Ybor City Sheriff’s Office Relocation Plan

Ybor City Sheriff’s Office Relocation Plan

For many years, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has operated from a cluster of government buildings in Ybor City, including a notable brick structure known locally as Fort Heinrich. This headquarters could soon relocate due to ongoing developments in Ybor City.

A proposed land exchange could see the Sheriff’s Office moving from its current 8.33-acre site, located north of Ybor’s main business district, to a 24-acre property currently housing the Grow Financial Federal Credit Union headquarters near the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. This proposal requires approval from the Hillsborough County Commission.

Developer Darryl Shaw, a key figure in Ybor City’s transformation, is central to this proposal. Shaw is also leading the Gasworx project, a new neighborhood that will include 5,000 residences, as well as commercial and office spaces. This project aims to create a walkable and bikeable community on the west side of Ybor over the next decade.

Sheriff Chad Chronister supports the relocation. He believes the new site will provide a more modern and professional environment for the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, it will be more conveniently located for residents who need services such as traffic crash reports. Chronister stated, “You don’t have to drive all the way to Ybor City.” He also noted that the move would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Sheriff’s Office.

The current Ybor City property includes three buildings, a memorial, and parking. The Sheriff’s Office, previously spread across various locations, consolidated at this site in 1978 under then-Sheriff Malcolm Beard. The property also features a History Center in a building that is over a century old.

The Grow Financial site, built in 2005, is a five-story structure with 140,000 square feet of office space, nearly double the size of the current Sheriff’s Office. Darryl Shaw expressed enthusiasm about the potential collaboration, highlighting its benefits for taxpayers, the Sheriff’s Office, and Ybor City. He acknowledged the support from public partners in exploring possibilities that could yield long-term community benefits.

Last year, Grow Financial announced plans to move its headquarters to a 50,000-square-foot space within Shaw’s Gasworx development. Shaw is in the process of purchasing the current Grow Financial headquarters at 9927 Delaney Lake Drive near Brandon.

If the land swap goes ahead, it could facilitate the reconnection of 9th Avenue, thereby restoring the street grid in Ybor. Shaw emphasized the importance of preserving the historic casitas along 19th Street as part of any redevelopment project, although no specific plans have been made.

County Commissioner Michael Owen expressed support for the proposal, noting the opportunity to modernize the Sheriff’s Office facilities and provide a lasting benefit for future generations.

Shaw, a significant property owner in Ybor City, has been actively involved in shaping its future. He has advocated for a balanced approach to development, suggesting that Ybor should shift some focus from its bar scene towards restaurants, arts, and retail. A tragic shooting incident last fall underscored the need for thoughtful discussions about Ybor’s future direction.