Home News Hurricane Ian Threatens to Submerge Tampa’s Red-Hot Property Market

Hurricane Ian Threatens to Submerge Tampa’s Red-Hot Property Market

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Florida’s Tampa Bay is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. experienced a surge Construction and property values ​​in recent years. Now much of its expensive real estate is at risk of ending up under several feet of salt water.

This is due to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Ianwhich strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday, expected to land Just south of Tampa late Wednesday.

It houses approximately $1.5 trillion worth of apartments, office buildings, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial properties. Predicted course of the storm in Florida and nearby states, according to data provider MSCI Real Assets.

Tampa is the largest real estate market on Florida’s West Coast and the most endangered. Developers are evacuating to higher ground, tying up loose timbers and roof tiles, and draining artificial lagoons in preparation for the worst storm ever to hit the area.

While many of Tampa’s recent property developments are designed to weather powerful storms, the more mature properties are unlikely to fare as well.

John Mast, CEO of the Manatee Sarasota Building Contractors Association, said older homes on the region’s valuable barrier islands were particularly vulnerable. Older homes, including many on the island, are said to have floors only five feet high, although they are likely to be built taller than feet.

“It is very likely to be devastated by storm surges and winds,” Mast said.

According to residential data provider CoreLogic, more than one million homes and multi-family homes are worth more than $258 billion to replace and are at risk of storm damage from Hurricane Ian.

As more Americans migrate to warmer Sunbelt cities, Tampa is one of the biggest beneficiaries. The metropolitan area has experienced rapid employment and population growth and now ranks among the best in the United States. Rising house prices and rising rents.

Since late last week, however, home builders across the region have halted construction activity, preparing construction sites for strong winds and tying building materials into large bundles.

Metro Development Group, which develops masterplanned communities in the Tampa area, has been busy preparing properties for the storm. Vaike O’Grady, vice president of marketing and communications, said the man-made lagoon is being drained to keep it from flooding.

They also deflate inflatable obstacle courses that normally float in lagoons, remove socks from storm drains, lock pool gates, and hide marketing flags and banners that can be blown away in a storm. It does, added O’Grady.

Emergency vehicles travel on the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa Bay, Florida, Wednesday.


Florida Department of Transportation/Associated Press

Downtown Tampa, with its glitzy hotels and office towers, is also vulnerable. In the Tampa Bay area alone, approximately 17,000 commercial properties and multifamily homes spanning 182 million square feet are in areas at high flood risk, according to a real estate data firm.

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In recent decades, billions of dollars of private and public funds have been poured into the redevelopment of downtown Tampa’s waterfront. CoStar data shows that many of these buildings are located in areas with high flood risk. Facilities in the high-risk area include a convention center, a 727-room hotel, ice hockey stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and one of Florida’s largest hospitals across the bridge.

Owner of Office Tower 100 North Tampa, the tallest building in the city

PGIM Real Estate

Sandbags are piled up in anticipation of floods. The company also said it moved elevators away from his first floor and shut down the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and mechanical equipment.

Tampa’s new waterfront centerpiece is a $3.5 billion project called Water Street Tampa, being developed by a venture that includes former hedge fund manager and Lightning owner Jeffrey Binnick and Cascade Investments LLC.

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Co-founder Bill Gates. The first phase, due to be completed this year, will include hotels, apartments, offices, retail spaces and recreational facilities.

Like most new developments in Florida, Water Street Tampa includes mechanical and electrical systems and other infrastructure designed to withstand powerful hurricanes. The rooms housing these systems are located on the upper floors of buildings, sometimes as high as the sixth floor. The roof-mounted system is designed to withstand winds of 150 miles per hour, and all new buildings are at least 11 feet above sea level.

Patrick Carroll, who owns many properties in the Tampa area, said 12 of his apartments are in displaced areas. Some of the older properties were built in the 1990s with timber frame structures instead of the more common concrete blocks.

“Crate structures are not ideal for hurricanes,” Carroll said.

Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club has been closed due to the approaching hurricane.


The Wall Street Journal’s Tina Russell

At a construction site in Bradenton, south of Tampa, developer Framework Group LLC removed portable toilets and tied them with slabs of wood to keep them from blowing away in the wind. Framework President Phillip Smith said: “And you cross your fingers.”

Mast said the new single-family homes are less likely to be hit by Hurricane Ian. This is because they tend to be built away from the water’s edge and adhere to the latest building codes.

These rules were tightened by the State of Florida in the years following Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Charlie in 2004. These included changes such as requiring the use of stronger building materials to prevent houses from succumbing to stormy winds. It was mandated to build buildings higher above ground than the houses commonly built for most of the 20th century.

When Coty Splichal bought her two-bedroom, one-bathroom home in St. Petersburg’s Meadowlands neighborhood in 2015, she knew it was just six feet above sea level. I’m particularly curious.

“Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 and the size of Florida,” Sprichal said of the last major hurricane that forced him to evacuate his home. “We are numb to it.”

Peter Grant and Deborah Acosta contributed to this article.

Write to Konrad Putzier: [email protected] and Will Parker [email protected]

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