July 28, 2014    

Monday Morning Memo is your weekly update on downtown Tampa development, transportation updates, news and events.  Click on the sections below or scroll down to read the complete issue.

In this Issue...

The Partnership Presents Development and Transportation
Pong in the Park CBP to Purchase Channelside
Saturday Fireworks The Martin Development Moves Forward
Ice Cream Sundays Land Purchased for New Residential
  Aloft Hotel Opens Last Week
Your Downtown Calendar Tampa Poised for Alternative Transportation
Coming to Tampa Theatre  
Tampa bay Comic Con Member Corner
Shark Week Returns! Akerman Expands Tampa Presence
Live at The Straz Straz Center's Patel Opens Registration
Cott Beverage's Downtown Du Dash Voting at History Center
Doing Business in Downtown Around Town
Marketplace News Imagine 2040 Part II
WaVE's Newest Accelerator Participants Tampa Hotels Lead Competitors
Port Forum on Panama Biz City of Tampa Proposed Budget
  Stroke Prevention at TGH

The Partnership Presents

Pong in the Park
A hot pink ping pong table was added to the Lykes Gaslight Square landscape last week as yet another project to activate Downtown Tampa’s public realm.  Pong in the Park is a FREE park activity made possible by Urban Conga, with the help of an Awesome Tampa Bay grant.  If you don’t carry around your own paddles and balls, just stop in Urban Juice, 510 N. Franklin Street, and with a $10 refundable deposit, you are in business.  Holy Hog BBQ will offer the paddles and balls when they open across from the park in August.  

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Ryan Swanson of Urban Conga were on hand to play the first ping pong game on the ‘Pong in the Park’ table last Friday.  Tampa Downtown Partnership has assisted with this program and will continue to do so with the maintenance of the table.

Saturday Fireworks
Saturday, August 2, 5pm to 9pm
Channelside Bay Plaza / Garrison Channel
Tampa Downtown Partnership is a proud sponsor of the Light Up Channelside Fireworks Series which is brought to you by Tampa Attractions Association.  Come early for Light Up Channelside’s live entertainment starting at 5pm.  It’s Military & Veterans Appreciation Night!  Fireworks begin around 9pm. 

Ice Cream Sundays
Last Sunday of the Month, 11am to 3pm
Washington Street Park in Channel District
A good time was had by all as the newest of downtown events was launched yesterday - the monthly Ice Cream Sundays in Channel District.  Tampa Downtown Partnership and resident, Nick Buchanan, have put together a fun event that includes volleyball, music, vendor booths, and yes, ice cream.  Mark your calendars for the next event on August 31.  

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Your Downtown Calendar

Coming to Tampa Theatre
Life Itself - Tuesday, July 29 to Thursday, July 31
The legacy of Roger Ebert's life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning career as a film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.

Tickets now on sale for Sandra Gray Originals presents Flashback, the 2014 Vintage Fashion Collection, showcasing styles reminiscent of the 1940s and 1950s live on stage on Thursday, August 28.  Gray is a self‐taught designer and seamstress whose personal flair radiates throughout her unique collections. A portion of the show’s proceeds will be donated to The Spring Tampa Bay, whose mission is to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and promote change in lives, families and communities.

Tampa Bay Comic Con
Friday, August 1 to Sunday, August 3
Tampa Convention Center
Family-friendly comic book convention with everything from comics and videos to action figures, artwork, trading cards and more.
Friday – noon to 6pm, Saturday - 10am to 6pm, Sunday – 10am to 5pm
For more information, visit Tampa Convention Center.

Shark Week Returns!
Saturday, August 9 to Saturday, August 16
Florida Aquarium
Get to know these remarkable and threatened ocean predators.  See six different species of sharks while enjoying fun shark-themed activities.  $5 discount on a full paid child admission during Shark Week when you print out and color your very own shark week mask or glasses and wear them to the Aquarium!

Live at The Straz
Tickets on sale now for 2Cellos - Saturday, May 9 at Ferguson Hall. 
Young Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser have achieved sensational success by taking the cello to a new level and breaking the boundaries between different genres of music.

This week at The Straz, catch Inventing Van Gogh, Patel Conservatory’s Senior Show Choir and Chamber Music Concert, and The Agreeable Husband and All in the Timing. 

Cott Beverage’s Downtown Du Dash
Saturday, August 23, Begins 6:45am
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and streets of Downtown Tampa
Endurance athletes showcase their athletic abilities in the inaugural Downtown Du Dash, the latest initiative of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s Event Development Institute.  It’s open to anyone interested in challenging themselves in a modified duathlon, consisting of a timed run and bike ride through the streets of Downtown Tampa.  The four different competition categories are competitive, recreational (non-competitive) JV youth and Varsity Youth. To register, please visit Downtown Du Dash.

Come for the Du Dash and stay for Tampa Bay’s Tailgate Taste Fest, 11am to 8pm in Curtis Hixon.  Top restaurant vendors from around the Tampa Bay area will showcase their best tailgate foods such as chicken, ribs, sliders, Cuban sandwiches and side dishes.

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Doing Business in Downtown 

Marketplace News
New retailer, La Sunshine Boutique relocated from Ybor City into a Woman’s Loft located at 406 North Morgan Street.  The lofts offer gel manicures/pedicures, facials, and Kiss and Tale Pole Dancing fitness studio.  The boutique’s motto is Sophisticated Style at Affordable Prices.  Don’t miss their weekly Happy Hour Shopping on Fridays, 6pm to 8pm, with $5 off all purchases.

Tampa Theatre is currently hiring Front of House Staff Positions. 

Congratulations to Rick Drury from Precinct Pizza who was asked to be a guest speaker for three different training classes at the 2015 Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

WaVE’s Newest Accelerator Participants
Tampa Bay WaVE, an incubator for technology startups, just announced its latest class of companies with business ideas ranging from making it easier to meet people during a night out to personalizing workout regimens.  The startups currently taking part in the accelerator program at the FirstWaVE Venture Center in downtown Tampa are:

  • Fittr: Design workouts based on an individual’s history, available equipment, preferred exercises and a wide range of data. Fittr plans to add a nutrition point system and other tools. 
  • Moaxis: A program to allow users to access smartphone features including texting, calling and alert notification on a wide range of devices. 
  • SampalRx: An e-commerce site giving physicians access to manufacturers’ samples, coupons and other benefits all in one place. 
  • Intro: A tool that helps people connect when out socially, pulling the best attributes from dating apps, but making them easier to use. 

Port Forum on Panama Biz
Last week, Port Tampa Bay hosted a forum to talk about the benefits of doing business in Panama, bringing together business executives and economic development stakeholders to the Port’s Cruise Terminal 6, to hear and engage in topics relevant to conducting commerce in and through the country of Panama, which is a global trade hub that is strategically important for Florida businesses, particularly importers and exporters. 

Port Tampa Bay is ideally positioned geographically to benefit both from growing north-south trade with Latin America, as well as east-west trade with Asia via the expanded canal.  The port’s location in the center of the state of Florida, which is the fastest growing region of one of the country’s fastest-growing states, provides a huge advantage.  Read more at Port Tampa Bay hosts business forum to discuss opportunities for Florida companies in Panama

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Development & Transportation

CBP to Purchase Channelside
The principals of CBP Development, LLC (CBP) and Liberty Channelside, LLC announced last week that they have reached an agreement with Port Tampa Bay and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) facilitating the approval of CBP’s bid to acquire Channelside Bay Plaza.

CBP Development LLC is wholly owned by Jeff Vinik, owner of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm and the leasehold rights of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  CBP has shared their phased plans for the property as reported in the Tampa Tribune article, Timeline laid out for Vinik’s Channelside development

The Martin Development Moves Forward
Mercury Advisors has announced they have partnered with Daniel Corporation for their ten-story mixed use residential development project called The Martin at Meridian.  The development is located in Channel District at Meridian Avenue between Twiggs and Madison streets. 

Read more in the Tampa Bay Business Journal article, Mercury Advisors finalizing joint venture with Atlanta Group…. 

Land Purchased for New Residential
Richman Group closed on the purchase of land at Whiting and Jefferson streets for $11 million last week for a 351 residential unit development to be called The Aurora.  Read more in the Tampa Bay Business Journal article, Future apartment site in Downtown Tampa fetches $11 million

Aloft Hotel Opens Last Week
Last week, ribbon cutting and VIP festivities marked the opening of the Aloft Hotel at Kennedy Boulevard and Ashley Drive.  The project was a rehab of the old, abandoned Mercantile Bank which had sat vacant and in disrepair.  Developers, Punit Shah and Santosh Govindaraju invested $20 million and two-years of time to bring this old building back to life with this hip, riverfront 130-room boutique hotel.  Read more in the Tampa Bay Times article, Aloft Tampa Downtown opens after $20 million transformation.  

Tampa Poised for Alternative Transportation
Driverless cars being tested on the Selmon Expressway.  Read more in the Tampa Bay Times article, Selmon Expressway lanes to close for tests of driverless car.  

As reported in an earlier edition of Monday Morning Memo, Marbel, a startup company at Tampa Bay WaVE, is making inroads with their electric skateboard.  Read their story in 83 Degrees’ article, Control your commute with World’s Lightest Electric Skateboard

As Coast Bike Share gets ready to launch their program in Downtown Tampa and surrounding neighborhoods, it is offering a 5% discount on membership if you participate in their survey by today, Monday, July 28. 

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Member Corner

Akerman Expands Tampa Presence
Downtown Partnership member, Akerman LLP, signed a ten-year renewal lease and added an additional 4,000 square feet of space to 40,000 square feet at the SunTrust Financial Centre Building in Downtown Tampa.  Akerman, a law firm headquartered in Miami, is adding space to accommodate its growing team. 

Akerman employs a total of 75 people, 42 of whom are attorneys, according to Tampa Bay Business Journal data.  Jones Lang LaSalle, the building’s leasing company, reports that the 36-story building is 90% occupied. Read more in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s article, Akerman Expands Downtown Tampa Presence

Straz Center’s Patel Opens Registration
Partnership member, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, offers the the only accredited performing arts school in the region, the Patel Conservatory.  Registration is now open for more than 100 fall classes in dance, theater and music at the fully accredited Patel Conservatory. Classes begin August 25.  The Patel Conservatory goes beyond classroom training, offering master classes with performers, field trips to professional performances and celebrity question and answer sessions, among other activities, to enhance students’ educational experiences.

A full listing of classes, descriptions and schedules is available at Patel Conservatory.

Voting at History Center
The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections has announced a unique community partnership with Partnership members, the Tampa Bay History Center and the Tampa Bay Lightning, to provide a new polling place for Hillsborough County voters. Voters living in Harbour Island (precinct 159) will vote at the Tampa Bay History Center for the Primary Election on August 26 and the General Election on November 4, with free parking adjacent to the Tampa Bay History Center provided by the Tampa Bay Lightning.  For more information, visit www.VoteHillsborough.org.  


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Around Town

Imagine 2040 Part II
Residents have already made their views known on how they would like Hillsborough County to look in the future, with more infill development and less sprawl, more transit choices and more neighborhoods close to job centers.  Now, the Hillsborough County Planning Commission is asking people to take a second survey, prioritizing their wishes. Please take a few minutes if you have not done so already.  As an incentive, the Planning Commission will reward those who take the survey by August 25 with a free ticket to Florida’s Largest Home Show, which takes place Labor Day weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Tampa Hotels Lead Competitors
Visit Tampa Bay released data from a recent STR, Inc. Accommodation Report which shows Hillsborough County is leading Florida competitors in year-to-date increases three key measurement categories for January through June 2014:

  • Room revenue divided by rooms sold, (average rental rate for a single room)
  •  Hotel Average Occupancy (expressed on a percentage basis)
  • Revenue Per Available Room

Read more at Latest STR Reports indicate Tampa area hotels leading Florida in key performance

City of Tampa Proposed Budget
Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented his recommended Fiscal Year 2015 budget to Tampa City Council last week.  The budget presented is a balanced budget without personnel layoffs or increased millage rates. 

Major capital improvement projects and strategic investments include:

  • Refurbishing 100 year old Old City Hall
  • Design for Cuscaden Pool in VM Ybor and Julian B. Lane Riverfont Park
  • Construction of Perry Harvey, Sr. Park
  • Major stormwater investments including 43rd Street Regional Outfall, Peninsula Regional Drainage, Watrous Canal Rehabilitation, Kensington Avenue, Edison Avenue, and Marjory Avenue
  • 30% one-year budget increase or $4 million for expansion of resurfacing program

The City of Tampa will host two public hearings about the budget, scheduled on Thursday, September 4, 2014 and Thursday, September 17, 2014 pending City Council approval.  To view the Mayor’s Presentation, review the budget documents, or for more information, please visit tampagov.net/budget.
Stroke Prevention at TGH
Wednesday, August 6, 5pm to 6pm
Tampa General Hospital, Rehab Center, 2nd Floor, R200
For more information on this free program and others at Tampa General, visit TGH Community Health Web

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Tampa Downtown Partnership
400 N. Ashley Drive | Suite 2125 | Tampa | Florida | 33602 | 813.221.3686 | www.tampasdowntown.com