In addition to what is going on with the Tampa Bay Lightning, new building downtown, and Jeff Vinik’s new health and wellness district, Ybor is also rebounding.
After the construction of the Henry Plant railroad, Vicente Martinez Ybor saw the port city as a promising destination to bring his cigar business to. Relocating his business form Key West in the 1880s, Ybor acquired land, and built a thriving hub which trafficked Cuban tobacco, and supplied the rest of the United States with much loved Cuban cigars. This entrepreneurial move is credited with much of Tampa’s early growth, and earned the district the nickname “Cigar City.”
Since then the neighborhood has become a National Historic Landmark, with many historic properties. The American Planning Association has named the main commercial area along 7th Avenue as one of the “10 Great Streets in America.”
Although Tampa, FL as a whole is going through a great transformation and revitalization to become an important and innovative city, Ybor City stands out with a unique blend of architecture, history, and modern re-design.
Airbnb now sports renovated houses and cottages in revitalized communities for those wanting to visit and get a real feel for the area. Zillow’s real estate listings include unique offerings such as modern lofts in the reinvented box factory. The 120 year old, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (OLPH) and convent, which was originally funded with the help of Henry Flagler, is one of the most recent historic Ybor properties to change hands. Expectations are that it may be converted to offices.
While there is a lot to love about Tampa’s leading renaissance, Ybor City continues to be one of the area’s most exciting districts, with lots of potential to rival the trendy art and tech neighborhoods of NYC and Miami.
Definitely worth a visit next time you are in the Sunshine State, with great investment opportunities for those looking to be on the leading edge of what’s next in real estate.