Local bill for Water Street Tampa District expansion clears Legislature

Water Street Tmpa
The bill would move the northern boundary of the district to Whiting Street.

A proposal that would amend the Water Street Tampa Improvement District boundary cleared the Senate Thursday in a wave of local bill approvals.

The bill (HB 1251), filed by Tampa Republican Jackie Toledo, cleared the House in the start of April. The bill was the product of Hillsborough County’s legislative delegationwhich is made up of the county’s nine state Representatives and four state Senators. 

The proposal would move the northern boundary of the district to Whiting Street in order to include property that was acquired by Ardent Mills. The amendment of the district boundary adds about 5.2 acres for a total of 73.8 acres, Toledo said when presenting the bill to the delegation.

“It does not in any way modify the powers and duties of the district as set forth in the 2018 legislation establishing the district,” Toledo said at the county’s delegation meeting. “The amendment of the district will not have an impact on the current state or local revenue, as the district will continue to be its own sustainable independent government and the amendment only changes the boundaries.”

The Legislature created the special district in 2018, giving it the power to manage and fund its infrastructure and projects. It performs as a local government management entity to fund features of a proposed $3 billion development in the city’s Channelside area.

The proposal to create the district was backed by Strategic Property Partners, a partnership of Bill Gates‘ investment arm, Cascade Investment, and billionaire developer Jeff Vinik.

The development is nearing completion of its first phase.

The developers anticipate several milestones to be completed over the next year. That includes opening the new JW Marriott, the Cumberland Avenue connection between downtown and the Channel District, opening apartments to residents and bringing in new retail and office tenants.

When complete, the district is expected to cover about 5 million square feet and include the first new office towers created in Tampa in nearly 25 years, as well as retail, educational and entertainment space.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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