The team at Strategic Property Partners, the joint venture between Bill Gates' Cascade Investment and Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, recently announced a name for their $3B urban redevelopment project: Water Street Tampa.
The 57-acre, 9-million-square-foot Water Street project will take approximately nine years to complete and will include the first new downtown office building in 25 years, a mix of 1,400 condominiums and apartments, two hotels, retail and the University of South Florida's Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute. The medical facility is scheduled for completion in late 2019 and will be the first of the district's 18 buildings to open for business.
Building for the Future
In October 2015 at the Clinton Global Initiative, the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) announced that the Tampa development would aim for WELL-certified district certification. IWBI co-founder Paul Scialla said in a press release at the time that developers now have the ability to design cities that promote health instead of harming it. The Tampa project seeks to do minimize or eliminate pollution, noise and other negative environmental factors often found in an urban environment.
Tampa Water Street will serve as an example to the world that city design can be healthy. Delos, the design firm known for buildings that incorporate wellness, will deploy its research and development capabilities to identify city-scale development strategies to support public health and wellness. The principles and foundation of the WELL Building Standard - which focuses on seven categories of building performance, including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind - will be applied to the project. All buildings within the Tampa city district will pursue WELL Certification.
“More than half of all people in the world now live in cities, and we spend 90 percent of our time indoors,” explained Delos Founder Paul Scialla. “The built environment – our cities – are human habitat, and we have the knowledge to design them to sustain our health, not to harm it.”
The WELL standard focuses on building features that impact the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Because the standard is relatively new, there are many WELL "firsts" popping up in various parts of North America. In March, construction services company Structure Tone earned the first WELL office certification in New York City. and earlier this month, global real estate firm CBRE became the first office in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to achieve WELL office certification.
Downtown Tampa has seen a spate of development activity recently, including plans for a three-tower, mixed-use complex near the University of Tampa. The 1.8-million-square-foot Lafayette Place will feature office space, a hotel and residential units, as well as dining and entertainment options.
Water Street developer Jeff VInik has also partnered with Dreamit UrbanTech, a startup accelerator focused on startups that positively affect the built environment in cities. Accepted startups will have a chance to interface with the team at SPP leading the project, as well as other contractors and partners on the project. This represents a unique opportunity for founders to scale their business with enterprise customers like construction firms, developers, real estate management companies, CRE service firms and other key players who are, quite literally, building the cities of the future.