Monday Morning Memo

Monday, April 24, 2017

Partnership Presents

Celebrating Six Months with Downtowner

At the six-month mark, Downtowner and Tampa Downtown Partnership report serving 86,146 passengers with 101,192 miles logged. Because Downtowner vehicles are 100 percent electric, the miles driven equate to 41 tons of CO2 that were eliminated from Tampa’s air supply. NovaCharge NC-500, the chargers that power the vehicles, charge approximately 96 hours a day, collectively, to keep the vehicles on the road. Read the full press release.

Tourism Trends on Tap: Debriefing

The Tampa Downtown Partnership will examine the latest trends in tourism and future growth inDowntown Debriefing Series: Trends in Tourism,” scheduled Tuesday, May 2, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 513 S. Florida Ave. in Tampa. Trends in Tourism features a discussion with Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay and Maryann Ferenc, incoming board chair of VISIT FLORIDA. Networking and registration begin at 7:30am; continental breakfast and program are from 8am to 9am. Members of the media are welcome to attend as guests of Tampa Downtown Partnership, with RSVPs for complimentary registration through Kelsy Van Camp. 

Free On-Site Consultation

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has been selected by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) to identify up to 15 companies in downtown Tampa to receive between 5 and 10 hours of free on-site consulting over the next three months, as part of a transportation improvement program from the Florida DOT. Interested in participating? Email Karen Kress.

Fourth Friday is Happening this Week

When the sun goes down, the streets of Tampa and Ybor light up with music, laughter, art, friends and FREE fun the Fourth Friday of every month. Now in its second year, Fourth Friday, presented by TECO – an Emera Company, features museums and performing arts venues offering extended hours, free or value-added admission, and/or special programming. While visiting the venues during the event hours, pick up a Fourth Friday wristband for access to food and drink specials at establishments throughout Downtown and Ybor. For more information, go to Fourth Friday.

Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown

In conjunction with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and the City of Tampa, the Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown is happening this Saturday at Curtis Hixon Park from 3pm to 7pm. Like the Facebook page and follow all week to see which restaurants will be showcasing their best mac & cheese to be this year’s winner! Riding your bike to the event? Enjoy free bike valet courtesy of Tampa Bike Valet! This FREE, signature event celebrates numerous local Tampa restaurants and their version of the culinary dish. Sampling tickets can be purchased on site to try various styles of the classic dish. 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 / wine vendors and games / activities for all ages.

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

Lunchbox Challenge

Friday, April 28, 11am to 1pm
Joe Chillura Park
Bring your appetite to Joe Chillura Park to sample and vote for the County’s finest lunchbox. Tickets are $10. Proceeds benefit United Way. For tickets and more information, go to Lunchbox Challenge.

Tampa Equality Connection

Friday, April 28, begins 6pm
Stageworks Theatre
Learn about Equality Florida’s work, stay for a special Avenue Q performance, and get your picture taken with one of the Avenue Q puppets! Drop in to mingle, enjoy complimentary appetizers, and learn how you can get involved with bringing full LGBT equality to our state. A cash bar will be available. For more information, go to Tampa Equality Connection.

An Evening of Art and Jazz

Thursday, April 27, 6pm to 9pm
The Barrymore Hotel and Waterworks Bar and Grill
Join for the inaugural “Evening Of Art and Jazz” featuring the smooth sounds from Orlando-based saxophonist Johnny Mag Sax and art from Rustic Steel Creations. There will be complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and one complimentary drink per guest. For more information, go to An Evening of Art and Jazz.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Patel Conservatory presents You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – Through Sunday, April 30
The Azure Sky in Oz – Through Sunday, April 30
Club Jaeb – Joshua James – Tuesday, April 24, begins 7:30pm
Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man – Thursday, April 26, 9pm to 11pm
Symphonie Fantastique – The Florida Orchestra – Friday, April 28, begins 8pm
Best of Tampa Bay – Saturday, April 29, begins 7pm
An Evening of song with Aaron Tveit – Saturday, April 30, begins 7pm
Let’s Play Live – Sunday, April 30, begins 7:30pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Think Globally, Act Communally – Tuesday, April 25, begins 7:30pm
The Princess Bride (1987) – Sunday, April 30, 3pm to 4:30pm 

This Week at Amalie Arena

Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Getaway Tour – Thursday, April 27, begins 8pm
98ROCKFEST – Friday, April 28, begins 6pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Fitlife Foods

Fitlife’s Bank of America Plaza store is stocked each week with low carb fitmeals and fitsnacks for your day or your whole week. The meals are perfectly portioned, made-from-scratch, and energy-boosting. There’s a host of new menu items including Red Quinoa Hash, Vegetarian Enchilada, and Chicken Pizza Supreme. Save the meal containers for FitLife’s Recycle Rewards program – bring back 20 and you’ll get $10 off your purchase. There’s also the prepaid Member Meal Account, whereby the more you buy, the more you save. Stop in to see some of their new offerings, and learn about Project U, a free customized on-on-one health & wellness coaching program offered by the company!

Marketplace News

First Watch on Tampa Street has undergone a superb renovation with group tables, new floors, and an  overall fresh look. At this Mother’s Day Season, they’re offering $20 bonus bucks with a purchase of a $100 gift card!

Rivers Edge,  the restaurant within the Tampa Sheraton Riverwalk has unveiled its own independent website featuring Executive Chef Charles Coe, the restaurant’s menu, and on-line reservations.  

Urban Kai has now opened an outlet on the Riverwalk at Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, and celebrated with a launch party last Saturday.  Urban Kai Stand Up Paddle Board Shop offers a wide range of SUP equipment, training, private lessons, and adventure tours.

HQ Moving to Channel District

Quality Distribution Inc. has signed a 10-year lease for 45,000 square feet on the ground floor of Grand Central at Kennedy, the mixed-use development at Kennedy Boulevard and Meridian Avenue that includes condominiums and retail space. At 45,000 square feet, the QDI relocation would be considered large anywhere in the Tampa Bay region, where most office leases are between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet. It’s particularly noteworthy in downtown Tampa, where large blocks of contiguous space — anything over 25,000 square feet — are increasingly difficult to come by. Bringing 250 employees to the urban core — in close proximity to restaurants and retail — helps build the urban vibrancy that business and political leaders have been working toward for years in Tampa.
“Corporate HQ Moving from Suburbs to Downtown Tampa’s Channel District”Tampa Bay Business Journal

USF Announces Multimedia Rights Partnership

USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan announced a groundbreaking agreement with Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC (TBEP) to enter into a 10-year multimedia rights partnership starting July 1, 2017. Based in Tampa, TBEP is an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik to provide services to clients relating to their own sports and entertainment properties. It is separate and different from the Vinik controlled entity that operates AMALIE Arena and owns the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL franchise. TBEP is granted the exclusive rights to all commercial multimedia sports marketing, sponsorship, and respective inventory possessed by USF Athletics. Included among those is the exclusive right to secure naming rights for the USF Sun Dome and all USF owned inventory related to audio, television, print, social media and game entitlements.

ICYMI: Rivergate Tower Leasing Progresses

A team of brokers from CBRE Group Inc.’s Tampa office have signed more than 40,000 square feet of new leases in Rivergate Tower since October — while the building was under construction in a multimillion-dollar renovation that began in mid-2016. Among the new leases are BDG Architects Inc., which took 12,000 square feet; Beaux Arts Group took 9,500 square feet. Autobytel, an automotive media and marketing company, took over two 6,200-square-foot suites that were speculatively built for smaller tenants. Several existing tenants, including A-LIGN CPAs, Mosaic Compliance Services and law firm Galloway Johnson, signed early renewals and expanded their space in the tower. The tower is currently around 87 percent occupied at $26 to $28 psf.
“Banyan Street Capital and PCCP, LLC, Bring Iconic Downtown Tampa Structure Back to Life, CBRE Welcomes Several New Tenants to Rivergate Tower”Tampa Bay Newswire

DAS Health Adds Jobs, Expands

DAS Health, which provides information technology, management solutions and consulting services to doctors and hospitals nationwide, plans to add up to 30 new jobs by 2018 and also plans a significant build-out of its existing headquarters facility at 1000 N Ashley Dr. The expansion won $90,000 in state and local incentives under the Qualified Target Industries tax refunding program, including $9,000 approved by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 19, and an identical amount approved by the Tampa City Council on Oct. 20. DAS serves 2,000 clinicians who treat more than 7 million patients.
“Tampa Health Technology Firm Adds Jobs, Expands Headquarters (Video)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development and Transportation

Transportation App of the Week

Distracted driving leads to many driving accidents. The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority has found three apps that can help you put the phone down while you drive and be a safer, more alert driver. In 2014, over 400,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, some of these accidents resulted in fatalities. Each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. #JustDrive

Last Week for Cross Bay Ferry

Mayor Kriseman announced that the ferry carried a record 5,000+ passengers during just the first two weeks of April. That’s especially significant, because a new schedule launched in April to help Tampa fans come see Rays games. If that pace holds, the ferry could reach a record 10,000+ passengers a month! P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to ride recently, now is the time. The final run is Sunday, April 30. Visit for tickets and schedules.

Tax Benefits for Mass Transit

HART wants to remind riders about a tax benefit that is good news for both employers and employees: a transit benefits plan. Did you know that you could be setting aside up to $255 per month in pre-tax earnings for public transit expenses, amounting to an estimated $3,000 annual savings? Actual savings vary depending upon individual costs. Offering transit benefits is a win-win for both employees and employers. Riders can save as much as 40 percent every month when they set aside up to $255 as a pre-tax benefit to commute on HART. Click here to learn more about transit benefits and the HART Corporate Transit Sponsor Program or contact HART at 813.384.6434.

Interest Swells for Tiny Apartments

Just a day after Tampa Bay’s first tiny apartments went up for grabs, about 40 of the 120 already had been reserved. Urban Core, the company under contract to buy a downtown Tampa office building and convert it into micro apartments, began taking reservations at The $50 reservation fee is refundable but the first people to reserve will have their choice of units if they end up renting.
“Reservations Brisk For Tampa Bay’s First Tiny Apartments”Tampa Bay Times

Transit Feasibility Plan Takes Shape

The Transit Feasibility Plan identified routes connecting downtown Tampa and the University of South Florida; Westshore and Brandon; Wesley Chapel, USF and downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg; Pinellas County from Clearwater to Gateway and then south to St. Petersburg; and South Tampa to downtown Tampa. Next, they will determine what type of transit would work best in those corridors — anything from frequently running bus rapid transit to rail — and package the plan into a list of three ranked priorities. The group is evaluating 55 previous transit plans and continues to review data. Funding will likely remain the biggest challenge to implementing transit priorities. The Florida Department of Transportation has repeatedly pointed out the feasibility plan is a necessary step in identifying federal funding, which could help local officials avoid controversial tax increases.
These Are The Tampa Bay Area Corridors Identified As Priorities In Regional Transit Study”Tampa Bay Business Journal

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!

HART Unveils HyperLink Vehicles

People who live and work around the University of South Florida will be able to summon a Tesla to take them to and from a bus stop. The project is part of HyperLink — the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority’s solution to getting people to and from bus stops for $3 a trip. HyperLink started in Carrollwood, Brandon and the University Area six months ago, but Monday’s unveiling of four Teslas operating around USF is a development HART officials hope will place the transit agency ahead of its peers nationwide.
“Coming Soon To The Area Around The University Of South Florida: New Teslas To Ferry People To And From Bus Stops”Tampa Bay Times

Clean Air Fair 2017

The Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC) is pleased to host the award-winning Clean Air Fair for the 16th consecutive year in celebration of May as Clean Air Month. This year marks EPC’s golden anniversary of local natural resource protection. It is intended to encourage everyone to recognize the importance of local environmental protection and to reflect on changes to the environment over the last half of century. The event will also recognize Arbor Day and the importance of a balanced natural environment through the distribution of free saplings to all attendees. Get more information.

Hill Ward Henderson Honors Veterans

Hill Ward Henderson has named their initial awardee for the LTC James T. Armstrong Memorial Law School Veteran’s Scholarship Fund (JTAM). Jonathan “Yoni” Haim is a combat veteran who served with the Marines in Afghanistan prior to attending law school. It is this sacrifice and service that is honored with the JTAM Law School Veterans Scholarship. JTAM is the first endowed scholarship available exclusively to military veterans and service members at Levin College of Law. It was founded by two U.S. Army and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, Hill Ward Henderson Attorney, Matthew F. Hall and Daniel K. Armstrong and named after Armstrong’s father, Two U.S. Army and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, Hill Ward Henderson Attorney, Matthew F. Hall (Class of 2011) and Daniel K. Armstrong.

Tampa Bay History Center On Track

The Tampa Bay History Center is experiencing smooth sailing so far on an expansion project that will bring the area’s pirate lore to life. C.J. Roberts, History Center President and CEO, says construction crews are slightly ahead of schedule on the building expansion that will house the new “Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates & Shipwrecks” gallery — an addition that includes a 60-foot replica of a sailing vessel as its centerpiece and will focus on the stories of Florida’s early explorers. The expansion is just one part of an $11 million capital campaign, of which $7.5 million has been raised to date.
“Tampa Bay History Center Grows Up And Out, Stays On Track With $11M Expansion”83 Degrees Media

Port Tampa Bay Commits to Consultant

Port Tampa Bay’s board gave the green light to negotiate hiring an all-purpose planning consultant with an open price tag extending beyond 2017. Up to $400,000 will be set aside to fund the position per year on a project-by-project basis. If approved, that consultant could be called upon to help with policy-making, grant proposals, transportation, development and economic analysis, according to the proposal presented at the board’s monthly meeting.
“Port Tampa Bay Commits $400,000 — At Least — For All-Purpose Consultant”Tampa Bay Times


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.

$63 Million Bet on Ybor

Since 2014, BluePearl Veterinary Parners CEO Darryly Shaw and several real estate investment partners have spent $63.5 million on properties in and around Ybor City through 10 different LLCs registered to Shaw. A handful of other legal entities with addresses matching Shaw’s businesses or home have spent another $4.4 million. Shaw, whose portfolio includes at least 110 properties, said he believes in the future of Ybor and is betting on its revitalization.
“Darryl Shaw Is Quiet, Humble – And $63 Million Later, Ybor’s Big New Player” Tampa Bay Times

Apply for Neighborhood Mini-Grants

Hillsborough County’s Office of Neighborhood Relations is now accepting applications from neighborhood associations for mini-grants of up to $2,500 for projects aimed at bringing neighbors together and boosting community pride.  The deadline to apply is 5pm on Friday, August 4. For an application, to register for the mandatory training, and for complete information about the mini-grants process and requirements, go to and click on the “Neighborhood Grants Available” link, or call the Office of Neighborhood Relations at 813.272.5860.

Tampa is a Solar Builder

Tampa is No. 1 among U.S. cities with a history of solar energy leadership and those that have recently experienced significant solar energy development, according to a new report from the Environment America Research and Policy Center. The center surveyed 66 cities nationwide, and ranked Tampa tops in the Solar Builders category — cities with between 5 and 25 watts of installed solar PV (photovoltaic) capacity per person.
“Tampa is a ‘Solar Builder’ Among US Cities”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Clearwater Votes to Buy Coveted Parcel

The City Council voted unanimously 5-0 to buy a vacant but high-profile downtown lot from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, intercepting a crucial piece of land the Church of Scientology said it needed for its campus. Council members said the 1.4-acre property at the corner of Pierce Street and Osceola Avenue is needed for the city’s 10-year, $55 million overhaul of the waterfront and Coachman Park. City staff said it could be coupled with the City Hall site across the street and redeveloped into a hotel, condos and apartments, retail or other uses.
“Clearwater City Council Votes 5-0 To Buy Downtown Parcel Coveted By The Church Of Scientology” Tampa Bay Times


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