Florida Neighborhood Seen as Urban Tech Model by Developers

In one of the country’s fastest-growing cities, a massive and ultra-connected neighborhood is rising. The Water Street Tampa development is taking shape on a 56-acre site that was previously occupied by empty fields and parking lots in Tampa Bay, a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Strategic Property Partners (SPP), a joint venture between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and partners, along with Cascade Investment, an investment firm funded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, are the developers behind the megaproject. Around 9 million square feet of real estate, ranging from retail to residential to office, will be built at the site, and it is expected to generate $8.6 million for the city of Tampa and $15 million in state sales tax each year. But one of the most notable things about the multi-billion-dollar development is the connectivity features. The tech infrastructure that is planned for Water Street Tampa is so advanced, it has already achieved some of the highest certifications for tech connectivity and wellness, including being the first neighborhood in the world to achieve WiredScore’s SmartScore Neighborhood Pre-Certification. 

The idea for Water Street Tampa began back in the early 2010s after Vinik purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team. In becoming the team’s owner, Vink realized that he needed to be “all in” on the market he was in, Strategic Property Partners’ CEO James Nozar told Urban Design Forum in 2020. “We were all coming out of the recession, and some parcels around the arena in downtown Tampa became available,”

Read more at Propmodo.

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