Public, Developers Get Say on Fort Homer Hesterly Armory

Fort Homer
TAMPA -

Members of the public and five of the six developers that want to transform the old Fort Homer Hesterly Armory gave their presentations late yesterday.

The presenters say the future of West Tampa is at stake.

SOUND: West Tampa is still a long way from the prosperous city it once was. West Tampa needs a new economic engine to restore its prosperity.

That's part of a video prepared by Heritage Square at the Armory, which wants to build a farmers market, restaurants, hotel and spa at the site.

Jarrett Kass of Landmarc Realty wants to build more than 600 housing units and retail, but he would demolish the armory.

KASS: This is a decision that will affect the future of West Tampa and the city of Tampa. It will help to retain future generations of young professionals.

Other proposals include building an ice skating rink and transforming the armory into a video, film and sound studio.

Cynthia Miller is director of business and housing development for the City of Tampa.

MILLER: From the city's viewpoint, this is a true catalyst for West Tampa. It is one of the largest areas for redevelopment - you're talking a whole city block. And we believe that it's in a perfectly located situation, so we think it is extremely important.

A panel made up of city, community and National Guard representatives will rank the proposals on July 26th. A final decision isn't expected until August.

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