For a time Darryl LeClair, the president and chairman of Echelon LLC, was working alongside the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball franchise in order to build a new stadium for the team. As of late, LeClair has switched gears to focus on the proposed site at the intersection of Fountain and Carillon parkways; he now plans to create a mixed-use development called Echelon City Center. The Tampa Bay Rays are still in the process of finding a new location in either Hillsborough or Pinellas counties with the aid of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
Echelon City Center plans to contain multi-family housing (likely the first portion of the development to break ground), retail space, two office towers, and a limited-service hotel. The development is considered too risky by many investors despite especially high demand in the Tampa/St. Pete area for modern office space because of the speculative nature of the project. In order to combat this Echelon is working tirelessly to acquire an agreement from a company willing to lease at least 125,000 to 150,000 square feet of the proposed 500,000 square feet of office space before breaking ground. Echelon has a great opportunity to break through in the local office market due to the length of time LeClair and Echelon have held on to the property. The lower cost basis as a result of holding on to the property for so long allows Echelon to offer $29.50 per square foot for the office space (typical rents in the Tampa/St. Pete marketplace are in the low-to-mid $30 range).