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After a groundbreaking, Ybor City can expect the first apartments at Gas Worx next year

 A model depicts a public space in the completed Gas Worx project.
A model depicts a public space in the completed Gas Worx project.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor says the 50-acre Gas Worx development is "going to transform Ybor City."

Gas Worx construction has officially begun, and Ybor City can expect to see completed residential buildings in 2024.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, along with development partners Darryl Shaw and Kettler founder Bob Kettler, were among a group of community leaders who took part in Monday's groundbreaking ceremony for the Gas Worx project.

“It’s going to be a neighborhood that’s going to transform Ybor City. But most importantly, it’s going to maintain the history, the culture, the diversity and the ambiance of this great area,” Castor said.

The Gas Worx development project is intended to better connect Ybor City with the downtown Tampa area, and also to provide additional office space, business centers and affordable housing.

“Today is a historic day for Ybor City. We needed the right partners with the right vision," Castor said in a news release. "Darryl Shaw and Kettler are those partners and together we are bringing more housing, more jobs, and more vibrancy to this beloved neighborhood.”

According to a news release, 317 housing units will be the first completed Gas Worx buildings. They will be finished next year.

In all, plans for the project will include 5,000 new housing units.

Shaw, founder and CEO of Blue Pearl Animal Hospitals who initially presented the proposal in 2021, said the 50-acre development will “have a place for everyone.”

The Gas Worx project will be Ybor City's largest private investment into affordable housing, according to the press release.

“The beauty of Ybor City is truly the people who call it home — engaged, passionate, and dedicated to this area," Shaw said in the release. "Today we celebrate each and every person who has left their mark here and I look forward to seeing more people call Ybor City home.”

Added Kettler: “Tampa is the most significant emerging market in Florida. We are honored to be a part of its story and find such incredible new partners here.”

Joanna Keen is the WUSF Stephen Noble Digital News intern for spring of 2023.