Monday Morning Memo

Monday, April 15, 2019

Member Spotlight: Boutique National Hires Sampson as Executive Director

Bobby Sampson has joined Boutique National, a full service commercial real estate firm, in its Tampa office as executive director.

Sampson specializes in the office and industrial markets of central Florida and has experience with land, industrial and flex space development, leasing, facility acquisitions, and space dispositions.

Beginning his commercial real estate career in 2008, Sampson has been involved in hundreds of transactions across the country and has worked with clients like Coca Cola Beverages of Florida, Petco, Bose Speakers, Kozuba and Sons Distillery, and Wheaton Moving Services.

Prior to joining Boutique National, Sampson worked for Colliers International, DTZ, Newmark Knight Frank and most recently served as president and managing broker of Sampson CRE Inc.

Local Leaders Luncheon with Dr. Judy Gensharft

Join us on May 8th from 11:30am to 1pm at the Tampa River Center at Julian B Park for our inaugural Local Leaders Luncheon featuring Dr. Judy Genshaft, Past President of the University of South Florida (USF) System. This engaging luncheon features local leaders who have made a significant impact on Tampa’s Downtown. Since becoming president in 2000, Dr. Judy Genshaft has catapulted the University of South Florida System to national and international prominence for student success, academic rigor, research and innovation, and economic development. USF recently was given the elite designation of “Preeminent State Research University,” becoming only the third Florida institution to earn this prestigious honor. USF was also recently accepted into the distinguished Phi Beta Kappa honor society, a sign of the institution’s growing national reputation. Hear more from Dr. Genshaft and register today!

Tampa Downtown Partnership Unveils Biennial Survey Results

Tampa Downtown Partnership unveiled the results of the Sixth Biennial Survey of Downtown Workers and Residents during Tampa Downtown Partnership’s 23rd Annual Downtown Development Forum at Armature Works on Friday, April 12, 2019.

The Downtown Worker and Resident Study for the Tampa Downtown Partnership was established as a baseline study by HCP Associates in 2008. Results from prior years’ studies have given rise to enhanced accessibility to the river, waterfront dining, events in the parks, new museums and attractions, extended operating hours for transportation and merchants, full-service grocers, and more. As new development shapes future opportunities in Downtown, the opportunity was extended to Tampa’s valued stakeholders to offer insight into the future Downtown that they wish to see. The 2018 study is significant because it offers a full 10-year comparison as well as incorporates the new Special Services District (SSD) boundary which includes Tampa Heights.

The results of the 2018 survey reflect the perceptions and expectations of more than 1,190 Downtown workers and residents.

Brokers, investors and public officials alike can benefit from understanding and interpreting the results of the Sixth Biennial Survey when looking to the future of Tampa’s Downtown. Not only does the survey provide insight for what workers, residents, and students want for their Downtown, but it provides undeniable statistics on their behavior. This type of knowledge is invaluable when determining the potential profitability and success of investment decisions.

View the full report.

Read an article covering the impact of the survey results by the Tampa Bay Times.

Results of the Downtown Parking Plan were also presented at the Downtown Development Forum. View the full Parking Plan.

Thank you to all of our attendees and presenters. We also wish to thank all of our sponsors:

– Hillsborough River Realty Corporation and The Jeffries Companies
– The University of Tampa

– BDG Architects
– FH Events
– Mighty Fine Design
– Tampa Bay Business Journal

– Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc.
– Port Tampa Bay
– Stantec
– The Bank of Tampa
– @TampaHillsboroughExpresswayAuthority

– TECO Energy
– Suffolk Construction
– Tampa Housing Authority
– Hillsborough Area Regional Transit
– Rampello K8 Downtown Partnership

Holiday Office Hours

The Tampa Downtown Partnership office will close at noon on Friday, April 19. Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team will observe normal hours. The Partnership office will open on Monday, April 22 at 8am. To reach the Guides, call 813.267.2220. Learn more about the Clean Team and Guides.

From Bust to Boom

The following article was written for South East Real Estate Business by Kelsy Van Camp, Director of Marketing and Communication for the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

Downtown Tampa is a bustling, vibrant metropolitan area surrounded by the sparkly blue water of the Hillsborough River. With an influx of construction projects, a steadily dropping unemployment rate of 2.9 percent and year-over-year population gains, there is no end in sight to its economic strength. This is an incredible feat due to the fact that Tampa was hit so hard by the recession in 2008.

Open for business

According to Bloomberg, 149 people are moving to Tampa each day. The report shows that Tampa ranks No. 3 out of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas when it comes to migration, falling right behind Dallas and Phoenix. And it’s not just retirees coming to enjoy the sunshine; job seekers too are flocking to the area, and for good reason. The New York Times listed Tampa as the fourth fastest-growing job market since 2009, while WalletHub recently named Tampa among the best places to start a career.

With Fortune 500 companies like Mosaic announcing plans to move its headquarters from a suburb of Minneapolis to downtown Tampa in October 2018, the momentum carries into 2019.

Making room for growth In Tampa Heights, SoHo Capital’s Heights Union began construction in late 2018 on a 150,051-square-foot office building next to the popular Armature Works, a fully restored mixed-use building including event space and a food hall. AxoGen has preleased 75,000 square feet within Heights Union and coworking giant WeWork has signed a deal for 50,000 square feet. Keep your ears open for more announcements in this project, including a boutique hotel and grocer.

Meanwhile in Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion mixed-use project by Strategic Property Partners (SPP), the joint venture of Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investments LLC, continued its 50-acre project with the opening of Sparkman Wharf in late 2018. Built with shipping containers and spotlighting Tampa’s most successful and well-known local chefs, Sparkman Wharf is a foodie mecca complete with a biergarten and a great lawn for games and live music with sweeping views of the Garrison Channel. Construction has begun on the 180,000-square-foot office portion of Sparkman Wharf with price per square foot ranging above $40 per square foot, almost double the $28.06 average in Tampa’s downtown core.

The first building to break ground in Water Street, the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, topped off at 13 stories in November 2018. The iconic building is a key anchor for Water Street and will bring approximately 1,800 students, faculty, researchers and staff to the area when it opens later this year. Bringing in this highly educated workforce will be an important economic driver to ensure the success of the Water Street development. This group will become the patrons of the retail and restaurants within Water Street and beyond, as well as the most likely residents of the new apartments and condos in the district.

Right next door to Water Street in the Channel District, two projects are underway bringing a Publix grocery store, 324 rental units and 61 condominiums. The developer, Mercury Advisors, also delivered Grand Central at Kennedy, a $145 million mixed-use project, in 2007. After overcoming the recession, the group began work on the Channel Club apartments in 2017 and a groundbreaking is expected for Elevé 61 in the third quarter. We’re taking notice because Mercury Advisors is in downtown Tampa for the long haul.

Value of public space

Each of these projects contain a very important nod to the live-work-play mentality that is crucial to any urban core. In addition to these uses, public spaces are also being addressed in downtown Tampa. In May 2018, the City of Tampa celebrated the grand opening of Julia B Lane Riverfront Park, a 25-acre park located just north of the University of Tampa and across the Hillsborough River from the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The city’s $35 million investment in the park was a catalyst for development in the West River area, where the city is planning a redevelopment of a 120-acre area along the Hillsborough River.

Similar public space investments such as the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and the extension of the Tampa Riverwalk have spurred development and activity throughout the urban core. Tourism too is on the rise.

Fueled by strong interest nationally and globally for Tampa’s unique experiences, the region’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Tampa Bay, reports that tourism revenues reached an unprecedented $673.5 million in 2018, 4.5 percent above the previous record set in 2017. The Tampa Convention Center welcomed over 423,000 guests in 2018 while downtown hoteliers reported an average occupancy rate of 73.1 percent.

Infrastructure overhaul

The Tampa Bay area has made great strides in working to address its transportation challenges in 2018, and there is more to be seen in the coming years.

Brightline, soon to be known as Virgin Trains USA, submitted an unsolicited proposal to use the median of Interstate 4 for a Tampa to Orlando route with a stop at Disney World, which was accepted. The trip will terminate in downtown Tampa and will be funded by Transit Orientated Development. Brightline had stated it’s planning to begin the Tampa-to-Orlando route in 2021 and estimates it would cost $1.7 billion to build.

In 2018, 57 percent of Hillsborough County residents voted “yes” to a transportation referendum, raising sales tax 1 percent. The plan allocates 45 percent of the revenue to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and 54 percent to road projects and safety enhancements; 1 percent would go toward oversight to ensure funds were directed appropriately. The tax will raise about $280 million a year.

Other plans include the extension of the TECO Line Streetcar into Tampa Heights, the use of autonomous vehicles along Marion Street, introducing a year-round ferry to MacDill Airforce Base, and bringing relief to Interstate 275’s Westshore Area Interchange, to name a few.

With so much going on in downtown Tampa and the region, the Tampa Downtown Partnership is extending an open invitation for all to pack their bags and come check the submarket out for themselves. None will be disappointed

Read the full digital copy of South East Real Estate Business.

TGH Earns Re-verification as Level 1 Trauma Center

Tampa General Hospital has earned another three-year verification as a Level 1 trauma center from the American College of Surgeons.

Garnering the highest ranking possible for trauma centers, TGH is the only Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center in the Tampa Bay area.

“The American College of Surgeons’ mission is to ensure optimal patient outcomes across the continuum of care and our trauma team exemplifies this,” said Dawn Lewis, nurse manager of trauma services at TGH, in a statement.

The pediatric trauma center treated more than 400 trauma patients last year, said Pam Sanders, associate chief nursing officer, and vice president, Women and Children’s Services and Adult Dialysis.

“That is not a required element to be a Level 1 trauma program, but it does support our commitment to provide the safest care to injured children in our community and beyond,” Sanders said.

Tampa General’s adult trauma center treats more than 1,500 patients a year, According to Lewis.

“Tampa General pediatric and adult trauma centers receive reverification” Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Dixie Dharma Now Open in Heights Public Market

Heights Public Market at Armature Works has a new vendor: Orlando’s award-winning vegan restaurant Dixie Dharma opened its doors today. Dixie Dharma specializes in high-quality comfort food (with a southern spin) using wholesome, sustainable, and delicious ingredients.

Founder and executive chef, Shaun Noonan, created a plant-based cuisine that is family friendly, flavorful and can be enjoyed by both vegan and non-vegan diners alike. The menu is 100% plant based with a mission to provide food that can change lives while presenting a unique southern take. The menu will be similar to what you can taste in Orlando with the addition of some regional specialties. Menu highlights include: The Orange Bird (a fame-worthy take on a sloppy Joe), the Hillbilly Chili Dawgs, the Heirloom T.L.T, Florida Fried Green Tomato and the Carolina BBQ Pulled Jackfruit. Dixie Dharma also plans to serve a limited brunch menu that includes favorites like vegan pancakes,  biscuits n’ gravy and breakfast burritos.

“What we’re bringing to Armature Works is something people have been cravin’ for a long time,” says executive chef and owner Shaun Noonan. “We hope to entice vegans (and non-vegans) across the Tampa Bay area with the ‘finest vittles’ in town.”

Follow Dixie Dharma on Instagram for daily updates.

Hours of operation:
Monday – Thursday 11:00am – 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday – 11:00am – 11:00pm
Sunday – 11:00am – 9:00pm

After $50M Renovation, Tampa Marriott Waterside Has a New Name

The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina has changed its name to the Tampa Marriott Water Street and is unveiling a new look, new activity on its sidewalks and new restaurants as part of a $50 million makeover.

“The idea (behind the new name) is we have a collection of hotels we’re selling, and Water Street’s the location,” said Ron McAnaugh, general manager of the 727-room Marriott Water Street.

Going up across the street is a 519-room JW Marriott. And a 173-room Marriott Edition boutique hotel is scheduled to open in early 2021 as part of a 26-story tower planned at the northwest corner of Channelside Drive and Water Street, across the street from Amalie Arena. All three hotels are being done by Strategic Property Partners, the development company formed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, through his Cascade Investment capital fund to create the $3 billion Water Street Tampa development district.

Along with the new name and an already-complete renovation of its rooms, the Marriott Water Street is rolling out new offerings in its public spaces. A first-floor Starbucks coffee shop opened in December in what used to be old administrative and sales offices. The Garrison Tavern, a re-imagining of what used to be the Champions Sports Bar, opened last week.

As of Wednesday morning, the lobby will have a new look, with new furniture and new centerpiece lighting. In July, the hotel will open a 200-seat, as-yet-to-be-named patio restaurant overlooking the hotels’ marina and the Tampa Riverwalk. The seating will come with a roof with louvers that can be closed for shade or to keep out rain.

The room renovations, along with work to the hotel’s fitness center and meeting spaces, were complete last spring.

“Now is the stuff people are going to see and go, “Wow. Now I see it,’ ” McAnaugh said. Among those changes will be a bigger, more active presence on the street. Both the Starbucks and the Garrison Tavern will have patio seating, and the sidewalks will be 16 feet wide, the new standard for Water Street Tampa, with decorative pavers, new lighting and new trees.

The early reception for the Garrison Tavern, which opened last week without advertising, has been encouraging. On its third night, a Friday, it saw 1,100 diners, on a par with what Champions used to do. The 220-seat tavern has two TopGolf Swing Suites, the first in Florida, that can be rented to groups of up to eight patrons who want to play virtual golf on 80 different PGA courses, or other virtual sports from baseball to dodge ball. There’s also a new menu, with locally sourced beef that’s butchered in-house for the burgers, along with pumpkin seed hummus, adobo grilled mahi tacos, pork carnitas poutin and house-smoked cheddar and jalapeno sausage, plus a range of local craft beers.

Outside, the tavern’s patio has 40 seats overlooking Old Water Street, which is expected to give the restaurant an outward-facing presence that Champions lacked.

“That was kind of our Achilles’ heel,” McAnaugh said. “We were by the arena, but people would walk by and not even know the bar was in here. It didn’t invite you in.”

“$50M makeover includes new name: Tampa Marriott Water Street”Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)

How Tampa’s Streetcar Tripled Ridership

Here’s a happy transit story: A $2.7-million state grant to Tampa’s downtown streetcar has helped triple ridership in about six months time — evidence that free transit works.

The 2.7-mile streetcar, serving downtown and the Ybor City neighborhood, is now attracting about 1,700 riders a day. That’s not a huge number, but it’s a far cry from when Tampa Bay Times columnist Sue Carlton called the streetcar, “This city’s most charming boondoggle driven by what appear to be lonely Maytag repairmen.”

The rise in ridership stems directly from two changes: The grant allowed Hillsborough Area Regional Transit to make service free, down from a round-trip cost of $5. And the state money also created better service; trains now arrive every 15 minutes, as opposed to every 20, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The streetcar also benefits from running on mostly its own right of way — meaning it doesn’t have to sit in traffic.

Carlton wrote this week how surprising it was to notice people on the trains, for a change. “People were riding — not weekend tourists, not partiers headed to a night parade, but a scattering of actual, regular, workaday-looking folk getting where they needed to go.”

The story is similar in St. Petersburg, where the “Looper” downtown circulator was made free last fall thanks to a $900,000 grant, also from Florida DOT. The grant allowed Looper to improve its service so that trains run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weeknights and until midnight on weekends. As a result, ridership is up 68 percent, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The change is costing the local transit agencies a little bit of revenue, but local officials say it is well worth it. The Tampa Streetcar generated about $526,000 annually. The Looper garnered just $12,500, barely enough to make fare collection with the effort, Eric Carlson, director for St. Petersburg’s Downtown partnership told the Times.

The successful grants already have important people wondering whether they may be scalable. In 2018, Hillsborough County residents passed a 1-cent sales tax hike to fund, among other things, a major increase in transit. The projects to be funded will be decided by a citizen commission.

“How Tampa Tripled Ridership on its Streetcar”STREETSBLOGUSA

Downtown Calendar

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.

3rd Thursdays

Thursday, April 18, begins 6pm
Grand Central at Kennedy
Enjoy some gourmet food truck fun paired with independent short flicks and live music! Pour House and City Dog Cantina provide micro brews and tasty cocktails. Over ten gourmet food trucks will be on site, offering everything from burgers to vegetarian bites and much more. This is a spectacular way to spend a Thursday evening in Downtown Tampa! For more information, go to 3rd Thursdays.

Spring Celebration

Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21
The Florida Aquarium
Come out of your cocoon for an underwater Egg Scavenger Hunt with a special prize for the kids and get photos with the Diving Bunny. Be sure to bring swimsuits for the kids to enjoy the outdoor Splash Pad, take in a flick in the 4-D theater, catch the game, enjoy a refreshment at the Outdoor Fins Cantina, and more! For more info, go to Spring Celebration.

Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 21, begins 6:30am
Water Works Park
Celebrate Easter with a casual sunrise service in the park. This service, led by The Portico campus staff, features acoustic music, meditation, and conversation. Guests are encouraged to “come as you are” to this service. Children, lawn chairs, blankets, and even pets are not only welcomed, but encouraged! For more information, go to Sunrise Service.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Open Rehearsal – La Boheme – Through Thursday, April 18
Spamilton: An American Parody – Through Sunday, May 12
Jeremy Douglass: Broadway Pre-Show – Tuesday, April 16, begins 7pm
Latin Nights – Thursday, April 18, begins 9pm
Easter Brunch at Maestro’s – Sunday, April 21, begins 11am

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

A Scanner Darkly (2006) – Friday, April 19, begins 10:30pm
Dolphin Tale (2011) – Sunday, April 21, 3pm to 5pm


Find an Easter and/or Passover Service at a place of worship near you.

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Monday Morning Memo –Monday Morning Memo is a weekly update of “insider downtown information” regarding developments, transportation, special opportunities and other useful information to help you make the most of downtown. Subscribe to receive this weekly newsletter.

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