The Grand Venezia at Baywatch

​Grade changes added definition to a flat site in Florida. The multipiece system was installed in a random pattern

Key Features

Wall Area

​20,000 square feet


​Clearwater, Florida


​Anchor Block of Florida
Sarasota, Florida

Wall Contractor

​Associated Construction Products
Tampa, Florida

The Grand Venezia at Baywatch
The Grand Venezia at Baywatch
The Grand Venezia at Baywatch

The Challenge

​It’s Clearwater, Florida. It’s really flat. It’s very rainy. So, how do you make a site with more than 40 luxury housing units more interesting, retain rainwater runoff and still complement the art deco architecture when you’re in a hurry? Cast-in-place walls could provide changes in grade, but didn’t have the rich texture the owners required. And, the less-than-luxurious concrete walls were very costly and would take too long to install.

The Solution

​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 Results

​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.

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