Media Coverage

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

Architects win design award for Encore development on edge of Tampa’s downtown


The Encore development starting to emerge on the northeast corner of downtown Tampa will be one of the biggest redevelopment efforts in the region in years. We’re following it from the start and will periodically update it progress and look at different angles in how the project — a public private partnership between the Tampa Housing Authority and Banc of America Community Development Corp. — is shaped, and shaping the larger neighborhood. The introductory story ran in the St. Petersburg Times here earlier this month. Check… Read more

Construction job fair in Tampa draws thousands of applicants


Rich Zahn ordered 2,000 hot dogs to feed job seekers at his construction job fair, figuring he’d have several hundred left over.

He underestimated just how hungry the area’s depleted construction industry is — for jobs.

Before the hiring event kicked off at 10 a.m. Thursday, several hundred people had lined up at the construction fair set up on an open field at Cass Street and Nebraska Avenue. And the crowd continued to grow.

Before the fair ended at 3 p.m., organizers estimated the turnout at between 4,200 and 4,700.

“It’s triple what… Read more