North Carolina Developer Pitches Apartments on CSX-Owned Land Near the University of Tampa

A North Carolina developer is proposing a new apartment complex on acreage near the University of Tampa that’s owned by CSX Corp.

Jacksonville-based CSX has filed plans with the city to build four multifamily buildings totaling 225 units on a long, narrow strip of land on the western side of the railroad tracks that border UT. The site is just under 4 acres, according to property records

The railroad operator is under contract to sell the property to Wilmington, North Carolina-based Zimmer Development Co., a CSX spokeswoman confirmed to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Zimmer, owned by the same family that owns Reeds Jewelers, specializes in multifamily projects near college campuses across the country. This is its first development project in Tampa Bay.

On the CSX site, the proposed buildings are positioned parallel to the rail line, and Zimmer is planning plenty of soundproofing measures, said Adam Tucker, director of development for Zimmer.

Tucker said Zimmer doesn’t consider the project transit-oriented development — as of yet there’s no rail-based transit around which to build — but that the project will accommodate that future possibility.

“We’re trying to become the prime example of urban infill,” Tucker told the Business Journal. “We’re also designing to stay out of the railroad’s right of way so if in the future pedestrian-oriented rail comes along, they’ll have the ability to do that. We are not planning on having any type of metro stop in our plan, but we would love for that to happen in the future and will be able to accommodate it.”

City council will consider the rezoning request to make way for the development on May 13. If approved, Tucker said it would likely be a year before construction would begin. Zimmer has a “handful” of preferred general contractors, he said, and Huffman & Co. of Little Rock, Arkansas, has handled most of its Florida projects.

Zimmer’s proposal is the latest in a slew of new projects in North Hyde Park. Another group is redeveloping a former doggie day care into student housing.