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$3 billion Tampa project earns top environmental certification

Water Street Tampa recognized for how its developed public spaces and walkability


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TAMPA — One of the biggest projects in Tampa’s history has received a top environmental certification.

Water Street Tampa has attained LEED Silver Certification, given for how public space between buildings is used and how the public will interact with that space, for its neighborhood development plan. The acknowledgement comes from the United States Green Building Council for the design of the district’s “walkable streets, tree-lined and shaded streetscapes, access to quality public transit, proximity between housing and jobs and energy-efficient infrastructure,” according to press release from the developers.

According to the USGBC, “LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.”

Water Street is the $3 billion, 56-acre mixed-use development just south of downtown Tampa. When completed, the development, being built land once mostly made up of parking lots, is expected to bring nine million square feet of new construction that will include commercial, residential, hospitality, entertainment and retail space.

The project’s developer, Strategic Property Partners, is a joint venture between investor and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC.

But as much as Water Street will resemble a second downtown, a big part of the development is made up of green space and a focus on walkability. According to developers, the district will have continuous sidewalks, as wide as 45 feet in places, shaded streetscapes and public plazas. It will also include grocery stores, fitness centers, banks, schools and other services “so that the daily needs of residents and workers are within walking distance.”

In all, 13 acres of the project is dedicated to public space.

Lee Schaffler, chief portfolio officer for the developer, SPP, says in the release that “our vision for Water Street Tampa has always centered on the philosophy that thoughtfully designed buildings are only as good as the spaces between them.”

“We set out to create a cohesive, ‘15-minute city’ of the future, and this LEED Neighborhood Development Plan certification is an important milestone that illustrates how the neighborhood will have a positive impact.”

 

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