Updated Oct 13, 2021 - Things to Do
User's guide: Everything you need to know about Water Street Tampa
Water Street Tampa under construction
Water Street Tampa under construction. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partnership

Water Street Tampa is happening, lease by lease and grand opening by grand opening.

  • Construction for the $3.5 billion eat-work-play-stay development that's reshaping downtown Tampa started in 2018. Phase One will be complete by 2022.

Why it matters: The massive 56 contiguous acre development has nearly doubled the footprint of downtown Tampa and will be a showpiece for the future of sustainable urban waterfront design.

What's happening: The project is opening in phases and will eventually total 9 million square feet of commercial, residential, hospitality, entertainment, cultural and retail space, all connected by a pedestrian-focused street plan and public greenbelts.

  • The project's developer, Strategic Property Partners, is a joint venture between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and partners and Cascade Investment, the investment firm funded by Bill Gates.

The latest: A Publix Greenwise Market opened in August on the ground floor of Heron, the first apartment tower to open.

  • Three retail tenants recently signed leases — Orangetheory Fitness, Shortwave Coffee and Chill Bros. Scoop Shop.
  • And cyber-security firm ReliaQuest announced a new corporate headquarters on the top six floors at Thousand & One, the center point of Water Street.

Background: The land was mostly vacant fields and parking lots a few years ago when Vinik noticed the potential around the Lightning's Amalie Arena and its connection to the waterfront.

By the numbers:

  • 1 million square feet of new office space (including Tampa's first office towers in 25 years).
  • 1 million square feet of retail and cultural spaces.
  • 3,500 residences, both rental and for-sale.
  • 692 new and 727 renovated hotel rooms, including the city's first five-star hotel, The Tampa EDITION.

How to get there: Since construction is ongoing, traffic patterns remain a challenge. But there's plenty of parking in the cruise terminal lots or at the large pay lot at Sparkman Wharf.

  • Water Street is also on the TECO streetcar line and a short walk from the Tampa termination of the Cross Bay Ferry. Rental scooters and bikes abound.
What to eat
A photo of a walkway in Sparkman Wharf.
A walkway in Sparkman Wharf. Photo: Becca Meier/Axios

There's lots of options to eat and drink at Sparkman Wharf, the development’s restaurant hub.

Details: Built inside the old Channelside Plaza, Sparkman Wharf features chef-driven concepts in repurposed shipping containers on the waterfront, next to the cruise terminal. 

  • Other highlights include a covered biergarten, an outdoor stage, swing sets and an expansive lawn with games.

Now open:

  • Jeni's - A popular Columbus, Ohio-based ice cream shop with unusual (but delicious) flavors.
A big man with white hair holds and ice cream cone.
A tourist holds an ice cream cone at Jeni's. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
  • LightHaus Beer Garden Draft beer flights and 813 pizza.
  • Gallito Taqueria — Street tacos, antojitos and sangria.
  • JoToro — Cornerstone Mexican provisions and tequila.
  • The Main Ingredient — Specialty grocer with organic, vegan, keto, gluten-free and artisanal foods.
  • Fit Bowl Co. — Whole-foods açaí bowls, smoothies and soft-serve.
  • The Battery — Sit-down restaurant featuring fine bourbon and elegant plates.
  • Flock and Stock — American roadside favorites.
  • Murph's Barbeque — Delicious smoked meats and no-frills sides.
A plate of barbecue and sides from Murph's.
A plate of barbecue and sides from Murph's. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
  • Naked Farmer — Build-your-own salads and bowls with fresh locally-sourced ingredients. Naked Farmer is moving from Sparkman Wharf to a dedicated spot at Thousand & One in October.
  • Splitsville — Bowling alley with casual eats, cocktails and beer.
  • Wich, Please — Savory salads and handhelds.
A sandwich and chips from Wich, Please. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
A sandwich and chips from Wich, Please. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
  • Edison's Swigamajig — A satellite of the popular foodie spot Edison, Swigamajig offers cool cocktails and thoughtful seafood plates.
  • The Corners — Detroit-style pizza.
  • Whatever Pops — Gourmet ice pops, açaí bowls and coffee.
  • 7th + Grove South — Elevated southern and soul food, plus cocktails.
A burger and french fries.
The Part-Time Lover from 7th & Grove, with deviled eggs, bacon, lettuce and tomato. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
  • Anchor & Brine — Refined, seafood-forward menu at the base of Marriott Water Street.

Coming soon:

  • SPP announced recently that Wagamama, an Asian-inspired global chain, will open its first Florida location at 1050 Water Street in early 2022.
  • Noble Rice — A Tampa-based modern Japanese restaurant. The new spot will be an extension of what you love about Noble Rice, like ingredients from the Toyosu Market in Japan and sushi, with a bigger emphasis on Japanese whiskeys, sake and cocktails.
  • BurgerFi — Chef-crafted burgers, fancy fries and custards.
Living at Water Street

Apartments: There are four residential buildings planned for Water Street, with 3,500 apartments/condos total. All are expected to start leasing in 2021.

The outside of Heron in Tampa.
The exterior of Heron. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
  • Heron has 420 apartments that are now leasing. One-bedrooms start around $2,000 a month, two-beds start around $3,000. There are also three-bed layouts and penthouse suites.
A bedroom inside the Heron apartment tower.
A two-bedroom apartment at Heron. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
A photo of Heron from the ground looking up.
Heron. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
  • The Residences at The Tampa EDITION is an exclusive condo building atop a 5-star hotel with only 37 units. Starting at $2,000,000, there are still a few available.
Entryway to a nice hotel in Tampa
The private residential entryway at Tampa EDITION. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
The residences at Tampa Edition.
The garden at Residences at Tampa EDITION. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
  • 1050 Water Street will have 490 apartments, and leasing is expected to start early next year.
1050 Water Street rendering.
1050 Water Street. Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
  • Cora, at 1011 E. Cumberland Avenue, will have 388 new homes, from studios to three-beds. Leasing has started and the first residents have moved in.

Hotels: There are three Water Street hotels, including The Tampa EDITION, slated to open later this year.

An external shot of EDITION Tampa
Rendering by/courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
Working at Water Street
A view from Thousand & One overlooking a rooftop greenhouse and garden at Heron, a residential building.
A view from Thousand & One overlooking a rooftop greenhouse and garden at Heron, a residential building. Photo: Becca Meier/Axios

Offices: Thousand & One is city's first anticipated WELL Core- and Shell-certified office building and its first trophy office tower in nearly 30 years.

  • Developers hope wellness — like, actual physical and mental health — will be a giant draw in a post-COVID work culture. Go deeper.
Thousand and One landscaping.
Thousand & One landscaping using plants that are native to Florida, including mature cypress trees. Photo: Seamus Payne

The building is all about wellness and sustainability, with water features, landscaped awnings and terraces, natural light, water views and indoor-outdoor spaces — all aimed at promoting health, happiness and increased productivity.

People stand around an office building.
A guide leads a tour of Thousand & One. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

By the numbers: The 20-story tower has 375,000 square feet of office space with 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

  • Already leasing space are RSM, a global accounting firm, Suffolk Construction, one of the nation's leading construction companies, and Sila Realty Trust Inc., a Tampa-based real estate investment trust.
An interior shot of the lobby at Thousand and One.
The lobby at Thousand & One. Photo courtesy of Seamus Payne

400 Channelside Drive: This office tower will be 500,000 square feet in 19 stories. 

USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute is a 395,000-square-foot anchor of Water Street.

Of note: The lineup at Water Street and Sparkman Wharf changes. We'll keep this guide updated so check back often.

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