TAMPA - The City of Tampa is turning on the water works. City officials broke ground on what will be the newest addition to the Riverwalk, the Water Works Park, connecting the city.
"Can you believe it now?" Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn. Six mayors and 40 years in the making, on Wednesday, city leaders dug in to what will be the Water Works Park, at the north end of the Riverwalk. "The ability to reclaim that natural spring that used to provide drinking water for the City of Tampa, to take that old historic building and turn it into a restaurant, and today is the culmination of that where we start the process by which we restore this park and really create a destination in the area," Mayor Buckhorn.
The rendering of the new park includes a play area, splash pad, dog run, public boat docks, a performance pavilion, and a brand new restaurant in a historic building where you'll be able to get a feel for what Tampa was like 100 years ago. "Ulele will be a native-inspired food and drink with inspiration from both Native Americans and European explorers," Casey Gonzmart, who also owns Columbia Restaurant.
It will connect one side of the river to the other. "It's the gateway for all these neighborhoods," Fred Henry, President of the Riverside Heights Civic Association. Community leaders say this project will be well worth the wait. "We thought we were kind of close to where we are, and then everything crashed, and we had to go all the way back to the drawing board, and start all over again, but today I could feel it, we have the environment, we have the alignment," Lena Young Green, Tampa Heights Riverfront Redevelopment Citizen's Advisory Committee.
The $7.4 million project is expected to be complete in 6 to 8 months.