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The garden at Residences at Tampa EDITION. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partners

Ian Schrager says Tampa is having a moment.

The man behind New York's Studio 54 and the boutique hotel boom of the 1980s admits he's only visited three or four times, but tells Axios that Tampa is on the edge of greatness.

  • "I believe it's Tampa's time now. It's been coming for a while now, and I think Tampa's a great city," he said.

Why it matters: He's bringing his creative vision to the upscale Tampa EDITION hotel that's part of the Water Street Tampa shebang, along with 37 private residences starting at $2 million apiece on the upper floors.

  • The hotel is set to open next year, with 172 guest rooms and suites.
  • The Tampa location is only the third EDITION Residences in the world.

State of play: Schrager is sold on Water Street Tampa, the massive Jeff Vinik-backed project that nearly doubles the footprint of downtown Tampa.

  • "It's such a big scale, it's gonna change the city," Schrager told Axios, "and it's kind of intoxicating for me to be involved with a project like that."

The Residences, set to open this year and designed to focus on wellness, occupy floors above the hotel and feature wraparound terraces, indoor-outdoor living, soaring windows, and "a new kind of highly intuitive luxury," as the website for the Residences puts it.

  • "What we're doing down there with the apartments is very, very sophisticated," Schrager said.

The intrigue: He wants your heart beating faster when you walk in.

"I hope you feel the electricity in the air," he said. "You can feel that you're in someplace special. This is something that you've never seen before. It's not cookie-cutter. You can feel that every detail has been considered and is part of the whole."

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Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

3 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.

5 hours ago - World

Israeli forces capture final 2 escaped Palestinian prisoners

An Israeli security forces member on Saturday stands guard at the Gilboa prison in northern Israel, from where the six inmates escaped. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli forces captured the two remaining Palestinian prisoners who tunneled their way out of an Israeli maximum-security prison with four others in a "Shawshank Redemption"-style escape, authorities announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The escape sparked a massive manhunt and turned the prisoners into heroes in the West Bank and Gaza, with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza threatening an escalation if they were harmed, per Axios' Barak Ravid.