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The Water Street Tampa Project: A Metropolitan Transformation in Progress

There is a significant metropolitan transformation going on in Florida, and it’s courtesy of the Water Street Tampa Project. The $3 billion, 53-acre development project aims to reshape and redefine Tampa’s under-used downtown area. And after the first 18 months, Water Street Tampa development has made some bold strides forward. The project is being led by Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Developer Extraordinaire and Owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Bold Business CEO and Publisher Ed Kopko and EVP, Associate Publisher John R. Miles interviewed Vinik in this exclusive video that he narrates. It showcases the enhancements to the project since breaking ground. The article serves as an update to our previous reporting on the initiative.

From the opening of the Sparkman Wharf to the construction of a new hotel and the announced design of the start-up incubator Embarc Collective, the irrefutable evidence of progress is mounting. Already, a once sparse section of the city has become a destination for residents. Soon, the cluster of Tampa construction projects will make for a downtown hub that redefines what Tampa is known for.

USF on the verge of preeminence Bold Infrographics.

Water Street Tampa Bay Infographic

Sparkman’s Wharf: A Glimpse of the Water Street Tampa Project’s Vision

Behind the scenes, the Water Street Tampa Project has successfully negotiated the acquisition of various plots of land to build up traffic infrastructure. One such negotiation was with the Port Tampa Bay for the Garrison Lot. In addition, the Water Street Tampa Development group acquired the Ardent Mills flour mill. With the planned city’s expansion of Cumberland Avenue, this acquisition greatly improves access between Channelside and the downtown business district. Both of these developments show the key progress in revitalizing the entire downtown Tampa area.

However, the most prominent of transformative moves by the Water Street Tampa Project is the opening of the Sparkman Wharf. The waterfront destination sits near the Florida Aquarium and the Amalie Arena. The wharf boasts a Biergarten, and eclectic dining options housed in shipping containers (Tampa is a port city, after all). The current offerings at Sparkman’s Wharf are just a start. Over the next year, numerous other renovations are to follow, further expanding entertainment and dining options.

As for transportation options, patrons can choose to use the Coast Bike Share Program or ride the TECO line streetcar to Sparkman’s Wharf. Or they may ride from Saint Petersburg on the CrossBay Ferry.

The King of Tampa Construction Projects

Over the last several months, the Water Street Tampa Project has begun to change Tampa’s skyline courtesy of Miami-based Coastal Construction, who now oversees most Water Street Tampa projects. In 2o18, the ground was broken for the new 26-story JW Marriott hotel. At the same time, the twin apartment towers at 815 Water Street also began construction. Both groundbreaking ceremonies were met with great enthusiasm.

Strategic Property Partners (SPP) Developers Jeff Vinik and James Nozar have alluded to a much more expansive up-tick in construction in the coming months. Among some of the more well-known known vertical ventures soon to be seen include 1010 Water Street and 1077 Water Street. These are high-rise residential projects. In addition, 1001 Water Street is a state-of-the-art, 20-story, Class A office tower soon to be built. And construction of the 13-story USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute building is also expected soon. Interactive art installations are being constructed, and there’s even a chance the Museum of Science and Industry could find a home somewhere in the mix.

James Nozar quoted
James Nozar CEO Strategic Property Partners (SPP) is driving the Tampa Water Street Project bus, and he’s excited about the road ahead.

Boom or Bust: Water Street Tampa Development Pushing Ahead

One of the main drivers behind this revitalization of downtown Tampa is the notion of creating fertile ground for innovation and start-ups. To that end, the construction of the Embarc Collective – a start-up incubator – is proceeding full steam ahead. This, plus the Sparkman Wharf and the various towers under construction, are proof the Water Street Tampa Project looks to be on course.

Bob Buckhorn quoted
The Water Street Tampa Project has both the local government and private developers excited for the future.

The tremendous potential for the vitalization the entire central Tampa area is motivating the change. Likewise, the dedication of Vinik and Cascade Investments similarly provide the confidence and resources necessary. If the last 18 months have been an indication, this next year will likely bring constant development and growth.

Tampa Bay Water Street $3 Billion Smart City Project

Diabetes on the Rise – What are Businesses Doing to Solve the Epidemic?

A global report on diabetes a decade ago predicted that the disease would reach epidemic proportions before we know it. People predisposed to diabetes ideally had to take consequential measures to keep it at bay, or, with heightened optimism, reverse the threat of it developing. Doctors and health experts could only hope that people would make swift changes to what they’re putting on their plates, to give up the sedentary lifestyle totally, and to take time understanding diabetes and its consequences. However, with more than 422 million people who have diabetes today, we’re looking at a continuing, debilitating health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled diabetes a priority in its four noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Better outcomes don’t rely on diabetes being treated using medication alone, but on interventions that include diet, physical activity, and blood glucose control, among others.

Bold Business is committed to supporting the worldwide health community with our health series covering how our gut health and diseases like diabetes are linked. We also acknowledge how some creative companies are committed to identifying better diabetes treatment and prevention measures. From new healthcare models to revolutionary diabetic treatments, we know there is hope,” John R. Miles Associate Publisher.

Despite the concern the global report on diabetes generates, it is also serving as a stimulus for business innovations.

Advanced Technology Providing Breakthroughs in Diabetic Treatment Products

For individuals with diabetes, managing blood sugars can be challenging. This is especially true for those requiring diabetic treatments with insulin. However, several companies have improved the ability to monitor glucose continuously. And others have been able to create an artificial pancreas for even better diabetic treatment control.

  • Abbott – The company offers its FreeStyle Libre Flash, a highly calibrated, fingerstick-free continuous glucose monitor to help diabetics track their glucose
  • Medtronic – The business’s new product Guardian Connect requires only a smartphone for continuous glucose monitoring. In addition, Medtronic offers an artificial pancreas called the MiniMed 670G. This device continuously monitors glucose and administers necessary insulin diabetes treatments as needed
  • Companion Medical – Its new InPen is a smart insulin pen that keeps track of all diabetic insulin treatments
  • Insulet – This company will soon introduce a “tubeless” artificial pancreas to the diabetes treatment market
  • Dexicam and Google’s Verily – A partnership developing an extended wear disposable blood glucose sensor
  • Senseonics – The business plans to soon release a 90-day implantable glucose sensor for better diabetic treatment and management

Each of these companies has utilized new technologies to enhance diabetic treatment options of care. These include smaller and more accurate continuous glucose monitoring devices.  It involves more innovative insulin administration devices, software applications, and cloud technologies. These novel ideas are likely to make a very favorable impact on the future global report on diabetes.

AgeX Therapeutics’ Cell Therapy as an Innovative Diabetes Treatment

In addition to technology and new healthcare models, science is also playing a role in advancing diabetes treatment. The involvement of AgeX Therapeutics lies in creating regenerative cells. The introduction of regenerative cells to the body help maintain its youthful metabolism. In doing so, the development of diabetes could become less and its management better.

In essence, AgeX’s recently developed regenerative cells go by the name BAT1. The “BAT” stands for brown adipose tissue, better known as brown fat. Unlike white fat, brown fat responds better to insulin and provides a more stable energy metabolism. But it also declines as we age leaving other types of adipose tissue that are a higher risk of causing diabetes. AgeX supports that an anti-aging injection of BAT1 can help return brown fat levels to that of young adults. In this way, it could be used as a diabetes treatment or prevention.

Hope for Improving the Future Global Report on Diabetes

In the U.S. today, medications for diabetic treatment topped the list of pharmaceutical advertisements. Companies spent over $725 million last year on the promotion of diabetic treatment medications. This clearly supports the diabetic epidemic that the current global report on diabetes identifies.

Without question, current healthcare approaches must change to overcome the existing diabetes epidemic. And it will require more than simply a new pill or public service announcement.

From new technology devices to scientific breakthroughs, to revolutionary changes in healthcare delivery—there is definitely hope. The commitments these companies are giving us helps us to know that there will be future changes in the global report in diabetes, and this time, it will be one with a significantly decreasing number of diabetes cases.

Emerging Insights on Gut Health-Brain Connection, IBS and Immunology

Even if you don’t suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there’s a good chance you know someone who does. In fact, up to 15 percent of Americans have Irritable Bowel Syndrome—affecting some 45 million people. And as a syndrome, the precise cause of the condition is not known—and often manifesting with varying features in different people. Notably, this has made both the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel symptoms challenging for some time. There is growing scientific data showing a direct correlation to gut health, mental health, and IBS.

Fortunately, new insights regarding Irritable Bowel Syndrome are slowly being revealed. Information about the gut-brain connection is starting to highlight some important clues about what causes irritable bowel symptoms. And the immunologic system appears to play an important role in addition to this gut-brain connection. From new tests to treatments, patients with irritable bowel symptoms are enjoying increased hope that better solutions may be just around the corner.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome —Subtypes and Symptoms

While many individuals share many complaints when it comes to irritable bowel symptoms, significant variability also exists. In general, individuals with irritable bowel symptoms tend to have constipation, diarrhea or both.

Also, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and flatulence are also routinely present. But the pattern of these symptoms distinguishes different types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And this fact often affects management.

Overall, there are four subtypes of irritable bowel symptoms. These include the subtypes of C, D, M and U. Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients with C-subtype primarily suffer from constipation, while patients with D-subtype have greater difficulty with diarrhea. M-subtype patients experience a mix of diarrhea and constipation, often alternating in occurrence. And finally, U-subtype patients fail to fall into any of the other categories leaving them “un-subtyped”. Interestingly, each subtype may be caused by different etiologies.

a photo of a woman clutching her stomach in pain amid the rise of new insights concerning the link between irritable bowel symptoms and the gut-brain connection
Up to 15 percent of Americans have Irritable Bowel Syndrome—affecting some 45 million people

Suspected Causes of IBS — The Gut-Brain Connection and the Immune System

While a definitive cause of irritable bowel symptoms is not known, theories do exist based on recent research. Current evidence shows that a gut-brain connection exists and which plays a role in irritable bowel symptoms. Part of the problem is that the nerves that regulate bowel motility do not function properly. This case can result in poorly coordinated intestinal flow causing diarrhea, constipation or both. It can also trigger pain, which plays a part in the gut-brain connection. The pain, perceived by the brain, causes a release of hormones and triggers digestive enzyme release, causing more irritable bowel symptoms.

What causes this abnormal nerve dysfunction in the first place? Many patients with irritable bowel symptoms appear to have an infection of the intestinal tract prior to the IBS onset. Research now shows that the immune system generates specific antibodies that cause damage to the intestinal lining and, potentially, even nerves. Also, an infection may cause changes in the microbiome, the normal “good” bacteria lining our digestive tracts. These immunologic effects may affect the gut-brain connection and initiate irritable bowel symptoms.

Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Symptoms — Linking Gut Health and Mental Health

For the most part, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is diagnosed clinically based on symptoms. This fact and the ruling out of other possible causes of complaints have been the mainstay of diagnosis—which has been rather inefficient, to say the least.

On average, it takes a person going through six years with symptoms before they are actually diagnosed with irritable bowel symptoms. But with gut-brain connection and immunology research, new diagnostics are becoming available.

With suspected microbiome changes and bacterial overgrowth being considered as causes, some tests evaluate this aspect of IBS. For example, intestinal cultures and various breath tests assess potential microbiome changes that might be triggering disturbances in the gut-brain connection. Also, companies like Gemelli Biotech Inc. have developed new antibody tests that are linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Specifically, Gemelli Biotech’s ibs-smart™ evaluates the presence of two antibodies linked to post-infectious IBS of the D or M subtypes. These antibody tests are highly specific and offer results in just a few days.

Diet and Lifestyle Gut Health Factors with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Regardless of the gut-brain connection and immunology effects, diet and overall gut health play a vital role in improving or worsening irritable bowel symptoms. While the foods that might trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms vary among persons, some common food triggers are appreciated. For example, wheat, gluten, dairy, lactose and caffeine often pose problems. And cruciferous vegetables, beans, legumes and higher fiber diets may trigger complaints.

While these types of foods may worsen irritable bowel symptoms, other foods can help individuals with the condition. For example, a common diet approach called FODMAP—an acronym for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols—encourages specific types of saccharides and polyols in the diet.

Lactose-free dairy, feta, and brie cheeses, and various meat and soy proteins tend to be safe. Likewise, some fruits and vegetables are better tolerated including kiwi, melons, strawberries, lettuce and carrots. Depending on which foods trigger one’s irritable bowel symptoms, diet strategies remain important management considerations.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatments Targeting the Gut-Brain Connection

One of the important management strategies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome involves stress management. Higher levels of stress have been linked to worsening frequency and severity of irritable bowel symptoms.

In fact, stress and gut-brain connection are interlinked. For example, stress can negatively affect gut motility, digestive enzyme sensitivity, and a person’s microbiome. For this reason, stress management techniques like relaxation therapy can be very helpful in managing symptoms.

a photo of the logo of Gemelli Biotech Inc. and the link between irritable bowel symptoms, gut health and the gut-brain connection
Companies like Gemelli Biotech are improving both the efficiency and the accuracy of IBS diagnosis.

Other treatment options today for Irritable Bowel Syndrome also target the “gut” part of the gut-brain connection. For example, in the presence of bacterial overgrowth or with changes in the microbiome, antibiotics may be used. In some instances, serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI) is administered to improve intestinal function. Specifically, immunoglobulin therapies “tie-up” some bacteria in the microbiome preventing intestinal wall injury or damage. In some cases, this therapy is combined with probiotics to promote a healthier microbiome and gut-brain connection.

Looking Ahead for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

The new insights regarding the gut-brain connection, the microbiome and the immune system related to IBS are exciting. Companies like Gemelli Biotech are improving both the efficiency and the accuracy of IBS diagnosis. And immune and microbiome therapies have the potential to make tremendous progress in managing IBS in the near future. For a condition that affects millions, that would be very encouraging news.