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Developer wants to raze long-vacant Copperfish restaurant property to make way for townhouses

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A developer wants to demolish a long-vacant restaurant in South Tampa to make way for townhouses.

Tampa developer Jeff Craft has filed plans with the city for the project, which would build nine units in four buildings at 1502 S. Howard Ave. That property, which is just over half an acre, was once home to Copperfish Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar. The restaurant closed more than five years ago.

There are three structures on the property: Two of them, built in 1957, made up the former restaurant. The third is a single-family home built in 1922.

Of the nine proposed townhouse units, six will front South Howard and West Hills avenues, according to the rezoning application. The townhouses are three and four stories; most are around 940 square feet, and one is 1,025 square feet.

LevelUp Consulting is the engineer on the project; EBI Surveying is the surveyor. The architect is Alderman Planning Co., and Kami Corbett, a partner in Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa, is representing the developer in the rezoning process.

“The proposed project will transform the site, which is in a highly desirable area in close proximity to Bayshore Boulevard, into an attractive townhome community,” the rezoning application says.

The Copperfish site is in the heart of one of Tampa’s most walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. It is blocks from Bayshore Boulevard as well as a mix of bars and restaurants, including iconic Bern’s Steak House, the Epicurean Hotel and several concepts owned by Tampa’s Ciccio Restaurant Group.

City council will consider the rezoning request at a public hearing on July 8.