 100 percent occupied with a significant waiting list, and a popular housing choice for University of Tampa students.
With that project complete, Urban Core Holdings is turning its attention to another real estate transformation: The redevelopment of an old office building at 220 E. Madison St. in downtown Tampa into 120 micro apartments, between 300 and 400 square feet each. If the group’s vision is fully realized, the building won’t have any parking, and the majority of residents won’t own a car. (A waiver from the city, which is subject to city council approval, is required to convert the building to apartments without parking spaces.)
Urban Core Holdings is under contract to acquire the office building. A purchase price hasn’t been disclosed, but construction costs are estimated at $7 million.
Despite Tampa’s progress with urban revitalization over the last few years — thousands of residential units have been built in the city center, and retailers and restaurants are beginning to follow — Urban Core Holdings’ project is a pioneering one. Micro apartments are typically built in extremely dense urban areas with well-connected transit systems and dozens of shops and eateries within walking distance. Tampa is still a car-dependent city with limited shopping and dining options in the urban core.
But Garcia — a Harbour Island resident who adamantly “hates” driving and car ownership — and other urban advocates argue that the city won’t ever shed its car dependency without projects like his.
The micro apartments, Garcia and his partners believe, will fill a niche in downtown Tampa. The thousands of units built in the urban core and Channel district in recent years are luxury apartments, out of reach for many young professionals who want to live downtown. The apartments in 220 Madison will rent for around $800 per month. The smallest studios in the Channel district’s newest buildings start around $1,500 per month.
“I probably get four multifamily deals thrown at me on a daily basis,” Garcia said, “and you look at them and it’s all, ‘We think you can increase the rent by 15 percent.’ It’s this marginal thing, and I’ve seen the prices and everything is ridiculous. We really want to do major value-add.”
The conversion of 220 E. Madison into apartments has the potential to be a “major value-add” project. The office space in it is currently 90 percent vacant, and turning the building into residential units would generate more rent and add to downtown’s growing residential base.
Urban Core Holdings has received deposits on more than 80 of the units since it began taking reservations on April 17. The reservations require only a $50 deposit, but they demonstrate to potential lenders that there’s real interest in renting an apartment the size of a hotel room, Garcia said.
The CVS on the ground floor of the 12-story building will remain. There will be office space on the second floor and a third-floor common area. The remaining floors will be apartments.
With the building’s proximity to the Tampa Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Garcia already felt that he was sitting on a potential goldmine. In late April, though, during a due diligence tour of the building, his confidence in the redevelopment increased substantially.
He was touring the building with a windows specialist who wanted to see a corner of the building Garcia himself hadn’t seen yet on the 11th floor.
“We go into this office and lo and behold, they open the doors and you see these amazing views of Curtis Hixon,” he said.
That sort of surprise is one reason Garcia said he prefers repositioning old properties to building ground-up developments.
“The view? It’s built,” he said. “What do I gotta do — put a window on it? I’m not going from scratch.”
Garcia has understood the profitability and personal satisfaction of fixing up derelict properties for most of his adult life. As a teenager, he watched his mother, a residential real estate agent, flipping houses in West Tampa and Town ‘n’ Country in the 1980s.
“I was literally going to houses that my mom would go in, and I’d be gagging,” Garcia said, “and my mom would just be walking around, looking at the them.”
Those dilapidated houses sparked Garcia’s interest in real estate, and he majored in civil engineering at the University of South Florida. He served in the U.S. Navy and holds a master’s of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina.
His resume is dotted with ventures in technology and real estate. After the housing crash, he spent a few years flipping single-family homes and building out a software company that ultimately fizzled. As the single-family market became less profitable, he turned his attention to multifamily.
When he saw the West River Flats, he knew he was looking at a gem: A solidly built apartment building a mile from the University of Tampa. He and his partners paid $3.5 million for it and closed days before the Tampa Housing Authority announced it would be relocating residents out of the nearby North Boulevard Homes to make way for a major redevelopment in West Tampa.
“We paid $26,000 a unit for concrete block,” Garcia said. “They were selling stuff in Suitcase City by USF for more than that.”
The group put $2 million into the property, modernizing units and working to improve the security. The property manager lives on site, as does a Tampa police officer. UT students can rent fully furnished, three-bedrooms for $1,800 a month all-in — $600 a month for three roommates.
That’s the kind of transformation he thinks is possible in the heart of downtown with the pioneering micro apartments.
“What’s most satisfying is to take something already built — to take something that’s existing and unlock the value, I find that super interesting,” Garcia said. “From a risk perspective, I find it a lot less risky than going ground up.”
Ashley Gurbal Kritzer is senior reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
1 month ago · admin · Comments Off on Tiny apartments could be coming to downtown Tampa. | WTSP.com
Tiny houses are becoming a hot trend as many people are choosing to downsize and get rid of all their extra ‘stuff.’ A local developer wants to bring that trend to downtown Tampa in the form of micro-apartments. The apartments would be 300-400 square feet. Lots of big windows. They’d have all the necessary appliances. Even a murphy bed that folds up into the wall during the day to save space. There would also be a large common area for times when you wanted to hang out with friends. The rent is about 800 dollars a month. It’s being marketed to young professionals who work downtown and decide to live here too. They could really save some money if they don’t have a car, which would be key because parking is the biggest issue for this project. The plan calls for renovating the building at 220 Madison in downtown Tampa. The first floor would stay retail, but the upper floors would become the micro apartments, with a common area and balcony on the third floor. However, the city has a rule that there has to be at least one parking spot per bedroom, and with no existing parking garage here and no plans to build one, the developer is in a bit of a pinch. Omar Garcia is manager of Urban Core Holdings LLC. “The intent of this project, micro apartments in urban markets is really to make it so people do not want or have any need to own a vehicle and that may be a requirement we would like to offer up or negotiate in lieu of the parking requirement.” I went straight to Tampa’s Administrator of Economic Opportunity, Bob Mcdonaugh, to see if they would consider changing the rules to make these apartments a reality. “What we do is we look at the past history of the building, when it was permitted and exactly what parking rights it had and you know we’re trying to be creative and figure out a way to make this thing work, because I think it is a great idea.” This is still early in the process, the developer currently has a contract to purchase the building. However, this is generating so much interest, that he’s taking online reservations starting today for people who might be interested in living in these micro apartments without a car. If all goes as planned, the apartments would be ready to rent in 8-12 months. Here’s a link to their website. And Road Warrior Hilary Zalla says there are options if you don’t have a car. All the cyclist/pedestrian advocates she talked to in Tampa say the city is still too car-centric and there is still a long way to go until we’re a bicycle/pedestrian friendly city. With that said, there is a lot of progress happening and the tiny apartment project is a great example of that lifestyle change. The developer of the project is pushing to have Zipcar right out front of the building. It’s $7/month, you reserve a car, and have a designated parking space. Of course, we can’t forget about Uber and Lyft, too. There will also be a bike rack right out front. If you didn’t know, Tampa is adding more complete streets downtown. These are roads with separated bike and car lanes. They’re working on roads like Bayshore Boulevard and MacDill Avenue. Finally, we can’t forget about the Downtowner shuttle, trolley, and the bus system.”
Builders Bet Tiny Apartments Will Lure Renters Will 300-square-foot apartments fly in Pittsburgh and Kansas City?
Urban Micro Apartments May Offer Millennials Path Towards Wealth Creation
According to The Institute of College Access and Success report on student debt, the average student borrower has over $30,000 in student loan debt, or about $300 per month. The sinister characteristic about this debt is that it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. That means that these borrowers will have this debt hanging over their lives for a significant time. Now couple that with the cost of owning a car, which according to AAA’s 2015 car ownership cost study is $725 per month and you start out the month with over $1,000 in the hole, and that’s after tax money. If you throw on rent, food, healthcare and other expenses, its no wonder that the average young person cannot save any money.
Micro apartments in urban areas may offer an escape from this long term debt problem.
First, micro apartment in urban areas allow its residents to live closer to the urban core where the salaries are higher on average than the suburban areas. Another factor is given that they do not have to spend time commuting to and from work, they can spend more time at work. This additional work time can be in the form of longer hours, a part time job or even freelancing.
Second, because they are in the urban core, urban micro apartment residents skip car ownership, essentially putting that $725 back in their pockets.
Finally, the inherent lower cost of smaller spaced apartments means that they are also saving on rent.
In summary, these three elements can lead to Millennials to save money and put them on a stronger financial footing to later invest in the purchase of their own home or starting a business, both excellent paths toward a better future.
The tiny living space movement is coming to Tampa.
Urban Core Holdings, LLC is acquiring a 12-story building on East Madison Street and will convert much of the space into 300-400 square foot apartments. Each would be the average size of a hotel room.
“We think the market for this project is younger working professionals, the younger work force working in the downtown area that don’t want to be involved in a commute, and that see so many cool things happening in the downtown area,” said Omar Garcia, Urban Core Holdings Development manager.
Monthly rents are expected to start in the mid $800s. The project is expected to take about 8-12 months to complete, but the company will begin taking reservations April 17.
The building will include about 9,000 square feet for a community environment with a gym, pet care, movie area and more.
The first floor will hold retail businesses and restaurants, and the second floor will be used for offices.
Urban Core Holdings said about 66,000 people work in downtown Tampa but have balked at living downtown because of prices.
Residents of the new facility won’t be allowed to have a car there.
“We believe that there is a significant segment of the market that is willing to give up some space and even a car to live in downtown Tampa at an affordable price and enjoy everything that the city of Tampa has to offer, without a roommate,” said Omar Garcia, Urban Core Holdings Development manager.
By Susan Taylor Martin
You’ve heard of tiny houses. Now Tampa could become one of the first places in Florida to have tiny apartments.
Urban Core Holdings, LLC is under contract to buy a 12-story downtown office building and convert the top eight floors into microapartments. Each would have a kitchen with a two-burner stove top, microwave hood, refrigerator and dishwasher. The apartments would also come with a stackable washerdryer unit; a bike rack and a Murphy bed that transformed into a dining table during the day.
All of this in 300 to 400 square feet for about $850 a month, far less than for other downtown apartments that are fast becoming unaffordable without two occupants to share the rent.
‘We think that there is a certain group of people that don’t want a roommate, and this is a great opportunity for somebody to live by themselves, save on the expense of a car and live downtown,” Omar Garcia, Urban Core’s manager, said Wednesday .
A sthefinancialhubofthebooming bay area, Tampa has a large and growing number of downtown workers – 66,500, including about 13,300 who are under 35, according to a study done for the company. Almost 44 percent of downtown workers have expressed an interest in living downtown.
Although the project is expected to take up to a year to complete, Urban Core will start accepting reservations Monday for 200 Madison, the building at the corner of Madison and Franklin Streets that now houses a Subway, a Pita Republic restaurant, a CVS and second-floor offices. All of that is likely to remain, but plans call for a new common space for resi dents on the third floor with a gym, pet care area, cafe and balcony overlooking the street.
The mostly vacant fifth-through-12th floors will be converted into 120 apartments, each with ample windows, Garcia said.
One potential drawback that could raise the cost of the project and the rents – the lack of parking.
‘We will not have any parking because the idea is that the residents of this particular community will use mass transit, bike share and ride share and are willing to give up their cars in order to live downtown,” Garcia said.
City regulations, though, call for one parking space per unit, and Urban Core could have to pay a onetime fee of nearly $1 million because it can’t meet that requirement.
‘We are going to try to negotiate that with the city,” Garcia said. If the fee isn’t totally or partially waived, the rents could rise by about $100 a month, though they still would be substantially less than for downtown
apartments that are only slightly larger. Zach Ames of Tampa’s Franklin Street brokerage said the mini apartments might well be attractive, especially to recent college graduates who want to live downtown but can’t afford mega rents. ‘I think this does offer the option for that live, work, play environment,” Ames said. ‘Is the timing right? I don’t know, but as Tampa continues to build out with more and more projects, I think it’s something that will happen.” Would Ames, 28, live in a tiny apartment? ‘Yeah,” he said, ‘especially if I was right out of college.” This is the second multifamily housing venture for Urban Core Holdings. It also owns the 135-unit West River Flats near downtown, which it bought in 2014 and renovated into what have become popular apartments for University of Tampa students. The company runs a shuttle from the apartments to the university, and would probably do the same for students renting in the new proj ect, Garcia said. While long popular in densely populated, highcost Asian cities like Hong Kong, micro-apartments also have started catching on in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and other U.S. cities as rents soar.
In 2013, New York City got its first micro apartment building, with 55 units as small as 250 square feet.
Two years later, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio proposed shrinking the city’s 400-square-foot apartmentsize limit to under 300 square feet as part of an ambitious plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing, according to the New York Post .
De Blasio’s announcement came as 60,000 people applied for only 14 below-market-rate micro apartments in the Kips Bay area.
And in Miami and Orlando, developers have tentative plans for micro apartments although those apparently have not yet come to fruition.
If Tampa’s tiny apartments ‘get off the ground, we’d probably look to expand throughout the Southeast” Garcia said.
$850 a month for a tiny apartment may seem a bit much, but it would be well below other downtown Tampa locations that are fast becoming unaffordable.
Urban Core Holdings plans to turn part of a downtown office building into apartments that would have a two-burner stove, microwave hood, fridge, dishwasher, a bed that can be turned into a dining table, and a bike rack – but no parking.
Rendering courtesy of Urban Core Holding