The District Magazine LIVE.WORK.PLAY 2018 - Page 10

LIVE WORK PLAY Keith Gaines LIVE Where do you live in Tampa? The hippest neighborhood in town, duh, Seminole Heights!! How long have you lived in the area and why? 16 years. I bought my first fixer-upper in Seminole Heights in 2002. I fell in love with the unique architecture & character of the neighborhood and saw its potential back then. What do you like most about the area? Oh geez, so many more things to like now than when I first moved here. I would have say the community for sure. Seminole Heights has become such a collaborative melting pot for teachers, artists, students, entrepreneurs, young and old professionals alike. Definitely a very friendly vibe here. Not to mention a seemingly endless supply of top notch restaurants, breweries and wineries to choose from. If you could change anything in the urban districts what would it be? I remember when I first moved to Tampa, going downtown after 5pm or on the weekend felt like a scene out of Armageddon, like literally no people. Thankfully much progress has been made and it’s no longer like that, but we still have some catching up to do compared the amount of pedestrian traffic you find in and around downtown St Pete and other “mature” cities on nights and weekends. What excites you the most about the current and future expansion of the downtown district and surrounding urban areas? Wow, there are so many projects under construction and on the board for Tampa’s urban core that is hard to pick one. Continued development in/around Tampa Heights/Armature Works and billions slated for future developments like Water Street Tampa and West River Tampa, just to name a few, continue to make Tampa an exciting place to be for now and the foreseeable future. WORK Do you work in the urban districts and what do you do? A graduate of the University of Florida’s School of Architecture, I have been restoring 1920’s Craftsman Bungalows and 1950’s mid-century modern homes to their original grandeur with some modern design upgrades since 2012. I have also built multiple new construction homes from the ground up. My area of focus has been Seminole Heights, Riverside Heights and Tampa Heights. What is your favorite part about working in the same area you live in? When I take on a new restoration project, it’s not just a “flip.” As an artist at heart, with an extensive design background, I see each home as a blank canvas on which I can bring forth my vision and create a unique masterpiece of design and efficiency, while still providing an end product that is affordable. How do you think the current Downtown Tampa and surrounding areas explosion of new residents has affected your business? I heard a statistic from a respected source recently that upwards of 160 million people are currently moving into Florida on an annual basis. This combined with continued low available home inventory (sellers market), will help to insure demand for new housing remains strong. What do you vision for the urban core to be in ten years? I see a very pedestrian friendly, connected urban core, where residence consistently CHOOSE to walk, CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 10 10