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Water Street Tampa on track to meet Super Bowl benchmarks

Margie Manning

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James Nozar (center), CEO of Strategic Property Partners, at the Dreamit-Bisnow Innovation Summit with Brian Ammons (left) of Dow Chemical and Michael Boutzoukas (right), Becker Lawyers

The Tampa Bay area’s largest hotel complex will be finished in time for Super Bowl LV in 2021 in Tampa.

Construction is ahead of schedule for the new JW Marriott, which broke ground earlier this year, said James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners, the Jeff Vinik-Cascade Investment’s company that’s developing Water Street Tampa, the 9-million-square-foot, $3.5 billion project that’s transforming downtown Tampa.

JW Marriott under construction in downtown Tampa

The new hotel is across the street from the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina, where Nozar spoke at the opening session for the Dreamit-Bisnow Innovation Summit.

“This hotel and the new JW Marriott, a sister property, will be headquarters hotel for the Super Bowl. The JW across the street is actually tracking ahead of schedule and we’ll deliver around September 2020, four or five months ahead, for them to get their shop in order and get the two hotels integrated. It will be a 1,250 room complex, the biggest hotel in our region,” Nozar said.

Sparkman Wharf, the former Channelside Bay Plaza, also will be completed, he said. Sparkman Wharf will have 11 restaurants, a beer garden, and about 160,000 square feet of office space, including SPP’s own office, Nozar said.

SPP will have a ceremonial groundbreaking Nov. 8 on its first residential building, 815 Water Street, with 420 rental apartments in two towers. There’s 35,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor of the project, including a grocery store.

By the 2021 Super Bowl, “The rest of phase one will all be topped out and under construction, but not yet delivered, is our current thinking. We’re trying to push that as much as we can. But all the streetscapes will be, so we’ll be able to activate the programs at ground level and the experience around the entire district,” Nozar said.

Technology plays a big role in the Water Street development. Vinik, speaking earlier Tuesday at the summit, said Water Street would be on the leading edge of the smart city initiative.

SPP is considering technology’s impact on customers, tenants, condo owners, retailers and visitors to Amalie and hotels, Nozar said.

“Being a longterm owner and self-managing all these assets allows us to do things with smart district technology that others may not do,” Nozar said. “In its simplest form, when you are walking around Water Street Tampa, there will be free 5G WiFi throughout the district. With that platform we can layer on our own app and a lot of services. You may get a ping that a restaurant that is offering 2-for-1 entrees. In our buildings, if you are an office tenant and you want to use the conference room on the second floor or book a personal trainer, you can do all that through your tenant app. If you are a resident living in our apartment building and want your dog walked, your fridge stocked — those are things we can provide.”

Another focus is a healthy environment. Water Street will be the first “well-certified district” in the world, designed to help residents feel better and office workers be more productive, Nozar said.

“We have a wellness center and if you are a tenant or you live in the district, you have access to that. There’s a demonstration kitchen, healthy eating, farmers markets on the weekends, a lot of recreational programming,” he said. “In the public space, there will be purified water fountains and quite a bit of open space; about 25 percent of our ground level is open space. There’s a lot of greenery. We’re very richly landscaped, and that’s important for reasons of shade and climate, and places to get away and get out of the urban environment.”

In addition, the 380,000-square-foot University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, under construction on an acre of land donated by SPP to USF, has been a source for constant collaboration.

“There’s a lot of tie-ins with them around health and wellness programming and activities,” Nozar said.

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