The Grand Venezia
Highland Stone® Wall System Provides Upscale Multi-Dimensional Look for Rainwater Runoff Management.
Grand Venezia at Baywatch is a luxury gated community overlooking Old Tampa Bay in Clearwater, Florida. The complex includes 336 condominiums, two private roads, and multiple amenities including a 1.5-mile lighted walkway along the shoreline.
Clearwater, Florida is very flat with an average rainfall of over 50 inches each year. Project goals included managing rainwater runoff while complementing the upscale Spanish architecture. The project also had to be completed in a tight timeframe. Cast-inplace walls could have provided the required changes in grade but didn’t have the rich texture desired by the developer. In addition, the less-than-luxurious concrete walls were very costly and would take too long to install.
Segmental retaining walls were the answer. The Highland Stone® retaining wall system was recommended by the wall contractor because the rough-hewn, multipiece system provided the right look at the right price. The flexible retaining wall system was used in a random pattern to define the grade behind every building. In front of the buildings, short walls were built next to paver walks along the waterfront. Without that grade change, the gentle slope meant sidewalks would have been in the water. Step units completed the look.
Of course, the builder was selling the properties as quickly as they could be constructed. But, units couldn’t be sold until the walls and pavers were in place. That meant short time frames for the wall installer, who was often working while other trades were rushing to complete their jobs. There was no way cast-in-place walls could have been completed in time.
Finally, to capture the runoff, an extensive drainage system was linked to 48-inch storm drains that extend through the face of the block-lined retention pond. Blocks were cut to fit around the pipe’s curve.
The warm, natural look of the Highland Stone system provided the perfect complement to the luxury housing units. Grade changes were built to provide interest, and the runoff was successfully contained. Walls were quickly installed to meet closing dates. The owners agreed it was just what they were looking for.