Water Street Tampa could have second office tower under construction this year

Developers already planned office space at Sparkman Wharf and 1001 Water Street. Pre-leasing interest is strong enough that they could break ground on a tower at 400 Channelside Drive, too.
Published January 8
Updated January 8

TAMPA — The construction schedule for one of two office towers planned at Water Street Tampa may be coming into view, and work could begin sometime in 2019, development executive James Nozar said Tuesday.

That's more than developers at Strategic Property Partners have previously said about the schedule for the 19-story office building at 400 Channelside Drive.

And it could mean that Strategic, the development company formed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates' Cascade Investment, could have two office towers under way this year, plus an overhaul that will put 180,000 square feet of loft offices into the old Channelside Bay Plaza complex, now known as Sparkman Wharf.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Water Street Tampa plans downtown's first new office towers in decades

Strategic already had planned to break ground on the first office tower, at 1001 Water Street, next to the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute building, this spring. That 20-story tower is expected to include about 380,000 square feet of office space, a green plaza shared with the USF med school and nine large terraces, plus a rooftop terrace.

When Strategic unveiled details for the office buildings last September, executives said the construction schedule for the second, 19-story building at 400 Channelside Drive would depend on how leasing goes.

It's going well, said Nozar, Strategic's CEO. With 500,000 square feet of space, 400 Channelside will be Water Street Tampa's largest office project, and "we want to pre-lease a certain portion of the building before we start construction."

"The leasing velocity has been so strong on Sparkman Wharf and 1001 Water Street that we feel very confident that we'll break ground on (400 Channelside) before the end of the year," he said. "That building is fully designed now, and we're teeing it up to be shovel-ready and to be able to break ground on a moment's notice when we're ready."

Strategic is aiming to have about 250,000 square feet of the office space at 400 Channelside pre-leased before it starts construction, and it's been talking to prospective tenants who would be interested in about that amount of space, Nozar said.

"Based on some of the conversations we're having with the size and type of the users we're talking to, we feel very confident about that," he said. "We're really focused on larger tenants right now, for the most part over 50,000 square feet. Kind of the smallest is about 25,000 square feet, which is a single floor of one of these buildings."

MORE: Go here for more Business News

Contact Richard Danielson at rdanielson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times