May 26, 2015  

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
Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting SPP Development Construction Plans
Downtown Partnership Annual Meeting 5 MPH Limit on Riverwalk
Downtown Study Infographic #5 Revamp Plans for Fifth Third Center
  Public Art Updates
Your Downtown Calendar Construction Updates
The Illusionists - Witness The Impossible™  HART Ridership Soars
Lightning vs. Rangers Game 6  
Tampa Bay Storm vs. New Orleans Voodoo  Member Corner
Mergaritaville Festival Rays in First Place
Menopause The Musical® Farming at Amalie Arena
Blue Star Museum Season Begins  
Doing Business in Downtown Around Town
Marketplace News Hurricane Expo for Residents
SOCOM's SofWorX New Police Chief Sworn In
FirstWaVE to Relocate & Expand  
Downtown Tampa Condo Market Hot  

The Partnership Presents

Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting
Wednesday, June 10, 7:30am - Registration & Breakfast; 8am to 9:30am - Program
TECO Hall, 702 N. Franklin Street
Hurricane season begins June 1. This is the time to put emergency plans for your business in order. First preparation step: Attend this forum for all the information you need to know!

Officer Roy Paz, Tampa Police Motor Unit, Tampa Police Department

Speakers include:
Matt LaRussa, Tampa Electric Company
Chief Thomas Forward, Tampa Fire Rescue
Richard G. Henning, NOAA Aircraft Operations Center
Brian LaMarre, National Weather Center – Tampa Bay Area
$12 per person includes breakfast. Thanks to our Sponsor: TECO/Tampa Electric
Register here.

Downtown Partnership Annual Meeting
Wednesday, June 17, 11:30am to 1:30pm
Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin Street
Join the Partnership for the 29th Annual Meeting and Luncheon.
Keynote Speaker: Tom Murphy, Former Mayor of Pittsburgh and Senior Resident Fellow, Urban Land Institute
Special Guest: Mayor Bob Buckhorn 
Register here.

Thank you to our Sponsors:
Platinum: Hillsborough River Realty Corporation / The Jefferies Companies, Holland and Knight, Tampa Bay Rays

Gold: DPR Construction, Gunster, TECO, The University of Tampa

Silver:  Bank of America Plaza / MetLife, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. Burr & Forman, LLP, Cushman & Wakefield, HOK, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Tampa Preparatory School

Downtown Study Infographic #5
The Downtown Partnership continues its Infographic Series culled from the recently released 2014 Biennial Downtown Workforce and Resident Study. The study has been conducted every two years since 2008, and provides downtown related information for stakeholders, planners, potential developers, including demographics, trends, and perceptions.

The summary of this year’s and previous years’ studies can be found on the Downtown Partnership website at Reports/Biennial Studies.

The Partnership’s consultant, HCP Associates, created this infographics series to better tell Downtown's story of growth and diverse amenities. This fifth infographic busts the myth that Downtown Tampa is not pet friendly.

Click on the Infographic on the right to see a full-size version.



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Your Downtown Calendar

The following is just a sample of upcoming events in Downtown Tampa.  Visit the Downtown Tampa Events Calendar for a more comprehensive list.

The Illusionists - Witness The Impossible™
Tuesday, May 26 to Sunday, May 31
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Direct from Broadway, the world’s best-selling magic show mermerizes audiences with the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible Illusionists on earth, performing the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. For more information, visit The Illusionists.

Lightning vs. Rangers Game 6
Tuesday, May 26, Puck drops 8pm
Amalie Arena
After a 2-0 winning in Montreal on Sunday, The Tampa Bay Lightning take to home ice for Game 6 of the Eastern Division Finals. With 3 wins, The Bolts need just one more win against the New York Rangers to take the Division. "Be the Thunder" and cheer The Lightning to victory - and on to battle for the Stanley Cup! For more information, visit Lightning vs Rangers.

If needed, a seventh game will be played in New York on Friday, May 29, 6pm. In that case, the official Lightning Watch Party will be held at Channelside Bay Plaza. Numerous bars and restaurants in Downtown Tampa will also hold watch parties.

Tampa Bay Storm vs. New Orleans Voodoo
Saturday May 30, Begins 7:30pm
Amalie Arena
Arena football team, The Tampa Bay Storm take on South Division rival New Orleans New Orleans in this mid-season game. For more information, visit Storm vs Voodoo.

Mergaritaville Festival
Sunday, May 31, 12noon to 5pm
800 Post Harbour Drive, Harbour Island
Live mermaids & margaritas! Costume contest, drink deals, specialty foods, art, music, and more brought to you by Harbour Island Art Walk.

Menopause The Musical®
Wednesday, June 3 to Sunday, June 7
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Celebrating 14 years of female empowerment through hilarious musical comedy, women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change,” embrace each other and the road ahead. Cindy Williams, most recognized for from the classic television sitcom, Laverne & Shirley, will be featured in a special role. For more information, please visit Menopause The_Musical.

Blue Star Museum Season Begins
Through Labor Day 2015
Tampa Museum of Art
Tampa Museum of Art is one of 2,000 Blue Star Museums that offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families. This year's program runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2015. And this offer comes just in time to catch the last week of the popular exhibit, "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell." 

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Doing Business in Downtown 

Marketplace News
Two newly opened marketplace businesses and three soon to open… welcome!

Falafel Inn Mediterranean Grill – Now open at 777. N. Ashley Dr. Suite B in SkyPoint (in the former Kurdi’s space), Falafel Inn is serving Middle Eastern cuisine for lunch and dinner. Dine in and carryout service available.

Channelside Optical - Sara Rosen, Owner and Licensed Dispensing Optician, at Channelside Optical, offers a concierge concept in prescription and non-prescription eyewear.  Sara is a USF alum and graduated with Honors from Hillsborough Community College’s Opticianry Program.  Clients are seen by appointment only at 1112 Channelside Drive in the Ventana condominium building. 

“3 new shops opening in downtown Tampa” - 83degreesmedia
This featured story highlights the following soon-to-open businesses in Downtown Tampa:

Pearl Salo
n - Park Tower at 400 N. Tampa Street. Offers nail care, waxing, eyelash extensions, massages, and blow dry bar for professionals on the run.

Uncommon Finds - Studio K, 406 N. Morgan St. A niche perfume storefront that enables customers to discover unique scents.

Doxa Design Lab and Gallery - 777 N. Ashley Dr. Offers full interior design services, fine art, custom upholstery, vintage furnishings home accents, lighting, art and design books, and textiles and industrial designs created by renowned architects and product designers.

U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is opening a 3,000 square foot experimentation and collaboration space called SofWorX, where military and civilian engineers and scientists  meet up to collaborate by creating and testing new technologies that will help equip our troops. Read more in:
“Military 'idea lab' coming to Downtown Tampa” - WTSP 10 News
Northern fringe of downtown Tampa takes shape - Tampa Bay Business Journal

FirstWaVE to Relocate & Expand
Tampa Bay WaVE, Inc., a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into thriving tech ventures, just announced its plans to relocate its FirstWaVE Venture Center to 500 E. Kennedy Boulevard in June, in order to facilitate expansion plans. An official grand opening will be hosted later this summer.

FirstWaVE provides a variety of services to early stage tech companies throughout the eight-county Tampa Bay region to help them build successful, job-creating companies for the area. Services include workshops, networking, an accelerator mentor program, and flexible office and co-working space for entrepreneurs, techies, and creatives. Since the launch of FirstWaVE in March 2013, the center has supported over 90 local startups who collectively have created and retained over 350 jobs, making it one of the critical economic drivers for the region. For more information, visit Tampa Bay WaVE.

Downtown Tampa Condo Market Hot
Reports are in for April 2015 - 36 condominiums sold last month, double the amount from one year ago, and downtown condo sale prices continue to escalate. Read more in “Tampa Bay home sales soar again in April as condo market sizzles” - 


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Development & Transportation

SPP Development Construction Plans
Jeff Vinik’s Strategic Property Partners (SPP) team is working toward beginning construction on their waterfront development project in August, with work on roads, utility pipes, and other project infrastructure. Read more in “First construction on Vinik's downtown Tampa project targeted for August” -

5 MPH Limit on Riverwalk
The City of Tampa has posted a 5 mile per hour speed limit for bicyclists along the Riverwalk, to make it safer for bikes and pedestrians to coexist on this newly expanded riverfront path. The Downtown Partnership supports this effort, and encourages people to take the BikeSmart and WalkWise safety class to be in the know as a bicyclist or pedestrian. To schedule a class, contact Karen Kress at or 813.221.3686. Read more in “City to Riverwalk bicyclists: Slow down” - FOX 13 Tampa Bay, WTVT-TV

Revamp Plans for Fifth Third Center
CBRE in Tampa has announced that the Fifth Third Center is planning a $1.5 million renovation. Once completed, this centrally located tower will feature a new 4,000-square-foot lounge and a 1,500-square-foot common conference area, among other improvements. Read more in “Fifth Third Center kicks off million-dollar facelift to keep up with neighboring towers in downtown...” Tampa Bay Business Journal

Public Art Updates
CREW Tampa Bay’s 2015 artLOUD! Streetcar Sculpture public art project is seeking sponsors.  Consider helping create public art for Downtown Tampa, while promoting awareness of the TECO Line Streetcar. A $1,500 sponsorship will fund the creation and installation of a streetcar sculpture in a highly visible location. A plaque with the sponsor and artist names will be included. Deadline for sponsorship opportunities is June 30. Contact Abbey Dohring Ahern at 813.221.4129 or at

Urban Conga recently installed a second ping pong table in Lykes Gaslight Square.  The new yellow table, in the park’s northwest quadrant, was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Rays as part of their Play with the Rays project, to help bring the community together through different, playful elements. The paddles and balls for this table are available for rent by the hour at the Tampa Bay Rays Pro Shop on Tampa Street, across from the park. The pink table was added last year from an Awesome Tampa Bay grant.

Construction Updates
UCAP Construction Road Closures and Detours for May 25-31, 2015 -

  • West Cypress Street, from Hillsborough River to North Boulevard is closed.  Parking for Julian B. Lane Park is at the temporary parking lot on Laurel Street north of the park.
  • North Boulevard is closed between West Cypress Street and West Cass Street.
  • East Tyler Street is closed between Pierce Street and North Jefferson Street.
  • East Cass Street is closed between Pierce Street and North Jefferson Street.
  • Cass Orange Connector is closed between East Tyler Street and East Cass Street.
  • North Orange Avenue is closed between East Tyler Street and East Cass Street.

HART Ridership Soars
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) bus ridership once again surpassed the 1 million mark in April. A total of 1,255,932 trips were taken last month, which marks the 62nd consecutive month of serving more than 1 million bus rides, since February 2010.

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Member Corner

Rays in First Place
Congratulations to The Tampa Bay Rays who are in first place in the American League East, under the leadership of Kevin Cash! Rays Up! Read more in “Despite plenty of early obstacles, Tampa Bay Rays sitting pretty in first place” -

Farming at Amalie Arena
Participating in the “Fresh from Florida” program, Amalie Arena staff has been managing a hydroponic farm constructed on the outside premises of the facility, furthering the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and to provide consumers with fresh produce. Some of the produce, which is served in the Arena’s premium dining areas,  include arugula, micro mix, spring mix and Romaine lettuce, Florida 91 tomatoes, grape tomatoes, green onions, and herbs. 

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Around Town

Hurricane Expo for Residents
Saturday, May 30, 10am to 4pm
Museum of Science & Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Ave.
The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County, in partnership with MOSI, will host the 2015 Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo Hurricane Expo. Attendees will learn what to do before, during and after a storm.  A public safety panel will be held at noon and a cybersecurity panel will be held at 2pm. Sessions on pet care and preparation techniques will take place throughout the day.
Admission is free and includes access to MOSI’s exhibit galleries. Expo guests can enjoy one documentary film in the Florida Hospital IMAX® DOME Theatre for only $4 per person (children under 2 admitted FREE).  For more information, visit Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo.

New Police Chief Sworn In
Judge Ronald Ficarrotta administered the Oath of Office and officially declared Eric B. Ward Tampa's new Chief of Police on May 22. Chief Eric Ward grew up in Tampa and has served on the Tampa Police Department for 27 years. Ward has served in nearly every TPD division, most recently as the Assistant Chief of Operations.

For information about the police force, visit Tampa Police. The Tampa Downtown Partnership looks forward to working with Chief Ward and his team of dedicated police officers, in keeping Downtown Tampa safe. Congratulations, Chief Ward!

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