Tampa, FL
Related Group and Tampa Housing Authority
Tampa’s downtown core has been experiencing a rebirth including a focus on opening-up and activating the Hillsborough River. As part of this growth, plans to revitalize the once-bustling 150-acre West River area called for a new model of urban living on Tampa’s riverfront that would celebrate by the community, reclaim the riverfront, honor the diverse history, and create a renewed quality of life seamlessly integrating with the surrounding neighborhoods. Walker Brands worked in partnership with the master development team and many stakeholders to articulate a positioning, narrative and identity that would be the springboard for re-imagining the district and supporting the transformation.
  • $500M mixed-use, mixed-income development
  • 120 acres developed
  • 1,200+ market-rate apartments
  • 1,200+ affordable and workforce housing rentals
  • 68+ townhomes for sale
  • 70,000+ sf office space
  • 90,000+ sf retail


  • To develop a brand strategy that effectively honored the heritage and culture of this historical area, while projecting the possibilities of a real city center district connecting to the greater areas, to the river, and to abundant resources.
  • To support an effective launch communicating this unique mixed-income/mixed-use community to a multitude of audiences creating a healthier, more vibrant and sustainable development.


Working closely with the public/private development team, Walker Brands engaged with previous residents and area historians to uncover the cultural pride as well as the most salient aspirations of the master plan possibilities. Focus groups were conducted and community engagement informed the pillars of the communication strategy. The gems of the location included its adjacency to the river and the downtown core.

The location and connectivity it provided as well as the mix of uses offered to a variety of target audiences informed the positioning “Belong. Together.“ Fresh colors, transparency and hand-rendered fonts with expressive statements conveyed the personal opportunity to join in, be part of an exciting new community with built in opportunities and access like never before.

Site graphics along extensive perimeter fencing projected a fresh face to a previously neglected area and worked to convey connectivity and excitement for the district to come. Digital creative provided insight to historical significance while painting the picture of the reimagined lifestyle while branded signage enhanced the sense of place.


  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Brand strategy
  • Brand identity and standards
  • Website and collateral
  • Event support
  • Stakeholder presentations
  • Temporary site signage
  • Gateway, monument, and wayfinding sign plan
  • Account management and oversight


The launch of West River has had great success. By mid-2023, more than 800 units have occupied, with additional construction underway. Once complete, West River will have more than 1,700 residential units. The Tampa Housing Authority has leases with a financial institution, a dual-branded hotel, an agreement with Publix and a pending lease with a restaurant. Residential development is expected to be completed in three years and commercial in five years.

We are really excited with the transformation of the West Tampa neighborhood. Combined, the West River and Rome Yard communities will offer 3,000 much-needed mixed-income residential units to Tampa. In addition, the Tampa Housing Authority and our partners are thrilled to revive Main Street with mainstay commercial properties to boost the local economy and improve Tampa residents’ access to services and goods.
Leroy Moore

Chief Operating Officer, Tampa Housing Authority