With so much excitement taking place above ground what could support this activity underground?

With so much excitement taking place above ground what could support this activity underground?

In a wave of excitement that is sweeping over the Tampa Bay market; new commercial construction is growing! On the heels, of one such deal, Tuesday’s groundbreaking of a 26-story JW Marriott hotel marks the official start of Water Street Tampa’s transformation of the city’s skyline, getting to this point has required multiple evolutions of the development itself.

Water Street, which spans 50 acres between the southern tip of downtown Tampa's waterfront and the central business district, will build more than 9 million square feet of commercial, residential, hospitality, educational, entertainment, cultural and retail space. Development costs will top $3 billion. "This is the start of a lot more to come," said James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners, the developer of Water Street.

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Ashley Gurbal Kritzer, Senior Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal writes:

Tampa has evolved along with SPP's plans. Buckhorn's major focus has been on urban revitalization, pouring tens of millions of dollars into downtown's public spaces, from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to the completion of the Tampa Riverwalk.

 There's been new high-rise apartment development in the urban core; a Boston developer has transformed Hyde Park Village into a walkable urban shopping district, bringing in new high-end retailers and restaurants. Armature Works and its Heights Public Market opened in early 2018, creating a destination on the northern end of the core.

 "I think all of the stars lined up," Buckhorn said. "Between the city's emergence out of the recession and the narrative we developed. Along with [Vinik's] investment and having the resources to get it done, the two have absolutely run parallel but complementary paths to the point that we’ve merged."


Vibro-replacement is a ground improvement technique that can be used to transfer structural loads to suitable levels in poor ground conditions. Another term that can be used for this technique is vibro stone columns (VSC).

The effect of vibration consolidates and strengthens the ground, helping to stabilize granular soils that would otherwise be unsuitable for construction.

It can be a cost-effective alternative method to piled foundations and grouting that can be used for structures such as buildings, embankments, dams, tanks, and towers. However, the site must be large enough to accommodate and justify the plant that is required.

Vibro-replacement works by using a crane-suspended downhole vibrator to construct stone columns through weak soils, improving their load-bearing and settlement capacities. The vibrator is usually up to 4 meters long, although sometimes it may be necessary, if strata are particularly dense, to pre-drill down to the design depth. There are two processes that can be used:

Dry process

The weak soil is penetrated to the desired depth and stone used to fill the cavity through a feed pipe attached to the vibrator. The vibrator is then used to compact the stone and ensure it interlocks tightly with the surrounding ground. Successive charges of stone are added and compacted to form a column that is built up to ground level.

 Wet process

The weak soil is penetrated to the design depth by means of the vibrations as well as water jetting from the vibrator’s tip. The stone backfill is then inserted as the vibrator is removed and then used to compact the stone. A water supply of 10,000-12,000 liters per rig hour is usually required for this method.

The amount of stone fill material must be carefully calculated to ensure that the process does not become uneconomical compared with conventional piles which also have the advantage of having higher bearing capacities.


Helicon is the premier geotech construction company in Florida. Based out of Tampa, FL. we are a licensed general contractor leading the industry in full-service geotech construction work.

We are experts in pre-construction, soil and structural stabilization, & sinkhole repair. As the premier provider of geotech construction services throughout the state of Florida for nearly 15 years, Helicon prides itself on providing high quality service, for both insurance companies and private customers with handling all repairs and pre-construction work for both residential and commercial projects. We strive to exceed everyone’s expectations.

Helicon has successfully completed thousands of projects in the state of Florida with a focus on the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, including the surrounding counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Polk, Citrus and Marion counties. Our professional Helicon Teams are trained and equipped with the tools and expertise needed to execute a flawless and professional experience using the latest technology to repair or prevent for your particular project.

We invest in our teams ensuring they remain up to date on the latest industry technology and training. Our Office Teams will answer all your questions, provide professional service, give knowledgeable advice, and execute a project that will fully satisfy our customers.