How Water Street is Helping Pioneer a New Standard of Health and Wellness

Neighboring the Tampa penthouses in Elevé 61’s downtown setting, Water Street is a new, mixed-use development that will reconnect the existing Central Business District to surrounding neighborhoods and embrace the waterfront of Hillsborough Bay. Beyond the impressive scope of the project, it also has the added benefit of being named the first development in the world to receive a WELL Building Standard. According to the International WELL Building Institute, the certification “explores how design, operations and behaviors within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimized to advance human health and well-being.”

The purpose of bringing the WELL Building Standard into the heart of Tampa Bay is to ensure that this period of growth in the community encompasses greener construction, better air and water, healthier food options, and progress fitness opportunities. Research shows that this will not only better the community’s mental health but will also help to lower the rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The WELL Building Standard is centered around seven categories that improve overall health in the built environment. These elements are air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. The goal of this standard of building is to promote fitness, sleep patterns, nutrition, and mental health for both residents of Tampa penthouse towers like Elevé 61 and visitors to the district.

Tampa Bay Mayor Bob Buckhorn stated, “Tampa is proud to be the first city in the world to be home to a WELL Certified District. Our city will demonstrate that city design, not just building design, can be healthy and sustainable, and it will position our community as forward thinking.” This district will provide an opportunity for residents in the area to have doctors’ offices, workout locations, restaurants, and even dog parks within walking distance of their home.

The first phase of the Water Street district is expected to take five years and will cost $1 billion. The project began in mid-2016 with the construction of a reconfigured roadway network and new infrastructure. Some of the improvements to the infrastructure will include wider sidewalks for improved walkability within the downtown region. In order to ensure that these sidewalks are walkable all year long there will be canopies and trees planted along the walkway to keep pedestrians comfortable, even during those warm summer months. The roadways are also expanding in order to accommodate bike lanes for the safety and ease of travel of cyclists.

Upon completion of all three phases, this downtown region will have over 13 acres of enhanced public parks and spaces, all connected by expansive sidewalks. One of the first buildings underway is the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute. This health institute will be under a five-minute walk from Elevé 61 and will attract some of the country’s top doctors and teachers into the Tampa Bay community. Along with these improvements the renovation will also include office towers, retail space, restaurants, health food markets, entertainment venues, green space and even water features.