Midtown Tampa brings ‘experiential’ retail developers on board

By Ashley Grubal Kritzer

The master developer of Midtown Tampa has hired two real estate firms that specialize in experiential and lifestyle-driven properties to spearhead the district’s retail portion.

New York-based Bromley Cos. said Wednesday it has partnered with Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc. and CASTO Southeast Realty Services to develop Midtown’s 220,000 square feet of retail space.

Storefronts are a key component of Midtown Tampa, which has already signed a deal with Whole Foods Market Inc. to relocate its store from the nearby Walr’s Crossing shopping center to Midtown. Retail space is what will shape the pedestrian experience within the district.

Bromley has brought several other joint venture developers on as it begins construction on Midtown, a mixed-use development on 22 acres at Interstate 275 and Dale Mabry Highway. Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE: HIW), a North Carolina office owner and developer with a large presence in Tampa, is a partner in the office space; Crescent Communities, also based in North Carolina, is handling the apartments.

“Both CASTO and Anderson are prominent, experienced national real estate companies,” Nicholas Haines, Bromley Cos. CEO, said in a statement. “Their industry expertise, especially with mixed-use projects, will be a major contributor to Midtown’s success as a dominant retail destination in the Tampa region.”

CASTO and Anderson have developed a collective 30 million square feet of retail space.

All retail developers are challenged to fill storefronts with concepts that can hold their own against online shopping — things like restaurants, fitness studios and service-oriented businesses. In addition to Whole Foods, Bromley is also bringing Tampa’s first True Food Kitchen to Midtown as well as a new restaurant from chef Chris Ponte.

“CASTO and Anderson have partnered previously on mixed use projects and have a long-standing working relationship,” Brett Hutchens, president of CASTO, said in a statement. “We each have a heavy emphasis on retail, particularly within mixed use projects, and are excited about applying our expertise to this game-changing project.”