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Harbour Island


Harbour Island is an island neighborhood within the city limits of Tampa, Florida and the sub-district within Downtown Tampa.

Geography


Harbour Island is situated adjacent to Downtown across the Garrison Channel. Other nearby areas include Davis Islands and Channelside. The Tampa Convention Center is located directly across the Harbour Island Bridge and Channelside is just across Beneficial Drive, both walking distance.

History

Harbour Island was originally known as Seddon Island, which was named after W. L. Seddon, chief engineer for the Seaboard Air Line Railway. In 1906, a public hearing was held to plan a new port for the city. Seddon's plans were adopted and soon his company dredged a channel and established a port facility on what was then called Grassy Island. The Seaboard Coast Line later sold the 177 acres (72 ha) island to the Beneficial Land Corporation in 1979 for residential, office and retail development purposes. The first phase of development did not begin until 1985. Up to that point, the island still housed a phosphate terminal and had freight rail access. Beneficial's chief executive, Finn M. W. Caspersen (1941-2009) envisioned transforming the island into a bustling waterfront with offices, shops and restaurants, much like Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Between 1985 and January 1999, Harbour Island was linked to Downtown Tampa by the Harbour Island People Mover, an automated rubber tired tram manufactured by Otis Transportation Systems that ran on an elevated concrete guideway connecting the Knights Point shopping center on Harbour Island, to the Ft Brooke Parking Garage half of a mile to the north, adjacent to the downtown core on the mainland. The Harbour Island People Mover ceased operations on January 16, 1999