Water Street project plan visuals released

- A video illustration released by Strategic Property Partners is giving Tampa residents a clearer vision of how the city's waterfront could look in the future.

As part of the Water Street Project, 32 new buildings are going up over the next 10 years, doubling the size of Tampa's skyline.

"Ultimately, we want to build about nine million square feet of mixed-use spaces, so that includes new apartments, new condos, new class-A office space," said Ali Glisson, the Vice President of Marketing with Strategic Property Partners (SPP).

As part of the project, the southwest wing of Channelside Plaza, where the restaurant Hablo Taco currently sits, is scheduled to be demolished in mid-September.

The demolition will open up the area for a waterfront park that will include spaces for festivals, pop up bars, restaurants, and retailers. The waterfront park is a portion of 13-acres of green space expected to be created.

"I would love to see more restaurants, a lot more tourist attractions," said Sammy Pazol, who is visiting Tampa from New York.

Below many of the residential buildings is where developers plan to put retail spaces. Two hotels are also slated for the area.

More than a dozen architects and design firms have been hired by SPP, the real estate firm backed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.

They hope to have the first 18 buildings complete by the end of 2020.

The rest of the $3 billion project is expected to be finished by 2027, bringing an additional 23,000 people to downtown Tampa.

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