What this means for the University Mall, the city and traffic

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You’re not alone if you don’t recognize the name Uptown Tampa. A new name for a familiar place, Uptown Tampa spans approximately 20 square miles of land that includes University Mall, Fletcher Avenue and parts of Temple Terrace. For ten years now, developers have been planning drastic changes in this area, and University Mall is seeing the most notable changes to date. Serving as a sort of ‘ground zero’ for the rapid development planned for this part of town, the old University shopping center is being demolished in favor of something bigger: a center for entertainment, leisure and economic growth.

The area housing the University Mall will be repurposed for multiple uses, both for work and entertainment. This urban hub will include offices, medical facilities and research facilities, in addition to restaurants and shops. All of these different businesses in the heart of Uptown Tampa will be connected by a set of well-lit outdoor pathways that weave from business to business, while overlooking a set of crystal blue lakes. The area that housed the old mall is becoming something exciting for everyone near Uptown.

The Tampa Innovation Partnership, or “p!” in short, is the driving force behind all of the changes we will see at the University Mall, as well as all of the changes in Uptown Tampa as a whole. Tampa! is taking advantage of the Investing in Opportunity Act which marked Uptown Tampa as a center of potentially massive industrial growth and plans to transform the area with government assistance. The partnership envisions an Uptown Tampa with more hospitals to care for the sick, more restaurants and recreation centers to entertain the weary, and many new offices to create more attractive jobs for our city’s workforce.

To some, that sounds too good to be true: they might argue that while Uptown Tampa’s transformation is exciting, the resulting explosion in traffic will make navigating this part of town even harder than it looks. already is. Fortunately, Tampa p! also took this into account. Uptown Tampa’s new vision will not only change its appearance for the modern age, but it will also operate more efficiently. New transit systems will reduce residents’ need for cars to get around the area, so commuters may notice a faster commute as well as updated scenery. The Tampa Innovation Partnership’s cooperation with the City of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Hillsborough County government makes this dream more real every day.

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