September 30, 2023
ATS SW Feb 2021
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and an investment company owned by Bill Gates are partners in the $3-billion Water Street project.

Photo: Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times

ATS SW Feb 2021
The Tampa Bay Rays are eliminating the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Rays' Florida State League team since 2009,

Photo: Will Vragovic | Tampa Bay Times

ATS SW Feb 2021
Moffitt Cancer Center has established a curbside clinic to allow some patients to receive non-chemotherapy treatments without leaving their vehicles.

Photo: Moffitt Cancer Center

ATS SW Feb 2021
A 19,000-sq.-ft. home in Longboat Key has sold for $16.5 million, the highest sales price ever for a home in Sarasota County.

Southwest Florida Roundup

Five years later, Tampa's Water Street projects nearing completion

Art Levy | 1/27/2021


Rising Water

Several Water Street projects are nearing completion.

After five years of construction, much of Water Street Tampa’s first phase — about 5 million square feet of residential, hospitality, office, retail and educational space in downtown Tampa — is nearly complete. Developed by Strategic Property Partners (a partnership between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment), the $3-billion project, which includes the already opened University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute and the Sparkman Wharf outdoor dining area, has multiple components nearing completion:

  • The 26-story, 519-room JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, with four restaurants, a spa, ballrooms and meeting space, is scheduled to open this year.
  • The 172-room Tampa EDITION is also expected to open by the end of 2021. The project, a partnership between Marriott International and Ian Schrager Co., includes 37 hotel-branded apartments.
  • 1001 Water Street, a 20-story mixe-duse tower that includes 380,000 square feet of office space, is on schedule to open by summer. The building will also have ground-floor retail.
  • Residential developments set to open this year include the Heron, a 420-unit apartment building, and 1011 E. Cumberland, a 23-story, 388-unit apartment tower. Also, the 497-unit apartment building 1050 Water Street is on track for an early 2022 opening.


  • The Southwest Florida Symphony, a professional symphony orchestra in Lee County, has moved some of its offices to a 4,254-sq.-ft. storefront in the Bell Tower shopping center in Fort Myers. Much of the orchestra’s administrative offices will remain in a 2,100-sq.-ft. space in South Fort Myers.


  • Matthew Zwack was appointed president of Owen-Ames- Kimball, a Fort Myers-based construction firm. He replaces David Dale, who stepped down as president in January but will remain with the company this year to help with the transition.


  • Santander Consumer USA, an automobile financing company, will get $2 million in incentives to open an office in Pasco County, where it plans to create 875 jobs over the next five years with an average annual salary of $46,283. The Texas-based firm will spend $22 million to convert a former Target store into its Pasco offices.


  • Saint Leo University has moved its 300-student Tampa Education Center from the Channelside area of downtown Tampa to a former cigar factory in west Tampa. The former Berriman-Morgan Cigar Factory will house 32,000 square feet of education space, including eight classrooms, student and employee lounges, a military resource center and offices.
  • David Miga, a selftaught engineer, has donated $2 million to the University of South Florida Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship for electrical engineering and create an innovation fund for the university’s engineering college. Miga is the founder and owner of Electronic Design Specialists, an engineering firm based in Odessa, north of Tampa.
  • STEM-focused Florida Polytechnic University has started offering an undergraduate concentration in health systems engineering. “This new program uses engineering tools and methods to improve efficiency and productivity and studies health care as a holistic complex system,” says Grisselle Centeno, director of the program and a Florida Poly data science and business analytics professor.


  • Amazon has opened a 110,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Venice, where it employs 300.
  • Estero-based car rental firm Hertz, still working its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is selling its fleet-management entity to Athene Holding, a financial services company, for $875 million.


  • Clearwater-based Empath Health and Sarasota-based Stratum Health System are merging. The non-profit health systems provide non-acute care to patients dealing with chronic, advanced and terminal illnesses. Rafael Sciullo, president and CEO of Empath Health, will become CEO of the new entity. Jonathan Fleece, president and CEO of Stratum Health System, will become president. The name of the merged organization has yet to be announced.
  • Tampa General Hospital has opened the Taneja Family Global Emerging Diseases Institute, a stand-alone research facility and clinic, where patients will receive treatment for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Venice Regional Bayfront Health will not build a previously proposed hospital, instead choosing to focus on improving its existing 312-bed facility in Venice.


  • Sarasota County commissioners signed off on a proposed 232-unit housing development, featuring one four-story building, two three-story buildings, a clubhouse and a parking garage. The 11-acre site is located near Honore Avenue and Palmer Ranch Parkway.


  • Moffitt Cancer Center has established a curbside clinic to allow some patients to receive non-chemotherapy treatments without leaving their vehicles. The center is providing the service to help patients who are reluctant to enter the hospital for fear of being exposed to COVID-19, but hospital executives expect to continue offering the curbside service after the pandemic passes.
  • Tampa-based virtual tutoring company Knack has teamed up with universities across the state, including Florida Polytechnic University and the University of South Florida, to help keep high school STEM students on track during the pandemic.
  • Tampa landlords of multi-family affordable housing properties who have lost rental income during the pandemic are eligible for up to $500,000 in loans from the city of Tampa. The money is intended to help the landlords maintain their properties and make needed renovations.

  • As part of Major League Baseball’s plan to downsize Minor League Baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays are eliminating the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Rays’ Florida State League team since 2009. The Rays still plan to continue hosting spring training games at the Charlotte Sports Park and maintain player-development facilities in Charlotte County.

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