TAMPA, Fla. — On Thursday, the Tampa City Council is holding the second public hearing on a development agreement for the next phase of Water Street Tampa, near downtown.
Phase 1 is now nearing completion.
“The retail, the restaurants, the shops,” said Lee Schaffler, Chief Portfolio Officer for Strategic Property Partners.
The Water Street Tampa district has come to life.
“It is pretty incredible to see the sheer size of this project and the number of buildings that came out of the ground in the last two years,” said Schaffler.
The newest building that just opened is Asher. It’s the third and final residential, multi-family building in Phase 1. It has 490 units.
“It’s our largest by unit count and also by amenity deck,” said Schaffler.
“Asher is really, to me, the epitome of what we’re trying to create with this sense of place and ecosystem downtown in the Water Street district,” he added.
A hundred of the units at Asher are short-term, furnished rentals. This is something the developers say is unique for the area.
“There’s been a lot of demand in the market for people coming down for a two-month assignment, a three-month assignment, a six-month stay,” said Schaffler.
The opening of Asher is a sign that Phase 1 is almost done.
It now has multiple restaurants and places to shop, live, and even get ice cream.
Crews started building this neighbor all at the same time so everything would be finished as soon as possible.
“We really felt as a master planner, as a developer, of this district that if we built them one by one we would always feel like we were living in a construction zone and we wanted that instant impact. We wanted people to feel part of the district, part of the ecosystem from day one,” said Schaffler.
Phase 1 is expected to wrap up soon, with the opening of the Edition Hotel this year.
Developers are already focused on the next phase.
Strategic Property Partners told ABC Action News that it will look a lot like Phase 1, with a similar footprint and mix of developments.
SPP plans to build it out based on demand and market factors.
“We’re in the early stages of designing our stage two just north of Cumberland,” said Schaffler.