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$3 billion Tampa revitalization to include hotels, office towers, apartments and retail/entertainment projects

Strategic Property Partners (SPP), the real estate firm created by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, has announced  the long anticipated name for the organization’s massive $3 billion revitalization project, Water Street Tampa. 

SPP’s project includes two hotels with more than 650 rooms, one of which will become Tampa’s first five-star hotel, and an additional four-star hotel across the street from the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina; more than two million sq. ft. of office space, and the first office towers to be built in Tampa in 25 years; 3,500 new apartments and condos in brand new buildings; and more than one million sq. ft. of retail, restaurant and entertainment space to be built over the next 10 years, The Tampa Bay Times has reported.

In addition, the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute will be built in downtown Tampa, as will an adjacent office building to house health-related businesses. SPP estimates that 23,000 people will live, work, and visit Water Street Tampa every day. The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina will also undergo a $40 million renovation.

Vinik originally announced in late 2014 the plans to transform Tampa’s urban core with new apartments, condos, retail, restaurants, rooftop bars and parks. The goal was to turn Tampa into a walkable and sustainable downtown for residents to live, work and play,

We’ve spent the last year building our team internally and designing what this will look like,” said James Nozar, who took over as CEO of SPP a year ago. Since he was hired, he’s grown SPP’s staff from five to 40. “We spent that year building our brand and now we’re ready to start sharing our plans with the public.”

“SPP hired 10 architectural firms to work in tandem on 18 distinct buildings and 12.9 acres of public space, like parks and bicycle trails, in the district,” according to the published report. “The first phase of construction, which begins this year, will include four million square feet of office, residential, hospitality and retail space across ten blocks of downtown. It’s scheduled to be completed in 2020 before Tampa hosts the Super Bowl the next year. Additional phases will wrap up by 2027.”

SPP also plans to demolish Channelside Bay Plaza, through a separate agreement with Port Tampa Bay, and redesign it with outdoor restaurants, apartments, parks and access to the waterfront. That could come online by 2024.

The development also includes more than $200 million in new infrastructure, of which roadway and public utility work began in the summer of 2016, the developers say in a news release. “Thanks to a new central cooling facility that will break ground in fall 2017, the individual buildings in the neighborhood will benefit from efficient and reliable district-wide cooling. The centralized cooling will free up the rooftops of the new buildings, where individual cooling towers would typically be located, allowing for lushly landscaped rooftop amenity terraces with panoramic views of Downtown Tampa and Hillsborough Bay.”

Water Street Tampa also aims to set a new standard for wellness and sustainability in the built environment. SPP is pursuing both WELL and LEED building certification on individual buildings, and Water Street Tampa will become the world’s first WELL-certified community under the WELL Community Standard, currently being developed by the International Well Building Institute, the release said.

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