Midtown Tampa developers target REI, fitness studios, boutiques and wine bars for retail space – Tampa Bay Business Journal

The New York developer of Midtown Tampa is targeting a mix of retailers, restaurants and fitness studios to fill the storefronts in the mixed-use project — many of which do not yet have a presence in the Bay region.

A site plan circulating in commercial real estate circles labels several spaces for specific tenants. In the pre-construction phase of development, site plans can be purely conceptual and change as lease negotiations stall or progress. But they offer insight into New York-based Bromley Cos.’ overall vision for a project.

REI Corp., the Kent, Washington-based outdoor recreation retailer, has been rumored as one of the anchors of Midtown for years. On the site plan, REI is shown occupying a 22,000-square-foot storefront on the lower level of a seven-story office building — fronting North Dale Mabry Highway, in the space where Men’s Wearhouse currently stands.

REI is also included in a preliminary project timeline filed with the city in March, scheduled to break ground in May 2019 and wrap up in December 2020. (Construction, according to that schedule, could begin by the end of 2018 with the demolition of the Circle K gas station on the property.)

A spokeswoman for REI said in an email Wednesday that the retailer does "not currently have plans to open a store in Tampa."

REI has two locations in Florida — in Jacksonville and Winter Park. When the Jacksonville store opened in 2013, the company said it would serve as a prototype for future Florida stores.

“Midtown Tampa continues to attract considerable interest from national retailers,” Nicholas Haines, CEO of the Bromley Cos., said in a statement. “We look forward to announcing additional tenants for Midtown Tampa’s 22-acre mixed-use development.”

The only retailer Bromley has confirmed is Whole Foods Market Inc., which is relocating from a nearby shopping center.

Here’s a breakdown of the project:

240,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, including a movie theater750,000 square feet of office space400 multifamily units225-key boutique hotel4 acres of pedestrian-friendly public spacesStreet and structured parking3-acre, landscaped pond with fountain

• • •

The tenants named on the Midtown site plan shows Bromley aiming for an e-commerce resistant mix, with boutique retailers, fitness studios, a movie theater and restaurants.

What’s missing from the site plan is almost as notable as what’s listed. Other than an 11,000-square-foot Ulta Beauty store, none of the junior anchors that traditionally make up new retail developments in the Bay area are represented — stores in the 30,000-square-foot range, like those from the TJX Cos. (HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s) or pet stores like Petco and Petsmart.

Instead, Bromley appears to be targeting an eclectic mix of local and national names that is more in line with the lineup at Hyde Park Village than other retail properties that line North Dale Mabry Highway.

Restaurants on the site plan range from less than 3,000 square feet to more than 6,000 square feet. Outside of Ulta, Whole Foods and REI, the retail space is mostly small shops, in the range of 1,000 to 3,000 square feet.

Fly Wheel, a cycling studio, and Solid Core, a fitness studio specializing in Pilates and boot camps, are listed on the site plan. Hopdoddy, a burger and beer restaurant, and Sixty Vines, a wine bar, are also allotted space, as is an unnamed concept from Tampa restaurant veteran Bob Basham, an Outback Steakhouse co-founder.

Some boutique retailers that are growing their brick-and-mortar footprints are also represented on the plan: Shinola, a Detroit-based leather and accessories store, and South Moon Under, a women’s lifestyle boutique, are both listed.

It’s unlikely that the final mix of tenants in Midtown lines up exactly with the names presented on the site plan. But Bromley’s vision — at least on paper — is one for the future, bringing together a mix of services and storefronts that aren’t easily replicated online.

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