Water Street Tampa 1st to Achieve Global WELL D&O Designation

The $3 billion, 56-acre mixed-use community being developed in Tampa, Fla., is an early adopter of the WELL Community Standards that recognize neighborhoods designed and operated to improve the residents’ health and well-being.
Water Street Tampa. Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners

Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion, 56-acre mixed-use waterfront neighborhood that is transforming downtown Tampa, Fla., has become the first neighborhood in the world to achieve the WELL Design & Operations designation under the WELL Community Standard.

“As the early adopter of the WELL Community Standard, it is clear that Water Street Tampa truly values the health, well-being and happiness of the people who live, work and play here.  With a groundbreaking vision for what a community can and should be, Water Street Tampa is paving the way for communities around the globe to rethink their design and policy decisions,” Rick Fedrizzi, chairman & CEO of the International WELL Building Institute, told Multi-Housing News.

The WELL D&O is an official designation that communicates an interim achievement in the journey towards WELL Certification, an IWBI spokesperson told MHN. WELL D&O is optional and is available to all buildings and communities. It includes a review of the work already completed and validates the progress towards achieving certification. Water Street Tampa was the first to apply and meet the requirements to achieve WELL D&O, the spokesperson said.

The neighborhood-wide certification, introduced in 2017, recognizes and honors neighborhoods that implement design and policy strategies mean to improve the health and well-being of their residents. It builds upon the WELL Building Standard and aims to positively impact people throughout the public spaces where they spend time. WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellness administered by the IWBI. Currently at least 1,704 projects encompassing more than 372 million square feet are applying WELL across 51 countries.

Wellness features

Among the wellness- and community-focused measures developer Strategic Property Partners is using throughout Water Street Tampa are:

  • Improving walkability by increasing sidewalk widths from 14 to 45 feet, exceeding city requirements;
  • Scaling building block sizes to promote pedestrian connectivity and an engaging ground-level experience;
  • Having diverse programming encouraging activity such as yoga in the park;
  • Offering filtered water bottle refilling stations;
  • Reducing light pollution;
  • Mitigating urban heating with light-colored pavement and tree-shaded sidewalks;
  • Recycling available in all the buildings and public areas;
  • Increasing digital connectivity with free public WiFi;
  • Creating a public art and culture plan;
  • Making a community wellness center accessible to the public;
  • Demonstrating healthy cooking options;
  • Providing access to fresh foods with a full-service grocer at 815 Water St. and regular farmers’ markets.

New public spaces such as a plaza at the entrance of the USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute and a park planned for Cumberland Avenue and Water Street, will join other existing gathering spaces in the community. Plans call for sidewalk cafes, unique food and retail kiosks and event spaces to be offered in those new and existing areas.

Building Plans

Water Street Tampa will eventually have 9 million square feet of space including two hotels, 3,500 residential units, 1 million square feet of cultural and retail space and a total of 2.6 million square feet of office space.

In November, SPP reached a new milestone in the development when it broke ground on the first apartment community, a 420-unit dual-tower building at 815 Water St. Located at the intersection of Channelside Drive and Water Street in the heart of the neighborhood, the multifamily property will be positioned across from Amalie Arena and less than 1 mile from the city’s downtown. Slated for completion by late 2020, the 21- and 26-story towers will be connected by 35,000 square feet of retail space and five levels of parking.

In addition to achieving the first WELL D&O designation, Water Street Tampa is also on track to receive a LEED Neighborhood certification. LEED ND was created to shape more sustainable and well-connected neighborhoods.