December 15, 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
Downtown Holiday Shopping Blog Vinik Group Buys Four Acres
Holiday Hop Tour of Trees Baseball Stadium Update
Downtown's Jingle Market New Riverwalk Historic Monuments
Downtown Guide Holiday Hours HART Ridership Up Again
Your Downtown Calendar Member Corner
River of Lights Christmas Cruises New COO at Hill Ward Henderson
Live at The Straz New Lightning Mobile App
Live at Amalie Arena  
Handle with Care  
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade  
Seeking Volunteers for 2015 Events  
Doing Business in Downtown Around Town
Marketplace News Superintendent Receives Recognition
Rivergate Tower sold for $59.6 Million Arts Council Grant Program
Entrepreneur Program Seeks Volunteers  
Trade Mission to Chile  

The Partnership Presents

Downtown Holiday Shopping Blog
Check out the Downtown Partnership’s Holiday Shopping Blog, your guide to the most unique and exciting gift ideas found right here in downtown. Trendy apparel, distinctive jewelry, charming home goods, tickets and memberships to culture and entertainment, spa treatments, and kitschy stocking stuffers are just a few of the ingenious ways to wish your friends and family a happy holiday.

Only ten days until Christmas, so get started at the Downtown Holiday Shopping Blog.

Tampa Museum of Art

Holiday Hop Tour of Trees
Friday, December 19 - 12noon to 1pm
Begins at Lykes Gaslight Square
The Partnership’s Do the Local Motion FREE Guided Walking Tour presents the annual tour of trees, showcasing office building lobby holiday décor while being serenaded with Christmas carols by Sam Rampello Downtown Partnership School Choir. For more information on this and other tours, visit Do the Local Motion.

Downtown’s Jingle Market
Sunday, December 21 - 10am to 3pm
Rivergate Tower Plaza, 400 N. Ashley (adjacent to Kiley Garden)
The Downtown Market gets festive with free holiday t-shirt paintings, and balloon holiday creations for the kids, along with live music and loads of last minute gift shopping. While you are there, take your own photos at the Christmas tree, Bring your Downtown on Ice receipt and receive $1 from any market vendor. For more information, visit

Downtown Guide Holiday Hours
A reminder that Tampa’s Downtown Guides & Clean Team will provide special holiday hours:

Christmas Week:    
Wednesday, December 24 Downtown Guides: 8am to 5pm Clean Team: 6am to 3pm
Thursday, December 25 No Service  
Friday, December 26 Downtown Guides: 7am to 8pm  Clean Team: 6am to 3pm

New Year’s Holiday:
Wednesday, December 31 Downtown Guides: 7am to 8pm Clean Team: 6am to 3pm
Thursday, January 1   No Service  
Friday, January 2 Downtown Guides: 7am to 8pm Clean Team: 6am to 3pm

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Your Downtown Calendar

River of Lights Christmas Cruises
Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Sundays until December 28, 6pm to 8:30pm
Yacht Starship Dining Cruises
There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to experience it on the water. Step aboard the beautifully decked halls of Yacht StarShip for a two-hour cruise up the Hillsborough River to see the beautifully lighted bridges of Downtown Tampa

Live at The Straz!
This week’s lineup at Straz Center for the Performing Arts includes the following performances:

Phantom of the Opera – Wednesday, December 17 to Sunday, January 4
Following an acclaimed sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, The Phantom of the Opera, will come to Tampa as part of a brand new North American Tour. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.”

Gregory Porter – Thursday, December 18, Begins 8pm
Porter’s acclaimed third album Liquid Spirit reflects the vitality, fun, and passion of the musical genres he has loved from boyhood—a blend of jazz, soul, country, gospel, blues, and rhythm and blues.

Winter Fantasy – Saturday, December 20, Begins 5:30pm
Patel Conservatory’s holiday production with classic music and dance.

About The Straz...

Located on the bank of the historic Hillsborough River, the Straz Center serves as a cultural crossroads, bringing innovative new artists and blockbuster commercial successes to the Tampa Bay community. With its award-winning outreach programs that take the arts to underserved school children and the only accredited performing arts school in the region, the Patel Conservatory, the Straz Center also nurtures the creative spark and transforms lives. 

Phantom of the Opera

Gregory Porter

Live at Amalie Arena
This week’s lineup includes music heavyweights:
The Black Keys: Turn Blue World Tour – Tuesday, December 16, Begins 8pm
Fleetwood Mac – Saturday, December 20, Begins 8pm

Handle with Care
Through Sunday, December 21
Stageworks Theatre
Last weekend for this truly hilarious and heart-warming comedy that is the perfect Jewish Christmas story. For more information, visit Handle with Care.

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, December 20, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Along the Riverwalk and Channelside basin
Make plans to take in all the fun of the season, Florida-style, as highly decorated boats compete in a festive spectacle of lights for bragging rights and prizes. For more information, visit Holiday Lighted Boat Parade.

Seeking Volunteer for 2015 Events
Lights on Tampa - Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21
A FREE two-day celebration of public art at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, bringing access to artistic excellence that is fun and family friendly. Sign up to volunteer.

The 2015 NCAA Women’s Final Four – Sunday, April 5 to Tuesday, April 7, 2015
1,800 volunteers are sought to help produce this distinguished sports event to be held at Amalie Arena.  Sign up to volunteer.  Volunteers will receive 2015 NCAA Women’s Final Four Championship apparel, and will be invited to a post-event appreciation party.

For a comprehensive list of what’s happening in Downtown Tampa, visit Downtown Events Calendar.

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Doing Business in Downtown 

Marketplace News
European Wax Center is offering a 25% savings on their Wax Pass – lowest prices of the year! Buy a 12-month unlimited pass and get the 13th month free. EWC also offers great holiday gifts for office friends, staff, and managers including 20% off Essentials Gift Set. Their gift cards are redeemable at any store nationwide. And as always, first time guests receive several free options. EWC is open seven days a week at 105 E. Jackson St. Call 813-218-9000 for more information.

City Bike Tampa and John Rolfe Lounge will host the beginning stop of this month’s Tampa Urban Restaurant Tour from 5:30pm to 6:40pm before the group travels to several local eateries. Today, Monday, December 15, is the last day to reserve your spot now for the Wednesday, December 18th tour.

Café Dufrain is now offering their new fall/winter menu. Save the date for their 2nd Annual New Years Eve Black Tie BBQ, one of the prime locations to watch the New Year’s Fireworks. Make your reservations today at 813-275-9701.

Le Meridian Tampa’s Bizou Brasserie has launched the “Eclairs for Kids” program, a fantastic partnership with Metropolitan Ministries School, to help raise money for their arts program. Currently running through January 5, Bizou is donating $1 for each éclair purchased in their Bizou Bakery. They’ll also host a group of 4th and 5th graders from the school today at the hotel for a field trip/éclair making session. 

Congratulations to Le Meridian for their recent induction into the Historic Hotels of America.

Rivergate Tower Sold for $59.6 Million
Last week, In-Rel Properties Inc. sold the iconic 31-story Rivergate Tower, also known as the Sykes Building, for $59.6 million to New York-based Mount Kellett Capital. Read more in “Rivergate Tower, aka 'beer can building,' sold for $59.6 million” Tampa Tribune

Entrepreneur Program Seeks Volunteers
The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System is launching a new entrepreneurship program, Venture Club, a hands-on program to teach children how to approach everyday problems with an entrepreneurial mindset. The program launches in January 2015 at THE HIVE, located in the John F. Germany Library.   Participants will learn about brainstorming, prototyping, and pitching; create a business together, and present their solutions to the community. The program is recommended for students in grades 3-5.  Learn more about the program here. To volunteer as a mentor or guest presenter, contact Laura Doyle.

Trade Mission to Chile
Representatives of Tampa Bay Export Alliance, a group formed to boost regional export activity, traveled to Chile earlier this year to meet with potential customers. The representatives participated in 100+ meetings resulting in potential business estimated to exceed $9 million in exports. Read more in Tampa Bay Times article, “Chile trip could pay off economically for Tampa Bay officials.”

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Development & Transportation

Vinik Group Buys Four More Acres
Strategic Property Partners LLC, the land-acquisition company controlled by Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena owner, purchased a 4.122-acre parcel at the southeast corner of Florida Avenue and Whiting Street, across from the USF CAMLS facility. The property is currently zoned for 450,000-square-feet of office space and 530 hotel rooms. This adds to the approximate 25 acres Vinik’s group has amassed. Read more in Tampa Bay Business Journal’s article, Vinik buys more land in downtown Tampa.

Baseball Stadium Update
St. Petersburg City Council is deliberating on the proposed deal between their city and Tampa Bay Rays to allow The Rays to pursue sites for a new stadium in Hillsborough or Pinellas counties.  Read more at:“Positives and negatives of Rays' stadium deal” - WTSP 10 News

“Buckhorn: Downtown Tampa is best site for Rays stadium, but mass transit a necessity wherever it ...”Tampa Bay Business Journal

New Riverwalk Historic Monuments
The Tampa Riverwalk is lined with busts of prominent Tampanians who left their mark on our great city. Last Friday, six new inductees were added to the Riverwalk’s Historical Monument Trail. Those inductees are Blanche Armwood, Herman Glogowski, Bena Wolf Maas, Gavino Gutierrez, Hugh Campbell Macfarlane and Moses White. Read more at WUSF News’ article, “Six New Inductees Into Riverwalk's Historical Monument Trail.”

HART Ridership Up Again
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) showed more ridership growth with their November numbers, which marked another month of 1 million plus in bus ridership. The most recent ridership report shows total passenger trips in November reached 1,185,748, almost 7,000 more riders compared to the same month last year. On average each weekday HART is delivering more than 52,000 passenger trips on its growing network of buses.  For the month of November, bicycle boardings in Hillsborough County saw a 3.2 percent increase over last year's numbers. HART logged more than 18,432 boardings compared to 17,641 last year.

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Member Corner

New COO at Hill Ward Henderson
Patricia Bean has joined Hill Ward Henderson as the new chief operating officer. Bean will succeed Christopher McDonnell, who is retiring at the end of the year after more than 15 years with the law firm. - Relocating from Roseland, N.J., Bean previously served as the managing director of Brach Eichler LLC, handling the firm’s strategic and ongoing operations. Read more at The Business Observer’s article, ”COO joins Hill Ward Henderson.”

New Lightning Mobile App
The Tampa Bay Lightning launched their new free mobile app for smart phones. The new app, Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Club, is available to download on mobile iPhone and Android devices. The Lightning partnered with Sporting Innovations to create the new app. During the first 10 days the new Lightning mobile app is available, people who download and signup for the app will have a chance to enter to win Lightning tickets and signed Lightning items, including the grand prize, a signed Tyler Johnson jersey.

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Around Town

Superintendent Receives Recognition
The Florida Association of District School Superintendents named Hillsborough County's MaryEllen Elia Florida's 2015 Superintendent of the Year. The award is in recognition of the great work that the Hillsborough County students, teachers, support personnel, administrators, and School Board members are doing.  Congratulations to Ms. Elia!

Arts Council Grant Program
Arts Council Grant Program is now accepting applications for its 2015 Individual Artist Grant Program. Local artists may apply for grants of up to $3000 each. The grant program was designed to fund accomplished artists through specific projects that will further the artist’s career. The deadline is Friday, January, 20, 2015, 5pm. For more information, visit

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