Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Tampa Bay Times

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, it’s obvious that Jeff Vinik’s plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impact of his Water Street Tampa project goes beyond bricks and mortar. It should be a game-changer in improving the region’s job base, expanding the talent pool and creating a nucleus for new investment and innovation. It also could be the impetus for finally improving the region’s transportation system.

The physical features of Water Street Tampa became clearer with new renderings released by Strategic Property Partners, the development company that Vinik runs in partnership with Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ personal wealth fund, Cascade Investments. As the Tampa Bay Times’ Richard Danielson wrote, the drawings show a modern, vertical neighborhood of condo and apartment towers, commercial and cultural space, a new medical school building for the University of South Florida and other amenities stretched across 50 acres in the channel district, near the Lightning’s home at Amalie Arena. Work is under way, and developers say more details could be available by Christmas. Read more.