Excerpted from Tampa Bay Times story
Before the pandemic began to sweep the nation, the Tampa Bay area was in the midst of an unprecedented apartment boom. Developers had completed 170 projects with a total of nearly 22,700 units in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties since the 2010 end of the Great Recession, according to the Tampa brokerage Franklin Street.
Still under construction are 34 projects with a total of nearly 7,900 units. The vast majority are in Tampa and St. Petersburg, where developers touted the appeal of walking from “luxury’’ apartments to scores of trendy new restaurants and other urban amenities.
Work continues at most of those apartment sites, including two towers in Tampa’s billion dollar Water Street project. But now the restaurants are closed. Gone are thousands of jobs, along with paychecks that supported rents sometimes approaching New York City levels.
Has Tampa Bay’s apartment market been overbuilt?
“It will be easy to say that in hindsight, but no, I don’t think we were getting overbuilt,’’ said Darron Kattan, an expert on multi-family housing. “The economy justified it, and nobody could have seen this coming.’’
Kattan, Franklin Street’s managing director, said several factors spurred the surge in apartment development: a shortage of affordable single-family homes and an “anti-ownership sentiment’’ after the 2008 housing crash; demographic changes as young people marry and start families later; and an influx of baby boomers moving to the bay area and becoming renters by choice.
Even before the coronavirus, Kattan said, bankers had started tightening up on loans for apartment projects.
For full story, visit: https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/04/14/8000-apartments-under-construction-in-tampa-bay-as-unemployment-surges/