Two new 'trophy' office buildings for Water Street Tampa

Downtown Tampa’s Channel District has struggled to find itself over the past decade. Now, like a teenager who’s made it through the more formidable years of high school, the downtown neighborhood is emerging with what some might call character -- or at least a calculated identity.

In its most recent announcement, Strategic Property Partners (SPP), the development firm behind the $3 billion mixed-use Water Street Tampa, is paving the way for two new office buildings. They’ve billed the buildings as the first “trophy” office buildings the arrive downtown in 25 years.

Designed by New York architectural firm Cookfox, 1001 Water Street will stand as a 20-story building boasting around 380,000 square feet of office space. The building will feature a rooftop terrace, plus indoor and outdoor space for meetings, events, and conferences.

“We’re creating an indoor-outdoor environment, so tenants can host events that flow to the outdoors,” says David Bevirt, Executive Vice President of Corporate Leasing and Strategy for SPP. “It's Florida, you want to invite the outdoors in and the indoors out.” The building’s second floor will include a 14,000-square-foot community center.

Down the road, the 19-story tower 400 Channelside will offer 500,000 square feet, including a 30,000-square-foot sky garden on the fourth floor. The building is designed by global architectural firm Gensler.

Water Street Tampa brands itself as the world’s first WELL-certified community. Whereas LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification focuses on the quality of the built environment, WELL certification focuses on quality of life for its inhabitants.

“We have to build to a criterion that measures wellness based upon air, light, water quality, and so forth,” Bevirt says. “It's about the people. The corporate mantra nowadays is about wellness. Healthier employees mean lower costs and more productive employees.”

The two buildings bring Water Street Tampa’s office space to over one million square feet, according to Bevirt. Nearby Sparkman Wharf construction will include 180,000 square feet of loft-style office space. SPP hasn’t signed any leases yet but Bevirt said they’re in talks around leasing 500,000 square feet to local, regional, and national tenants. 

Among the perks of claiming an office in Water Street Tampa are newly renovated green spaces and enough dining options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Just last month, SPP announced that it would rebuild the long-struggling retail center Channelside Bay Plaza as Sparkman Wharf, where no fewer than 10 of Tampa’s top chefs plan to set up restaurants. Among those already committed are Ferrel Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez of Rooster & the Till and Maryann Ferenc and Chef Marty Blitz of Mise en Place.

Construction on 1001 Water Street is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2019, to be completed around two years later. Bevirt said they're waiting for a certain number of pre-lease sales to kickstart construction of 400 Channelside. SPP would not disclose the construction costs.
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Read more articles by Dyllan Furness.

Dyllan Furness is a freelance writer and born-again Floridian based in Tampa. He covers the Tampa Bay Area’s development boom for 83 Degrees, with an eye out for sustainable and community-driven initiatives.