Media Coverage

ENCORE! project reviving neighborhood and economy


Central Tampa is undergoing a long overdue revitalization that will boost small businesses and lift our neighborhoods and downtown.

Many of us remember Central Park Village on the north side of downtown: old, dilapidated public housing that scared off investment in the area. Crime was a problem. Much of the neighborhood was synonymous with blight. There was little sense of hope. Our neighbors who lived there and the local small businesses surrounding Central Park deserved better.

Some of us also remember the Central Avenue of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, a thriving neighborhood with a rich sense of community and… Read more

Tampa’s Encore project now a reality


The first element of a major development project years in the making is being unveiled today in downtown Tampa.

The Encore project is a long-awaited residential and retail project located in downtown Tampa where the Central Park housing development once sat.

A 40-plus acre mixed-use redevelopment area, the development is envisioned as a cluster of affordable apartment homes eventually mixed in with stores, a park, a museum, hotel and grocery store. The project sprawls across the vast area from Nebraska Avenue and Cass Street.

It all starts with today’s opening of Ella, a seven-story residential… Read more

ENCORE! Project: Rebuilding A Tampa Neighborhood


The vision first described by Tampa business and community leaders as part of the city’s 2012 Olympic bid more than a decade ago is now rising from the ground just north of downtown in the middle of a neighborhood once marked by nothing but poverty and blight.

The Encore Project, stretching over 12 city blocks and costing upwards of $450 million, will become home to families with children, the elderly, small shops, a grocery, schools, parks and police and fire services rivaling the best available anywhere in Florida.

With a musical theme reflecting the rich cultural history of the… Read more

Photoblog: Tampa’s Encore site tour shows evolution, rhythm


Last March I covered the Tampa Housing Authority’s groundbreaking of Encore’s 40-acre site near downtown Tampa. Then, it was a huge pile of rubble envisioned as senior housing, parks, retail, hotel, grocery and office space.

I found the energy at that event powerful, full of hope and desire. I got back on the site this week for a progress check and felt the same energy, which I think readers will notice in the range of “photo gallery” images to click through.

It’s a feeling that you can’t get looking at the site from the… Read more

ENCORE! development pays homage to urban Tampa’s musical past


Architects always search for a theme to visualize or story to tell when considering the look and feel of a project. To Robert K. Ledford II, one of the lead architects at Baker Barrios Architects in Tampa, the Encore housing and mixed-use commercial project is a dream come true.

The 40-acre square northeast of downtown Tampa is the former site of Central Park Village, whose black musical roots flourished in the segregated 1930s and ’40s and resonate today in the design of the ambitious project. Sure, the major streets and buildings pay homage to the names of music… Read more