Tampa Bay is Building Up, but is Everyone Benefiting?

 

Across Tampa Bay you’ll see hotels, towers and roads underway, the area is not short of construction projects. With an average of 906 new residents coming to the Sunshine State, it seems like the construction is not going to stop anytime soon. More than buildings are going up.

Rent has spiked all over Florida with Tampa Bay seeing the biggest impact. A study released by Apartment guide ranked St. Pete as the fourth highest city for rental rate increase, with Tampa not far behind. As condos and apartment complexes go up in these cities it seems to do little to lower rent costs and affordable housing has grown harder to find.

With costs on the rise what should be done about it? St. Petersburg has committed to spend $60 million to build affordable apartments over the next ten years, meanwhile Hillsborough County is devoting $10 million every year for an affordable housing trust.

Are local and state governments doing enough to address this or should private development step up building housing that more people can afford? Will building housing complexes be the next gold rush for general contractors in Tampa Bay? One thing is certain, construction is not slowing down any time soon.

Biltmore Begins Construction of City of Largo Wastewater Treatment Operations Building

Biltmore has began construction on the City of Largo’s newest building. The 13,000-square-foot wastewater treatment building will serve as the operations center and water testing facility for the City of Largo Environmental Services.

Built with resiliency in mind this facility is being built to maintain vital operations and accommodate laboratory staff during storms. The building is designed with a 24 foot raised elevation, and built to resist Category-5 hurricane force winds, a first for the city.

The three-story hardened building also places an emphasis on sustainability. To promote green living and practices this building features solar-ready roofing, as well as an electric vehicle charging station.

Biltmore Transforms Academy of Holy Names Media Center

Biltmore, as part of the Academy of Holy Names’ facilities master plan, just finished transforming an existing, 30,000 square foot, two-story media building from a traditional library space into an advanced 21st Century Media Center featuring collaborative learning spaces.

The goal was to transform this traditional media center into a 21st century learning facility that nurtures collaboration and hands-on learning. While the old media center was designed and built for obtaining books and lending them to students or teachers, the newly transformed 21st century media center supports student collaboration and group work – the dominant instruction and learning style today. Quiet study space, support for Bring Your Own Technology, content-creation tools, and a flexible environment that can be reconfigured on the fly to meet ever-changing needs of staff and students.

Doral’s New Legacy Park Opens

This new, 18-acre urban park included extensive Brownfield site remediation, a 2–story, 38,300 SF recreation building housing a gymnasium, classroom/community room, performance stage with audio/visual and stage lighting; two full-size indoor basketball courts with an elevated running track and workout area; an aerobics and dance studio with folding partitions; and all ancillary support spaces.  Additional features include baseball and soccer fields, tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts and a large splash pad.

Plantation Key School under construction

Biltmore Construction is constructing a 21st century learning K-8 school in Plantation Key for the Monroe County School Board.

This new K-8 replacement school will provide a State-of-the-Art 21st Century Learning Environment for the community. The 102,000 GSF, 660 student facility is a two-story, cast-in-place structure housing classrooms, administration, gymnasium, media center, and cafetorium on an occupied 11-acre coastal site, featuring the latest in flexible learning spaces, technology, and security. The facility is hardened to withstand Cat-V windloads.

Construction is phased to allow use of the existing structures for continued school operations during construction. The existing school buildings will be demolished once the new school construction is complete to allow for redevelopment of the site.

Site work includes new parking facilities, utility relocations and tie-ins, new ball fields, new basketball and tennis courts, new Physical Education/Gynasium structure, three new playgrounds and a tiered-seating outdoor performance amphitheater.

The project is seeking Green Certification and all energy saving strategies are being considered to include energy management systems, possible geothermal cooling systems, and alternative energy sources.

Biltmore begins construction of Eckerd College’s New Visual Arts Center

Over the past decade, Biltmore has become an extension of staff assisting Eckerd College in transforming their campus to meet the needs of a growing student population. This most recent project, a 3-story, 33,434 GSF visual arts center features a gallery wing, studio wing, classrooms and offices. Other projects have included a $25.8M Platinum LEED Certified molecular sciences building, a marine science laboratory, a library, campus housing, a science complex, a Tier III data center, several athletic fields, an event venue and a chapel.