A Leading Neighbourhood


Tampa-based real estate development firm Strategic Property Partners, LLC (“SPP”) this week announced that Water Street Tampa — the mixed-use development transforming 56 contiguous acres along the Tampa waterfront — has achieved LEED silver certification under the category of LEED® for Neighborhood Development: Plan, which focuses on the design of public spaces between buildings and how they will be used by people in the community. The United States Green Building Council awarded this certification to Water Street Tampa for the design of its walkable streets, tree-lined and shaded streetscapes, access to quality public transit, proximity between housing and jobs, and energy-efficient infrastructure, all part of Water Street Tampa’s commitment to employ sustainability and wellness-based design on a district-wide scale.

“Our vision for Water Street Tampa has always centred on the philosophy that thoughtfully designed buildings are only as good as the spaces between them,” said Lee Schaffler, Chief Portfolio Officer for SPP. “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 neighbourhood will have a positive impact.”

Water Street Tampa earned especially high marks for walkability, illustrating the district’s successful commitment to making Downtown Tampa more connected and more easily accessible. The district’s continuous and widened sidewalks — some up to 45-feet wide — shaded streetscapes, public plazas and functional entries allow people to experience the entire neighbourhood without interruption — a key attribute of LEED Neighborhood Developments. The district is also designed to include grocery stores, fitness centres, banks, schools and other services so that the daily needs of residents and workers are within walking distance.

Water Street Tampa’s proximity to existing civic and public spaces, such as the Riverwalk, Cotanchobee Park and the waterfront, was also an important factor for the plan’s certification. As part of its commitment to sustainability, LEED Neighborhood Development prioritizes projects that are built on previously developed land. By transforming acres of former parking lots and underutilized space in order to revitalize Downtown Tampa, Water Street Tampa dovetails with LEED’s core mission of taking a space that is not inherently people-focused and turning it into a liveable, walkable, community-oriented neighbourhood.

One of the largest mixed-use real estate developments currently under construction in the United States, Water Street Tampa is transforming 56 acres of former parking lots into a vibrant, diverse, walkable neighbourhood that connects Downtown Tampa with the city’s long-underutilized waterfront. The development is bringing nine million square feet of new commercial, residential, hospitality, entertainment, cultural, retail and educational spaces to the community.

SPP, in collaboration with Reed Hilderbrand and Elkus Manfredi, designed Water Street Tampa’s masterplan to seamlessly blend a variety of buildings and experiences around 13 acres of public space, increasing access to green space and prioritizing the pedestrian experience throughout the city. Residents and visitors of the district will enjoy new landscaped public destinations within Water Street Tampa’s thoughtfully designed, pedestrian-oriented street grid, including Raybon Plaza, a landscaped space with seating areas and public art; Sparkman Wharf, a popular waterfront park and community gathering place; and a dog run located alongside the Meridian Greenway.

LEED acknowledges excellence in green construction for individual buildings while LEED Neighborhood Development considers the design of public spaces between buildings and how they will be used by people in the community. Water Street Tampa’s LEED ND plan certification builds on the momentum achieved by individual buildings throughout the district, including Heron, which achieved LEED Gold last year, and Sparkman Wharf and District Cooling, both of which received LEED Gold in 2020. Several buildings are currently pursuing LEED certification, including Thousand & One, Asher, Cora and JW Marriott Tampa Water Street.

In addition to receiving LEED Neighborhood Development Plan certification, Water Street Tampa is the first WELL Precertified Neighborhood in the world, under the WELL Community Standard developed by the International Well Building Institute (IWBI). A WELL Community strives to promote health and wellbeing across all aspects and areas of community life, and the designation recognizes Water Street Tampa’s implementation of design and policy strategies meant to improve the lives of residents, employees and visitors. With a focus on walkability, sustainability, resiliency and innovation, Water Street Tampa is setting a global precedent for wellness-based design in the built environment and is a model for cities around the world.


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