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Development Aims to Transform Tampa Bay’s Downtown & Waterfront

Tampa has set plans aiming to transform their downtown by investing heavily into its waterfront. For a long time, Tampa has focused on building highways and other structures that cut off water from its residents. Now they plan to invest intensely into their Water Street, a $3 billion, 50-acre waterfront district that covers 16 blocks on Hillsborough Bay.

The project is being developed by Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture from Jeffrey Vinik—the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, and Cascade Investment. Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects and Reed Hilderbrand will be working on the landscape and master plan architecture.

If the plans are successful the Water Street will become the first WELL-certified community. This certification sets new design and health standards such as focusing on elements like daylight and air quality. The Architects Newspaper says it will have “A centralized district cooling facility will be built to serve all the buildings in Water Street, opening up rooftops to have more space for greenery and/or active amenity spaces.” Water Street also looks to be LEED Neighborhood Development Certified, which helps shape sustainability.

According to the New York Times, the development will consist of “17 buildings, including two new hotels and the renovation of a third, with restaurants and rooftop bars, and one million square feet of cultural and retail space, plus 3,500 residential units.” Once completed it is estimated that more than 23,000 people will live, work dine and visit Water Street. The first phase of the project is expected to be open in 2021 with an estimated completion date of 2027.


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