Real Estate

RD Management Taps JLL to Lease 1 MSF Mall Conversion

RD Management, owner and developer of a 100-acre mixed-use, multi-story urban development site in Tampa’s Uptown District, has chosen JLL’s Central Florida Healthcare Practice Group to lease the health-care, life science and office components of the project known as RITHM.

The developer, which acquired the site along East Fowler Avenue and Club Drive in 2014, is converting the former University Mall into at least 1.1 million square feet of mixed uses featuring health-care and medical uses, life science, research and development and technology space. It will also have retail and entertainment, coworking space and corporate offices.

Once complete, RITHM—which stands for Research, Innovation, Technology, Humanity & Medicine and is derived from the word ‘algorithm’—could encompass more than 7 million square feet of development, including several thousand residential units. The largest development in Tampa, RITHM is expected to become one of the largest innovation districts in the state.

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Completed developments at RITHM include a mix of multifamily, student housing and Sprouts Farmers Market, a 23,000-square-foot natural food grocery store that opened in August 2023. Recent additions include new headquarter locations and related spaces for the USF Institute of Applied Engineering and Vu Studios.

Hub Tampa, a $65 million, 359-unit, 890-bed off-campus student housing project serving students at the University of South Florida, was completed in August 2022. Core Spaces is planning a second phase with 900 additional beds at Hub Tampa, for a total investment of about $200 million. An extended-stay Marriott hotel is scheduled to break ground early this year along the newly constructed University Square Drive extension that connects RITHM to the USF campus.

The 103,151-square-foot shopping center anchored by the Sprouts store is under construction and will also include a 49,412-square-foot Burlington retail store and an additional 30,000-square-foot user.

RITHM is one of approximately 32 mall conversion projects across the country as developers seek to reposition underutilized shopping malls to better suit the demands of their communities.

JLL’s team effort

The JLL team is led by Lucia Hedke, managing director and Florida Healthcare Lead, and Bryan Rodriguez, vice president.

Hedke told Commercial Property Executive a minimum of 500,000 square feet of existing space will be converted to health-care and life science uses.

“During the last two weeks we have had 150,000 square feet of active negotiations,” she said. “There is a great demand, which speaks to the growth of the area.”

In October, a team led by Hedke and Managing Director Micah Strader was tapped by Onicx Group to lease Nona Medical Center, a new 45,000-square-foot facility located within the 23-acre mixed-use development East Park Village in Orlando, Fla. Nona Medical Center will be less than 1 mile from AdventHealth’s new 67.28-acre mixed-use campus and will be near Lake Nona Medical City, a premier location for medical care, research and education.

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