Developers behind Water Street Tampa have taken out a $150 million mortgage loan on the JW Marriott hotel, which opened in late 2020 in downtown Tampa.
It’s the second mortgage of at least that size on a Water Street property in the last four months. In March, Water Street developers Strategic Property Partners secured a $180 million mortgage against its Heron apartment property at 815 Water St., according to Hillsborough County records.
The JW Marriott and Heron sites also were among a suite of properties Strategic Property Partners put up to secure a $664 million construction loan from Bank OZK in 2019.
The JW Marriott mortgage came through the Prudential Insurance Company of America. A Strategic Property Partners spokesperson referred questions about the loan to a Prudential spokesperson, who did not immediately return emails seeking comment.
Water Street Tampa is a $3.5 billion district of residences, offices and retail spaces developed in partnership between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment, which manages Bill Gates’ portfolio. The two latest mortgages push the amount developers have borrowed since 2014 to more than $1.2 billion, according to Hillsborough County records.
Each of the biggest loans came from a different lender. In addition to the Prudential and Bank OZK loans, the $180 million Heron loan is with MetLife Real Estate Lending. In 2014, developers got a $110 million loan from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. And in July 2019, Vinik mortgaged the Lightning’s lease of county-owned Amalie Arena to secure a $102 million loan from Goldman Sachs.
At the time of Vinik’s loan, a Lightning spokesperson said it was designed to take advantage of “rates trading at a generational low.” The federal funds rate, a key interest measure, was between 2.25% and 2.5% in July 2019. It dropped to nearly nothing at the outset of the pandemic. But after raising the rate incrementally all year, the Fed on Wednesday pushed it back up to that same summer 2019 rate.
Last week, developers began demolition on downtown’s old Ardent Mills flour mill to make way for the second phase of Water Street Tampa in the coming years.