Water Street Tampa’s developer reveals details about this project’s public spaces

This $3 billion waterfront neighborhood will also include three hotels.

July 17, 2018 |

Eight landscape architects are involved in the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project in Florida. Image: Strategic Property Partners

In late June, Strategic Property Partners (SPP) unveiled its vision for the nearly 13 acres of public space that will stretch across Water Street Tampa, a 50-acre waterfront redevelopment that is one of the largest such projects in the U.S. When it’s completed, Water Street Tampa will include an estimated nine million sf of new commercial, residential, hospitality, cultural, entertainment, education and retail uses, totaling more than $3 billion in private investment.

Infrastructure and roadway improvements for Tampa Water Street have been ongoing since the summer of 2016. (Stantec has coordinated this effort.)

The initial phase of vertical development, which encompasses 3.5 million sf across 11 individual projects, commenced with the April groundbreaking for a 519-key JW Marriott hotel that is scheduled to open in 2020. SPP is also renovating the 727-room Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, and announced plans to bring Marriott’s luxury brand, EDITION, to Tampa with a 173-room hotel and 46 condominium units within a 26-story tower.  EDITION is scheduled to open in the first half of 2021.

Once completed, more than 23,000 people are expected to live, work, dine, shop, and visit Water Street Tampa daily.

The public realm master plan was devised by landscape architect Reed Hilderbrand in collaboration with Water Street Tampa’s master planner Elkus Manfredi Architects. In fact, seven other landscape architects are involved in various elements of the Water Street Tampa project, including EDSA, Nelson Byrd Wolfe, Raymond Jungles, Madison Cox Associates, Coen + Partners, David Conner + Associates, and OJB.

“Our plan for Water Street Tampa builds on decades of insights into what makes city neighborhoods work, within the context of a modern lifestyle in Tampa,” says James Nozar, Strategic Property Partners’ CEO.

The public space design revolves around three core values:

•Reveal and improve connections: this neighborhood will be oriented toward the waterfront, and be located within walking distance of Tampa’s Central Business District and the surrounding neighborhoods of Harbour Island and the Channel District.

•Prioritize pedestrian comfort: Sidewalks will range in width from 16 to 45 feet. Streets are designed to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, transit, and vehicles. Lighting and wayfinding are integrated for safety and ease of navigation.

•Diversify public spaces: Water Street Tampa will feature an abundance of outdoor seating, a public plaza at the entrance of USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, and a new park at Cumberland Avenue and Water Street. More than 650 trees will be planted, and more than 30,000 sf of new planters and lawn area created.

Sidewalks will range in width from 16 to 45 feet, exceeding local city requirements. Image: Strategic Property Partners.


Water Street, the redevelopment’s main drag, will include a 45-ft-wide landscaped promenade at its eastern side with plazas and outdoor spaces for dining, recreation, and gathering. (The promenade is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020, and SPP has already started vetting tree suppliers.)

Water Street Tampa will also become the world’s first community certified under the International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Community Standard. The development is also shooting for LEED Neighborhood Development certification.

Tapping into hotel demand

SPP’s plans coincide with what’s been a boom in hospitality demand in this market. STR, which tracks hotel activity worldwide, estimates that, between 2014 and 2017, revenues per available room in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa Bay, grew by 30%, compared to Florida’s average of 18% over the same period.

EDITION, a brand created through a partnership between Marriott International and Ian Schrager, targets customers looking for a boutique, individualized hotel experience.

The EDITION in Tampa is the first in that market designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, in collaboration with AOR Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates and interior design consultant Roman & Williams.

The Tampa EDITION will include a rooftop pool with adjacent bar and restaurant, and an expansive spa and fitness center. Ian Schrager will program the ground-floor restaurants and retail.

EDITION is one of three hotels that will open within Water Street Tampa. Image: Strategic Property Partners


The JW’s amenities across six floors will include a full-service spa and fitness center, pool and rooftop lawn, and ground-floor restaurants and retail. The JW and Marriott Waterside—which are adjacent to each other and to the Tampa Convention Center—will offer a combined 150,000 sf of meeting and event spaces.

Nichols Brosch is AOR on the JW Marriott and Marriott Waterside projects, and design architect on the JW. (The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry is AOR for the Marriott Waterside’s public spaces.) Coastal Construction is GC on EDITION and the JW, and Continental Contracting is GC for the Marriott Waterside, whose interior designer is Looney & Associates. Desimone Consulting Engineers is SE for EDITION, whose MEP engineer is Hufsey-Nocolaides-Garcia-Suarez & Associates. Ysrael A. Seinuk is SE for the JW, whose MEP engineer is EXP.

When Water Street Tampa’s vertical construction is in full swing by the summer of 2019, SPP anticipates there will be 20 construction cranes and 2,800 construction workers on site. Nozar explains that SPP’s decision to use Coastal Construction as its GC for the entire first phase of Water Street Tampa will “maximize coordination, consistency, and efficiency across a very complicated mixed-used development project.”


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