PUBLISHED IN Tampa Bay Times | SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
By Susan Taylor Martin
TAMPA — Wellswood is one of the those Tampa neighborhoods that even some people in Tampa have never heard of. Yet that hasn’t stopped a 30-year-old Miami investor from sinking more than $60 million into it, with more likely to come.
Jakub Hejl’s Westside Capital Group closed last week on the $29.5 million purchase of Watermans Crossing Apartments, a 337-unit community on North Rome Avenue. Last year, the company paid $21.25 million for the Buena Vista apartments on North Armenia Avenue less than a mile away.
Both are in Wellswood, a working- to middle-class area bounded by Hillsborough Avenue to the north, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the south, the Hillsborough River to the east and Armenia Avenue to the west. Also in or relatively close to Wellswood are St. Joseph’s Children Hospital, numerous medical facilities, Tampa Catholic High School and Raymond James Stadium. Downtown Tampa is 10 minutes in one direction and Tampa International Airport is 10 minutes in the other.
“When we evaluated all these drivers, we determined it to be a very attractive neighborhood from a general standpoint,” Hejl said Tuesday in phone interview. “Then we started looking for opportunities. Many times we like to focus on areas that others are not focusing on in terms of really transforming the area.”
Hejl was born in the Czech Republic, but moved to the United States at 15 to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton. It was while playing basketball and studying there that he became familiar with the Tampa Bay area.