June 07, 2010

Monday Morning Memo is your weekly update on the latest news about downtown Tampa.  Here are the sections found in this issue.  Click on the sections below or scroll down to read the complete issue:
Partnership MattersOpportunities | Studies and Reviews |  Seeing is Believing
Special Services DistrictCreative Urban CoreDowntown Happenings 

Partnership Matters

PROCRASTINATORS, THERE’S STILL TIME: Join the Tampa Downtown Partnership as it celebrates its 24th Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Wednesday (6/9).  In addition to the affirmation of new officers and Board members, Mayor Pam Iorio will give her 8th, and final, "State of Downtown" presentation as part of the program.  The Keynote speaker will be Gary Sasso, President and CEO of Carlton Fields Attorneys of Law, and Chairman of the Tampa Bay Partnership.  Mr. Sasso also serves as the Chair of "Moving Hillsborough Forward", a community campaign supporting the Hillsborough County Transportation Referendum.  In the near future, Downtown Tampa will be enhanced as the epicenter of transportation in our region.  Mr. Sasso will provide an update on the progress of the campaign, and the importance of the business community's involvement in this process, in order to help solve our traffic congestion problems, improve our economy by bringing jobs to the county, and create increased mobility options for our region.  Admission to the Annual Meeting is as follows:

  • Priority Seating Corporate Table (8) - $500
  • Corporate Table (8) - $400
  • Member Individual Seat $60
  • Potential Member $70

To register online, click here.  This event will take place at the Tampa Convention Center starting at 11:30 am with registration and networking.

In the news…
Partnership member representative, Joe DeLuca, a vice president and Tampa publisher of the St. Petersburg Times, has been named publisher of TampaBay.com.  DeLuca will remain as publisher of the Times’ Tampa edition and tbt* Tampa Bay Times, the free daily tabloid. His portfolio also includes production and circulation.

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Are you interested in getting more involved with your local dragon boat organization?  The Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Institute is actively seeking new board members as well as committee members to serve on the 2010/2011 Board of Directors.  The Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  Each year, the Institute hosts the Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races, and a number of smaller events including cocktail parties and Mini Regattas.  All of the functions of the Institute help to raise funds for two beneficiaries: FACTors Breast Cancer Patient Support Program at the Moffitt Cancer Center and The Florida Aquarium.  The Institute just completed its 7th annual Event on May 1st.  The next year of planning will begin very shortly, as well as planning and producing a number of other activities throughout the year.  If you have an interest in serving on the Board of Directors or as a Committee Member, please email the chairman, Lonnie Homenuk, who is chairing the current Nominating Committee by Wednesday, June 9th 5pm EST.  The Nominating Committee will produce a slate of candidates at the Institute’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for June 22nd.  At that time, the new Directors and Officers will be elected.

School ends this week.  What are you going to do with the kids? Did you know that downtown has 14 different summer camps?  Camps include fitness, sports, arts, academy and just having a good ol’ time.  The Partnership has compiled a complete list of camp offerings on its website.  To view which camps are being offered where, click here.

And while school may almost be out, it’s not too soon to think about next school year.  This summer, Hillsborough County Public Schools will be offering a FREE Voluntary Prekindergarten Program for children who will be entering kindergarten in the fall.  Children need to have been born between 9/02/2004 and 9/1/2005, not have participated in the school year VPK program and live in Florida.  The program runs from June 21 - August 11 (Mondays - Thursdays) at 23 locations across the district.  Children will be provided with a full day of academic and social activities designed to prepare them for success in kindergarten.  The program runs from 7:30am - 6:00pm but the hours are flexible to meet the needs of our families.  All classrooms will be staffed with certified teachers.  Children will be provided with free breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.  Call the VPK hotline at (813) 272-4840 for more information.

The City of Tampa wants you to be informed when there is an alert.  Receive vital updates when a hurricane is threatening our city or about crime trends in your neighborhood. When you subscribe for emergency notifications, you’ll also have the option of receiving informational alerts. These time-critical notifications will be sent directly to your home phone, cell phone or email address.  To subscribe, click here.

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Studies and Reviews

In November, 2009 the Tampa Downtown Partnership launched the new tampasdowntown.comThe site was developed to communicate more effectively the changes taking place in downtown Tampa.  The site is also developed to be more user-friendly.  Since its launch, well over 38,000 people have used the new Web site.  Of those visitors, more than 9,000 people have visited the online events calendar.  There have been more than 13,000 search engine referrals and over 4,300 users of the interactive map.  Most recently, the Web site included a new tool to make sharing downtown news on your social network easier.  Now, on every page you can share information on the social media platform of your choice.  Look for additional enhancements coming soon that will connect both the Partnership’s Twitter page and Facebook fan page to the Web site itself.

Congratulations to Jose Menendez for being named the Tampa BayCycle Ambassador of the Year and Jessica Brenner chosen as the Student Ambassador
. Jose and Jessica use their bicycle as their primary mode of transportation and spend countless hours promoting the benefits of cycling in our community. They were awarded the honor at the end of National Bike Month wrap up party donated by Splitsville.

The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) is pleased to announce that Moody’s Investor Service has affirmed an ‘A2’ rating of the port authority’s approximately $145 million revenue bonds.  Additionally, Moody’s provided the port authority with a Ratings Outlook of “Stable” for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009.  Such a positive rating is increasingly difficult for ports to achieve in the current economic climate, but for the TPA signify a healthy business mix, including long-term leases and an expanding revenue base as well as prudent cost control and relatively low debt levels.  Historically, the port relied on high-volume, low-value bulk cargoes such as phosphate and petroleum for the majority of its business.  However, the port’s diversification over the last decade, including strong cruise activity and increased container operations, has enabled the port to expand its revenue mix.

The University of Tampa’s Chemistry program received accreditation for its undergraduate chemistry programs from the American Chemical Society
.  Find out more by clicking here.

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Seeing is Believing

The Tampa Port Authority invites the downtown community to its grand opening of the new parking garage at Channelside
.  The new garage will be officially opened on June 30th at 11:30 a.m.

Progress on the TECO Line Streetcar System expansion continues.  Make sure you know where crews will be working and what they will be doing by clicking here.

This is the Tampa UCAP Downtown Water Pipeline Replacement Project update for June 07.  A map with the road/lane closures is available by clicking here.

  • Twiggs Street (west of Meridian):  The two lanes on the SOUTH side of Twiggs from Meridian to Pierce will be closed.  Motorists should expect a new traffic pattern as the two lanes on the NORTH side will be westbound only.  Eastbound motorists will be detoured on Pierce to Jackson.  Limited street parking will be available in this area.  This portion of Twiggs Street is expected to be reopened to two-way traffic by mid June.
  • Twiggs Street (east of Meridian):  Motorists should expect a new traffic pattern.  Eastbound traffic will be maintained and traffic will shift to one lane westbound from Meridian to Channelside.
  • Jefferson Street (at Twiggs):  Southbound lanes closed at Twiggs. Southbound traffic will be detoured on Twiggs to Pierce.
  • Twiggs Street (at Tampa):  No through traffic on Twiggs at Tampa.
  • Nebraska Avenue (Kennedy to Cass):  Two center lanes closed.  One northbound lane and one southbound lane remain open. 
  • Cass Street (Doyle Carlton to Florida):  Southern parking and travel lane closed.  Two lanes remain open for eastbound traffic.
  • Polk Street (Marion to Jefferson):  Northern westbound travel lane and parking lane closed to through traffic. 
  • Pierce Street (Tyler to Cass): Beginning June 8th, closed to traffic.
  • Pierce Street (Cass to Polk):  Beginning June 8th, motorists should expect a new traffic pattern.   Southbound traffic will be shifted from the eastern lanes to the western southbound lanes.  Two lanes of traffic will be maintained.
  • Tampa Street (Tyler to Madison):  Two travel lanes, parking lane and bike lane on the west side closed.  Two lanes remain open for southbound traffic.  Limited street parking available in this area. The portion of Tampa Street from Tyler to Twiggs is expected to be reopened by mid June.

Additional information about this project can be found on the Tampa UCAP website at www.tampa-ucap.com.

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Special Services District

Today (6/7) starts a new collection schedule of services of the City of Tampa’s Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management
. To find out what the new days for residential collection services are, click here.  Learn more about the new schedule for residential services (PDF) including household garbage, household recycling, and yard waste recycling.

The Downtown Transportation Committee will hold its monthly meeting on June 11 at 8:30am. Join the Partnership to hear a presentation from the Expressway Authority on their new all electronic tolling coming this September, the LeeRoy Selmon Crosstown Greenway feasibility analysis, as well as various other transportation agency updates. Contact Karen Kress for more information.

Moving Hillsborough Forward, the grassroots effort to support the November transportation improvements referendum is really picking up steam. Now is the time to get involved!  Did you know that among America’s 60 major metropolitan areas, Tampa Bay’s transportation system is ranked last for commuters? This fall voters will be presented with a historic opportunity to approve the funding of a modern transit system including buses, light rail and improved roads. The Tampa Downtown Partnership fully supports the approval of the proposed one-percent sales surtax and encourages our readers to get behind the Moving Hillsborough Forward campaign.

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Creative Urban Core

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is continuing efforts to make you aware of the impact culture and arts are having on downtown Tampa’s continued growth as an urban center.  This year, 2010, has significant impact with the opening of several new museums, public spaces, events, festivals and more.  There are 25 significant cultural contributors in all.  What do you know about these two downtown cultural icons?

  1. David A Straz Jr Center for the Performing Arts
  2. American Victory Ship 

Want to learn more?  By clicking here you can learn about the speakers’ bureau that has been created, take a look at the PowerPoint presentation and view the brochure that will be distributed.  This is all under the “Engagement” section.

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Downtown Happenings

On Monday (6/7) its Fly’s half-price bottle of wine night.
  What better way to start the work week than with a great bottle of wine...and it's half-price!  Fly Bar and Restaurant’s entire selection of wines by the bottle are available at half-price. This is a great way to find your new favorite from our ever expanding collection of boutique wines!  Get details by clicking here.

Hyatt Regency Tampa invites you to have dinner with them on Tuesday (6/8) during their Two for Tuesdays promotion.  Enjoy a burger and a beer in Avanzare, the hotel’s restaurant, starting as early as 4:00 p.m.  Find out more by clicking here.

Do you want to get in shape this summer?  RobZFitness has the plan to get you in the best shape of your life.  It starts by knowing your body fat.  Come in for a free body fat testing and speak with the fitness experts on how you can begin down the road to looking great.  To find out more about this Wednesday (6/9) event, click here.

City Bike Tampa invites you to take part in their next group ride.  This event will happen on Thursday (6/10) starting at 7:00 p.m.  Tour downtown Tampa and see the city at night.  The tour will make some stops along the way, giving you the chance to discover some of the best places in the city.  Get details on this event and how to reserve your spot by clicking here.

Jobsite Theater wants you to come to their production of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.”  An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man — with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, author of "The Clean House" and "Eurydice."  Showtime Friday night (6/11) is 8:00 p.m.  Find out details by clicking here.

Don’t miss SudsFest on Saturday (6/12).
  The Florida Aquarium’s SudsFest ’10, featuring the craft beers of Anheuser-Busch, is the Aquarium’s 3rd summer beer and food festival with dozens of beers from the specialty products of Anheuser Busch and delicious food from more than a dozen area restaurants. The Florida Aquarium is the most unique event space in Tampa and offers full access to all the exhibits during SudsFest. Ticket includes beer, food and live entertainment throughout the Aquarium.  For details and times, click here.

Do you like to sing show tunes?  Now is your chance.  Stageworks Theatre will be broadcasting the TONY Awards from the Channelside Bay Plaza cinemas on Sunday (6/13).  A true Broadway evening!  The event will be held in the private “Dolce Vita” Cinema Lounge at Channelside Cinemas for the live broadcast of THE TONY AWARDS.  (Cash Bar).  While you watch the TONY Awards play Broadway Bingo  and sing a-long at the Broadway piano bar!! Bid on Broadway gems! The cost is $75.00 per person. RSVP now because seating is limited to 60 people.  To RSVP send an email to grahamandi@aol.com.  All proceeds from this event will go to the Stageworks building fund for there new theatre at Grand Central at Kennedy in the Channel District!

Downtown is a great place to bring Dad on his special day.  Remember, Father’s Day is June 20th and downtown is ready to make Dad feel loved.  From discounts and special offers at downtown merchants and entertainment venues to a Tampa Bay Rays Watch Party at the Tampa Bay History Center, downtown Tampa has something to make your time with Dad memorable.  Find out more by clicking here.

You can find cool events on downtown’s own online events calendar!  Click here to find out what’s taking place when and get out to have fun.

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 601 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 1100, Tampa FL 33602
(813) 221-3686 phone; (813) 229-1328 fax: www.tampasdowntown.com
Be in the know faster by following the Tampa Downtown Partnership on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tampasdowntown or become a fan of downtown Tampa by visiting the Partnership’s Facebook page