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Cities reclaim waterfronts: From Tampa to Brooklyn to Cleveland to Boston, etc.

Cities across America are reclaiming waterfronts as tools for creating a sense of place that includes development of cool places and spaces where people want to live, work, play and stay.

Take Tampa, for example, as a city that increasingly ties its future to its waterfront. Witness the Tampa Riverwalk, Water Street Tampa and the Channel District leading the way. New housing, shops, restaurants, art venues, and green spaces complete with bike paths, dog parks and walking trails, are here to stay.

Read the complete story.
 

Boat sculpture near Tampa Riverwalk oozes kinetic energy

There’s more to see than just the Hillsborough River during your jaunt down the Tampa Riverwalk. 

While you might see some kayaks, rowboats or electric boats floating on the river, you’ll find only one boat-as-public-sculpture greeting walkers at the entrance of NOVEL Riverwalk -- a developing apartment complex run by Crescent Communities, who commissioned this project. This 27-foot skeletal yacht frame, with bow sticking upright in the air proudly, has been dubbed "Charley'' by its creator Mark Aeling of MGA Sculpture Studio in St. Pete.

But who is Charley?
 
Charley Morgan of Morgan Yachts is a bit of a boat genius, having designed and built over 10,000 yachts through his lifetime; he’s 88 years old and has only just retired a few years back.
 
"I had met Charley through the St. Pete Artwalk, but I had heard his name before because he is very respected in the sailing community and internationally,'' Aeling says. "I was doing research on wooden boat hulls for this project and had a hunch Charley had more information. I found out he had worked on an amazing project 'Heritage' designed in the 1970s for the America's Cup [one of the biggest races in sailing]. It was an absolutely gorgeous boat.''

"Charley has an unbelievable breadth of experience, and I felt like the piece should be dedicated to his life’s work.''
 
As a self-taught engineer, Charley has led an exciting life from an early age: When he was 17, he entered a boating race that went from St. Pete to Cuba. He had to have special permission to race because the boat that he built in his own backyard didn’t have a motor. This ended up launching his career in becoming a specialist in hull design.
 
"Charley even helped consult on the structural engineering of the sculpture itself because the aluminum needs to sustain hurricane winds,'' Aeling adds.
 
Using the famous racing yacht "Heritage'' as inspiration, it took 4 months from concept to completion before it was installed in late March across from the Tampa Bay Times building near The Straz. It has similar aesthetics as MGA Sculpture Studio’s “Budding Vortex” sculpture that was also commissioned by Crescent Communities back in 2016 at the entrance of one of their communities on North Lois Ave.; they both have a kinetic sculpture quality with their blade-like construction.
 
"When you repeat forms in space, it creates a visual resonance and makes you want to move around the piece, so it's kinetic in a way in that it makes you move yourself in relation to the piece,'' Aeling says. "We wanted to create traction to draw people in and relate to that notion of the Riverwalk.''

NYT reports on investments in Downtown Tampa, Bay Area

Tampa's recent growth, including multibillion dollar investments in downtown and along the waterfront, are highlighted in a recent New York Times article, "How Developers Discovered Tampa's 'Best Kept Secret'.''

The publicity alone, not to mention the actual investments, are spurring growth unseen in Tampa since the late-1970s, early 1980s as witnessed by John Naisbitt in his book, "Megatrends.''

Read the complete story.
 

Liberty Group to build new hotel in Channel District

Liberty Group CEO Punit Shah plans to build a new hotel containing Hampton Inn and Home2Suites on the same piece of property in downtown Tampa's Channel District. 

“The reason I love dual-branded properties is there are just so many efficiencies associated with them, both in the design and the operation,” Shah tells the Business Observer. “There’s one front desk, there’s one pool, and other amenities are shared. And we’ve found that the two different brands often appeal to two different customers.”

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Water Street Tampa project starts coming out of the ground

Construction work has begun on a new University of South Florida medical school as part of the Water Street Tampa urban design project on downtown Tampa's waterfront.

The USF Health building project is the first in a series that will include shops, office space, a hotel and apartments.

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Next for Tampa? Big projects, big problems awaiting solutions

With new apartments, shops and restaurants going up all around Tampa and people moving to Florida at a record pace, what are some of the problems still in search of solutions?

Consider road congestion, sea level rise, aging infrastructure, and so much more.

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Can a city stay cool while growing up fast? St. Pete looks to future

From green benches for retirees of the past to Green Bench breweries for millennials of today, St. Petersburg thought leaders are working to maintain an upward trajectory shaping the future without giving up any of the city's charm or cool.

Clearly, the struggle to grow up is as real for cities as it is for teens.

Read the complete story.
 

Crystal lagoon under construction in Wimauma

A new housing development under construction in the rural Wimauma area of South Hillsborough County features homes ranging from $200,000 to $500,000-plus surrounding a six-acre lagoon.

Southshore Bay, a planned community designed by Metro Development Group, features the latest in innovation and technology for creating and maintaining a pristine inland body of water, a crystal lagoon. 

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From dead zone to destination: Tampa story of transformational change runs along waterfront

Transformational change is often the result of a shared vision, relationships, long-term investments and perseverance. Nowhere is that successful combo better illustrated than in the story of the evolution of Tampa's downtown waterfront.

The story is captured well in Politico Magazine by Tampa Bay Times writer Richard Danielson who takes a look at three decades of progress in the Tampa Bay region's largest city. Whether you have lived through the last 30 years in Tampa or are new to town and curious about the city's history, the story of Tampa's journey offers valuable insights.

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Profile of vision: Jeff Vinik predicts 30-40 new high-rises in downtown Tampa

Tampa billionaire Jeff Vinik looks out of his sky-high office window and envisions 30-40 more high-rises in the future of downtown Tampa. He and his real estate investment firm, Strategic Property Partners, are developing 53 acres in the city's urban core and anticipate others will follow.

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Free webinar offers tips on designing cities to enhance bicycle, pedestrian safety

A free lunchtime webinar on April 19th will address tips and advice for Enhancing Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety in Florida.

Sponsored by 1000 Friends of Florida and building on the issues highlighted in the recent report "Dangerous by Design," people can participate by following this link.

Zillow predicts 5 Tampa Bay Area neighborhoods to lead 2017 climb in home values

Home values in five Tampa Bay Area neighborhoods are expected to soar in value, according to the latest projects by real estate website Zillow.

Zillow says two of the hottest neighborhoods are in Tampa: Fair Oaks in South Tampa and Temple Crest in Central Tampa. The other three are in St. Petersburg: Westminster Heights, Oakwood Gardens and Lake Euclid.

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Who's behind big apartment/condo projects in downtown Tampa, St. Pete?

South Florida developers, most from Miami, are betting on the future of downtowns in the Tampa Bay Area.

Many of the investments in high-rise apartment and condo buildings now going up or on the drawing board represent investments by big builders looking toward Tampa and St. Petersburg for new territory.

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Major investments in West Tampa breathe new life into one of Tampa's oldest neighborhoods

The replacement of a major public housing project with a planned community, the renovation of a public park on the west bank of the Hillsborough River plus the opening of a new Jewish Community Center on Armenia Avenue are turning eyes in the development world as West Tampa seems primed to become the city's next emerging neighborhood.

What keeps West Tampa special is the community's authenticity in architectural and cultural roots.

Read the complete story.


 

Waterfronts capture new focus of Tampa Bay Area visionaries, developers

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Urban Land Institute hosted a panel discussion on why Florida cities are re-imagining their waterfronts as cool places to live, work and play. 

Urban designers advising the cities of Clearwater, Tampa and St. Pete talk about why the next urban development frontier is on the water.

Read the complete story.
 
148 Architecture Articles | Page: | Show All
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