Jeff Vinik leaves Water Street Tampa development group

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The Tampa Bay Lightning owner plans to remain an adviser on the project.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has sold his stake in Strategic Property Partners (SPP), the group behind the transformative Water Street Tampa development that transformed an underutilized part of downtown Tampa into a trendy enclave bustling with new residences and hip bars and restaurants.

He sold his shares to project partner Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment for an undisclosed sum, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Vinik will remain an active adviser into the project’s next phase. He told the Times he initiated the sale because he wanted “more time,” noting he is “64 years old with a new grandson.”

He called it “QTR — quality time remaining,” a term he heard from someone else and appropriately borrowed.

Vinik, a new professional sports team owner with no prior experience in commercial real estate development, partnered with Cascade Investment to form SPP after he acquired the Lightning in 2010, sparking an interest in the land surrounding what is now Amalie Arena.

The Water Street Tampa website describes the development as “an entirely new kind of urban community, embodying an entirely unique urban energy.”

Phase one, now complete, spans 24 acres and includes a five-star hotel, Tampa Edition; the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute; 1,335 residential units; and a bevy of dining options including the Michelin Guide restaurant Lilac located in the Edition hotel.

Phase two will expand the Water Street development north. It’s in the early phase surrounding infrastructure and utility development.

The district generates $520 million in annual economic output, according to a study by PFM Group Consulting LLC cited by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The Water Street development is largely credited with transforming Tampa’s downtown from a 9-to-5, Monday-Friday business location into a vibrant destination for live, work and play. It was largely championed by former Mayor Bob Buckhorn leading up to and following its initial approval by the Tampa City Council in 2015.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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