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Behind the vision for Darryl Shaw’s 50-acre Gas Worx project in Ybor

Veronica Brezina

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A conceptual image for the Gas Worx site. City of Tampa documents.

Ybor developer and landowner Darryl Shaw has filed conceptual plans for an ambitious goal of transforming 50 acres between historic Ybor and downtown’s Channel district into a thriving destination for residential and hi-rise commercial uses. 

Shaw, who is the CEO of Tampa-based BluePearl Veterinary Partners, is working with Washington, D.C.-based real estate firm Kettler on the master plan development dubbed Gas Worx. 

A conceptual image for the Gas Worx site. City of Tampa documents.

The conceptual plans filed earlier this week with the City of Tampa entail: 

  • 4,471 apartments
  • 510,500 square feet of office space
  • 140,200 square feet of retail space

The master plan also includes the redevelopment of a 70,000-square-foot warehouse between Third and Fourth avenues and Channelside Drive and 14th Street. 

Kettler Senior VP Graham Tyrrell told the St. Pete Catalyst the warehouse is a critical component as the “heart of the community” and it could be redeveloped into office space or for entertainment uses like a food hall. 

“The real vision is to knit together the surrounding neighborhoods that are underutilized and bring in some retail, office uses and really making it feel like a continuation of Ybor. It’s about connecting the vibrant areas around us, making it walkable and desirable,” Tyrrell said. 

How the plans surfaced

 Tyrrell first met Shaw two years ago when the plans started rolling. 

“The introduction came through by connections we had with SPP [Strategic Property Partners] as a large number of people from SPP came from the D.C. area and moved to Tampa and were working on Water Street [the $3 billion-plus development in downtown Tampa],” Tyrrell explained. “We toured Water Street a couple of times and we were excited about what was happening in Tampa.” 

“Shaw has this long vision and passion for Ybor. In the Atlantic, we had large urban projects like this,” Tyrrell said. 

The vision for reimaging Ybor reminds Tyrrell of a project he recently worked on, although not geographically comparable in size, near the Union Station in D.C., a redevelopment of an area filled with old warehouses and light industrial into a town center with centralized green spaces. 

A conceptual image for the Gas Worx site. City of Tampa documents.

“The Gas Worx development plan is very intentional. We start on a lower scale in a portion of Ybor and then it transitions to the southern edge against the Selmon Expressway,” he said. 

While the development isn’t in St. Pete’s backyard, it is thought to be a catalyst for the entire Tampa Bay region much like the Water Street Tampa development.  

“When you combine this with bigger projects like Water Street or the [proposed] redevelopment of the Trop, it elevates the metro area. It gives people a lot more options of where to work and live. It increases the appeal,” Tyrrell said. 

There is also the possibility of the Tampa Bay Rays building a stadium there. Shaw has an existing relationship with the Rays as the team was considering building a stadium in Ybor several years ago. 

However, the conversations between Shaw and the Rays are not considered active negotiations. 


RELATED: Tampa Bay Rays scrap Ybor stadium plan


A conceptual image for the Gas Worx site for a TECO Line Streetcar station and a public gathering area. City of Tampa documents.

Another major component of the development includes the concept of transit-oriented development – an asset the Tampa Bay region lacks.

Conceptual plans show a new TECO Line Streetcar station.

Tyrrell said this is an aspect that he’s excited about and would love to see residents of Gas Worx take advantage of. 

There have been ongoing plans to extend the Streetcar system into the Tampa Heights neighborhood and beyond. 

There is also the potential of incorporating a Brightline station. 

Shaw has previously been in contact with Brightline, the high-speed rail company that is currently building a rail line between Orlando and Tampa. 

Brightline has never disclosed where the Tampa station would be, but the Miami-based company has expressed interest in Ybor. 

Next steps 

The redevelopment of the massive area will happen gradually in stages over the years. 

Shaw and the Kettler team will have to go through a rigorous process of having plans approved by the city, including the appropriate zoning, and having the OK for every structure. 

A public hearing on the rezoning request will go before the city council in 2022, Tyrrell said. 

“We have two residential buildings and retail that we’d like to get started on next year. The next key component would be the placemaking elements and focus on repurposing the historic warehouse building,” Tyrrell said.

The developers will seek debt and equity financing. The potential of seeking financial incentives has not been discussed. 

Gas Worx

The buildings in the Gas Worx site. City of Tampa documents.

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