Monday Morning Memo

Monday, April 17, 2017

Partnership Presents

Commissioner Kress

Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce the appointment of Karen Kress, Director of Planning and Transportation, to Commissioner for the Hillsborough County Planning Commission. Karen represents the City of Tampa in her new role as Planning Commissioner. The Planning Commission is the single local planning agency for all jurisdictions in Hillsborough County. It performs consolidated planning services and makes independent recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners, Plant City Commission, Tampa City Council, Temple Terrace City Council and other appropriate public bodies concerning the orderly growth and development of Hillsborough County. Read more about the Planning Commission.

Spring Has Sprung Downtown

As part of Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Beautification Program, the Downtown Clean Team and Guides have planted colorful spring annuals in the Downtown orange pots. Sprinkled throughout Downtown and also in the planters in front of CVS on Madison, these lovely plants are funded through the Special Services District. Take a moment to stop and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you in our Downtown.

Trends in Tourism: Mark Your Calendar

Our next Downtown Development Forum will be May 2 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Join us for a conversation with Santiago Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay and Maryann Ferenc, Incoming Board Chair of Visit Florida who will discuss tourism trends and the future growth of this vital industry. Networking and registration begins at 7:30am with the program and continental breakfast from 8am to 9am. Register today!

Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown

This free, signature event presented by Tampa Downtown Partnership in conjunction with the City of Tampa and Mayor Bob Buckhorn, will take place on April 29 from 3pm to 7pm in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. In addition to Mac & Cheese tastings, the Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown will feature a stage with live entertainment of local and regional musical talent, craft beer and wine vendors and games / activities for all ages. Registration is open for volunteers who want to experience all the fun and contribute to this great event. Feel free to share this link with your network of friends and colleagues – the more, the merrier!

Exclusive Ticket Giveaway: Club Jaeb

Our readers have the opportunity to win a set of tickets to see singer-songwriter Joshua James on April 24 at 7:30pm! Post the following phrase on twitter for your chance to win!
I want to win tix to see @buffalojames @StrazCenter from @tampasdowntown

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. Going to one of the events? Snap a photo and tag #UrbanInsiderTPA

Do the Local Motion

Friday, April 21, Noon to 1pm
Poe Plaza
Join us for “Heritage of the Fire Department,” featuring the John F. Germany Library. Tours remain free; however, a suggested donation of $5.00 is appreciated to help feed a hungry child in our community. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit programs of Where Love Grows. For more information, go to Do the Local Motion.

Friday Concerts in the Park

Friday, April 21, begins 7pm
Water Works Park
Tampa’s longest running and most beloved concert series. Celebrating 30 years of high-quality musical entertainment, the Friday Concerts in the Park offer a full schedule of live music to satisfy all tastes – from jazz to country to reggae to classic rock. For more information, go to Friday Concerts in the Park.

Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Saturday, April 22, 8am to Noon
Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park
This is the number one walk in the country raising awareness and funds to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The walk plays a key role in funding Best Buddies programs dedicated to one-to-one friendships, leadership development, and integrated job opportunities for individuals. For more information, go to Best Buddies Friendship Walk.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Theresa Caputo LIVE! The Experience – Tuesday, April 18, begins 7:30pm
Latin Nights – Thursday, April 20, 9pm to 11pm
The M.E. Tour featuring Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benét – Thursday, April 20, begins 8pm
Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science Tour – Friday, April 21, begins 7:30pm
Patel Conservatory presents You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 30
Singin’ and Swingin’: A Century of Ella – The Florida Orchestra – Friday, April 21, begins 8pm
The Azure Sky in Oz – Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 30
ROCKTOPIA LIVE: A Classic (R)evolution – Saturday, April 22, begins 8pm
The Sandi Sylver Puppet Show – Saturday, April 22, begins 11am
Breakin’ Out – Sunday, April 23, begins 4pm
Patel Conservatory presents Spring Into Dance – Sunday, April 23, begins at Noon

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Colossal – Friday, April 21 to Thursday, April 27
Rumble in the Bronx (1995) – Friday, April 21, 10:30pm to Midnight
Pete’s Dragon – Sunday, April 23, 3pm to 5:15pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Storm vs. Cleveland Gladiators – Saturday, April 22, begins 7pm
Neil Diamond – Sunday, April 23, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Travel Traders

Travel Traders at Hilton Downtown Tampa is a great resource for shopping for Guess purses, Thymes skincare, wallets, cosmetics, jewelry, scarves, as well as bathing suits for men and women, sandals, and a variety of men’s and women’s accessories. Need a Tampa-Centric gift? It’s the perfect place, not only with its unique Tampa t-shirts and sweats (some at 50% off!), but also with local preserves and spices.

Marketplace News

The Portico Café’s soft opening began last Monday, with initial hours of 7am to 2pm, serving coffee, tea, healthy smoothies, breakfast, and lunch fare.  Enjoy the spacious seating inside, and outdoor tables on the patio. Limited parking for the Café is available in the church parking lot off of Florida Avenue. 

Seacoast Bank converted the three area branches of Tampa-based GulfShore Bank to their locations on April 12, including the Downtown branch located at 401 S. Florida Ave.  Seacoast Banking Corp. acquired GulfShore Bancshares in late 2016. 

Grow Financial is honoring Earth Day with its annual “Let’s Grow Together” campaign. Since 2013, the credit union, in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Times, has given away trees to its valued members, select business partners and the public. On April 20 and 21, Grow Financial will give Eastern red cedar tree saplings to anyone who visits any of its 22 Tampa Bay-area locations, including the Downtown Tampa location at 404 N. Tampa Street. 

City Bike is currently offering Adventure Cycling Classes: Touring Essentials. Learn how to take your first adventure bike trip! It’s a four week program, and the cost is $20.00  Stop by City Bike and sign up for their new four week adventure program.   

Massage Envy’s annual skin care sale is on again. Stock up on your favorite Murad® skin care products when you visit Massage Envy from April 21 through the 23.

The Oxford Exchange (“OE”) Book Fair is May 7 from 9am to 4pm. Now in its second year, The OE Book Fair was launched to provide an open platform for local authors to connect with their community face to face. A broad array of genres and interests are represented, complimented by discussions and workshops throughout the day of the fair. 

Florida’s First Tourism Marketing District

Tampa will be home to the state’s first tourism marketing district beginning next month, in an effort to generate funds used to attract more out-of-state visitors. The district that encompasses hotels in Downtown Tampa, South Tampa, and Ybor City will have a self-imposed lodging industry assessment that is expected to total more than $1 million within its first year. The assessment is an initiative between the Hillsborough County Hotel Motel Association, the city of Tampa and the Hillsborough County Tax Collector. Beginning May 1, occupied hotel rooms within the district will assess an additional $1.50 per night on top of the room rates and other fees currently charged.
“Tampa Lands The First Tourism Marketing District In Florida”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Micro Apartments in Downtown

Urban Core Holdings, LLC is under contract to buy 220 E. Madison, a 12-story downtown office and retail building and convert the top eight floors into micro-apartments. The final design will feature a first floor that will continue as retail and restaurants, a second floor for offices, a third-floor common area space and eight floors of apartments. Each would have a kitchen with a two-burner stove top, microwave hood, refrigerator and dishwasher. The apartments would also come with a stackable washer-dryer unit; a bike rack and a Murphy bed that transformed into a dining table during the day. All of this in 300 to 400 square feet for about $850 a month, far less than for other downtown apartments that are fast becoming unaffordable without two occupants to share the rent.
“If You Like Tiny Houses, You’ll Love These Tiny Apartments Coming To Tampa”Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Hits Hotel Records

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game was a major reason why Tampa Bay hotels reported a record $70.6 million in total revenues for the month of January. The highly anticipated game played Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium to a record crowd briefly pushed local hotel occupancy above 90 percent. Hotel occupancy in January was 18 percent more than the previous January. Profitability was up 16 percent for the month. But if January looked good, February proved even better. A total of $3.4 million in bed taxes was collected for the month of February. Hotel revenues for the month, which included the annual Gasparilla Distance Classic and the 12,000-member It Works convention, reached $69.5 million, up 4 percent from the previous February.
“Why Tampa Bay Hit New Hotel Revenue Records For First Two Months Of 2017” Tampa Bay Business Journal


Development and Transportation

Condo Tower Plans Revived

Tampa developers are reviving plans for Del Villar. Mercury Advisors, the group behind the $90 million Channel Club— a Publix Super Markets Inc. store and 21-story apartment tower under construction on East Twiggs Street — are planning a 36-story condo tower at the corner of East Whiting Street and Channelside Drive. The plans call for 61 condos; the site was originally approved for 124 units. The new plans also reduce the number of parking spaces from 256 to 145, with an amenity deck on top of a five-story parking garage. Retail space is no longer in the plans.
“Developers Move Forward With 36-Story Condo Tower In Channel District”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Transportation App of the Week

Did you know there are over 65,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the US? (Including most public parking garages Downtown.) PlugShare is a free application for iOS, Android, and the web that allows users to find and review charging stations, and to connect with other plug-in vehicle owners. PlugShare provides the most accurate and complete public charging map worldwide, with stations from every major network in North America and Europe.

Construction Projects on Interactive Map

From massive developments like ONE St. Petersburg to small-but-game-changing projects like Hall on Franklin, construction is booming in the Tampa Bay region. With Crane Watch Tampa Bay, you’ll be able to track dozens of commercial construction projects around the Bay region, from condo towers to retail centers. Crane Watch is an interactive map that shows projects in various stages of development, from proposed to recently completed. You can also view what is being developed Downtown at
“Introducing Crane Watch, An Interactive Map Of Tampa Bay Development And Construction Projects”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Cross-Bay Ferry Proves Profitable

If the Cross-Bay Ferry service were permanent, the governments would recoup all of the money invested in the project in less than two years. Governments have been refunded $111,934 so far, a number that is expected to grow once service concludes at the end of this month. If April’s ridership matches March, the four governments will have received nearly $170,000, or 12 percent of their investment back. The Hillsborough County Commission voted to set aside $22 million from BP oil spill settlement funds to help pay for a high-speed ferry between MacDill Air Force Base and south Hillsborough County near Apollo Beach. Details on how that money would be spent haven’t been finalized.
“If Cross Bay Ferry Service Continued, Government Investors Would Get Their Money Back”Tampa Bay Business Journal

HART Looks Beyond the Bus

This year, HART is conducting a major update of its 10-year Transit Development Plan (TDP). This effort focuses on updating the bus network and identifying opportunities to implement innovative, cost-effective solutions that are Beyond the Bus. Your input is essential in this process. Go to to learn more and participate in the public input survey.

Member Corner

Third Annual Riverfest Coming May 6

The 3rd Annual Tampa Riverfest will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 and Sunday, May 7, 2017. Presented by Friends of the Riverwalk in conjunction with the City of Tampa, this FREE event will run the entire length of the Riverwalk and will feature family-friendly activities and events showcasing Tampa’s cultural institutions, local music and restaurants. Full schedule of events and entertainment line up can be found here. There are opportunities to volunteer for the Hot Dog Fest as well!

TMA Presents Lawyers for the Arts

The Tampa Museum of Art is proud to present its second Lawyers for the Arts program, an ongoing series of presentations exploring the frequent, fascinating crossover of the art world and the legal world. The event runs April 20 and 21 featuring William W. “Terry” Fisher III, Wilmer Hale Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Harvard Law School. He will discuss his role in litigation between artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press surrounding Fairey’s appropriation of an AP-owned image to create the iconic “Hope” Poster in support of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, in addition to additional cases involving famous artists. Purchase Tickets and RSVP by visiting,

Port Announces Nesting Season

As part of its long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship, Port Tampa Bay (PTB) is pleased to announce the 2017 annual migratory bird nesting season in Tampa Bay. The official bird nesting season is April 1 through August 31, each year. The port authority works very closely with its key partner, Audubon Florida, as well as state and federal regulatory conservation agencies in Florida, to provide protection annually for nesting birds and their young in the Hillsborough Bay area. For more information, visit or

Tindale Oliver Welcomes New Engineer

Tindale Oliver is pleased to announce that Allan Sequeira, P.E., has joined the firm as a Senior Associate/Director of Roadway Design. He brings 17 years of experience as a Transportation Engineer with expertise as a Project Manager and a Senior Project Engineer. He has conducted flexible and rigid pavement design and has worked in the areas of traffic control, drainage, cross sections, signalization, signing, and marking as well as roadway design for minor highway improvements, including Resurfacing, Restoration and Rehabilitation (RRR) Ride-Only Projects (ROP) and safety projects. He is certified in Advanced Maintenance of Traffic (MOT), Signals Level 1, Flexible and Concrete Pavement Design.

Around Town

ULI Florida Summit

The annual ULI Florida Summit at the Tampa Marriott Waterside on May 25th and 26th, 2017 connects the top real estate professionals from throughout the state including developers, attorneys, engineers, architects, and land use planners, from both the private and public sector. From keynote addresses to conference sessions, the 2017 Summit will focus on today’s changing markets, trends, and opportunities, and feature leading industry professionals. More than 600 ULI members and non-members who are interested in the progress and prosperity of our state convene at the annual statewide Summit. It is hosted and produced jointly by the five ULI District Councils of Florida.

25th Annual Future of the Region Awards

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council is hosing their Future of the Region Awards Breakfast Event on Friday, April 28 at the Hilton Carillon Park Hotel in St. PEtersburg. The Future of the Region Awards event highlights projects and programs that exemplify regionalism, and recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions that benefit the regional community. More information and registration is available online.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Goodrich Quality Theatres ) Inc., headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is excited to announce its Community Grand Opening Celebration Weekend set for Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017 at their state of the art Riverview 14 GDX.  Riverview 14 “GDX” (Giant Digital Experience) features Goodrich’s cutting-edge large format auditoriums with two fabulous 3,200 square foot screens in projected in 4K digital showcasing floor-to-ceiling viewing powered by Premium Dolby ATMOS™ sound system. For more information, visit and Facebook @ Riverview14GDX.

Great American Clean Up 2017

Join your neighbors and friends Saturday, April 22nd to celebrate Earth Day by keeping our paradise litter free. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful recruits volunteers to foster unity and strengthen community bonds through beautification and improvement efforts across Hillsborough County. Any individual, family, school, group, place of worship, business or government entity can coordinate or participate. For more than twenty years, this locally activated community improvement program brings the power of volunteers and sponsors together to inspire change and build sustainable, vibrant communities. #KeepTBB.

Bucs Unveil $150M Renovation

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the next phase in the more than $150 million renovation of Raymond James Stadium. The latest enhancements are highlighted by a completely redesigned West Stadium Club, a new team retail store, expansion of the highly successful Hall of Fame Club, and a new home team locker room. Other stadium enhancements include a new 18,700-square foot Buccaneers locker room, which will triple the size of the previous one, and a refresh to the Raymond James Stadium press box.  Read the full announcement here.

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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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