Sunday, August 11, 2019
Member Spotlight: University of Tampa Receives Silver LEED Certification for Graduate and Health Studies Building
Nominations for the 2019 Urban Excellence Awards are Open!
The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s annual Urban Excellence Awards program celebrates individuals, businesses, organizations, events and projects that have created a positive and lasting impact in Tampa’s Downtown.
Take time today to submit your favorite example of Tampa’s Downtown leadership, innovation, talent, and community spirit! Nominations are open to the public and are a fun, easy way to show much you love Tampa’s Downtown!
Please complete and submit the nomination form below. You may also access the form by visiting our website at TampasDowntown.com. All submitted entries will be considered on their merit. Nominations must be related to and/or located in Downtown Tampa and can be an individual, business, organization (for profit or not-for-profit), event, or project that:
- Were completed in the last 12 months; or
- Made a significant contribution to Downtown in the last 12 months; or
- Displayed an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and/or community leadership that positively contributed to Downtown during the last 12 months
Watch the video from last year’s event here.
Tampa's Downtowner Service to Continue with Funding from HART and FDOT
The Downtowner service will now survive longer with financial backing from the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority.
The Downtowner is an electric shuttle that carries about 500 passengers a day in Tampa and operates through the Channel district, River Arts district, the University of Tampa area and more recently into Tampa Heights. The Tampa Downtown Partnership first launched the service in 2016 with financial commitments from private businesses, CRAs, state and federal funding.
The service has provided roughly 500,000 trips; however, the service is now short of funding.
As of July, funding for the service has run out other than a Florida Department of Transportation grant of $360,000 that must be matched by a local source — such as HART.
“If we don’t make a decision today, it shuts down,” board member Marvin Knight said during a Monday meeting, supporting a move to fund the service. Commissioner Mariella Smith suggested the board reach out to get financial support from various sources before agreeing that HART accept paying the full bill.
HART members agreed to move the item forward during the meeting to execute a memorandum of understanding between HART and the Tampa Downtown Partnership to assist with operating the Tampa Downtown on-demand transportation service through March 31, 2020 in an amount not to exceed $568,000. Although HART will be paying $568,000, it will be reimbursed for a portion and will be able to use the funds for another circulator service in downtown Tampa.
The financial commitment does not include the use of the Tesla vehicles that HART will provide for through 2020.
The presentation given at the meeting showed that the majority of people using the Downtowner service use it to connect with popular downtown destinations. The top five destinations from the Downtowner service are:
- University of Tampa
- Tampa Marriott Water Street
- Marion Transit Center
- Armature Works/ Tampa Heights
The service is helping HART by bringing passengers to the Marion Transit Center, commissioners and members pointed out.
HART may eventually seek a formal solicitation to take over the service on a full-time basis.
Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, previously spoke about HART taking over the service.
“We’re talking with HART about potentially absorbing the service under their umbrella as first-mile, last-mile service for downtown,” she said. “We’re ready to hand off our baby to a new parent; HART seems logical.”
“Tampa’s Downtowner service to continue with funding from Hillsborough transit authority” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Digital Marketing Firm for Car Dealers Moves Headquarters to Tampa's Downtown
The Tampa-St. Pete area has won one and lost one in the battle for corporate headquarters.
AutoWeb Inc. (Nasdaq: AUTO) relocated its principle executive office to Tampa from suburban Los Angeles, while Taronis Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: TRNX) moved its corporate office from Clearwater to Phoenix, Arizona.
Attracting corporate headquarters is a key focus for economic developers in Florida. Both of these companies are relatively small, with market capitalizations under $100 million, and both have operated in the red for the last several quarters.
AutoWeb, formerly Autobytel, is a digital marketing company that helps auto dealers and manufacturers sell vehicles to consumers. Jared Rowe, president and CEO, cited financial and personnel issues as the reason for moving its executive offices.
“We’re keenly focused on restructuring our operating model to run a more efficient organization,” Rowe said Wednesday on a conference call with analysts. “On our last call we discussed the company’s efforts to migrate some of its functions from our office in California to our offices in Tampa and Guatemala City. In addition to lower real estate costs, we believe we can be more competitive in hiring top personnel in these markets.
“We plan to maintain our presence in California. However, we will have a smaller and more efficient footprint going forward. In recognition of these changes, we are announcing that our office in Tampa has been designated as the company’s principle executive office going forward.”
The company listed its new address as 400 N. Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa in a quarterly filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s Rivergate Tower, the iconic “Beer Can” building that’s also home to Sykes Enterprises. Florida Business Interiors and Create+Co designed the 13,000-square-foot office space to align with the company’s strategic goal of innovation in the industry, a web posting said.
AutoWeb had 199 employees as of March 5, according to its annual report. It did not say how many are in Tampa.
AutoWeb has websites that provide consumers with information and tools to help with their auto purchase decisions. Most of its revenue comes from lead fees paid by dealers after a consumer is referred to them through the AutoWeb site.
The company reported a net loss of $5 million, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $27.1 million for the three months ended June 30. Revenue was down, but the net loss shrunk from the same quarter a year ago. The stock closed Wednesday at $3.15 a share, up about 1 percent from the previous day, and before the Q2 2019 earnings announcement.
Rowe has been focused on a turn-around strategy. He said on the call that while auto sales are slowing, he’s confident in AutoWeb’s prospects.
“We’re bullish because of our economic model. At the end of the day, we know that the retailers are going to have to figure out how to sell these cars and if we can help them do it efficiently than we think they’ll do business with us,” Rowe said.
Explore the 5 Most Popular Spots in Tampa's Channel District Neighborhood
Spending time in Channel District? Get to know this Tampa neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from a coffee and doughnut spot to a Vietnamese eatery.
Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit in Channel District, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.
1. Ginger Beard Coffee
Topping the list is Ginger Beard Coffee, a spot to score coffee, tea and doughnuts. Located at 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 112, it’s the highest-rated business in the neighborhood, boasting five stars out of 124 reviews on Yelp.
This spot specializes in nitrogen-infused cold brewed coffee in unusual flavors like peanut butter. Enjoy a Nitro flight or a cup of java with fresh doughnuts from Datz Dough in South Tampa.
2. Fabrica Pizza
Next up is beer bar Fabrica Pizza, which offers salads, pizza and more, situated at 142 S. Meridian Ave. With 4.5 stars out of 260 reviews on Yelp, it’s proven to be a local favorite.
Build your own pizza or salad with a choice of cheeses, proteins, veggies and garnishes. Popular pizzas include The Funghi, a white pizza made with sweet and sour onions, oven roasted mushrooms and rosemary. Small bites, salads and locally made gelato are also on the menu.
3. Pour House at Grand Central
Bar and New American spot Pour House at Grand Central is another top choice. Yelpers give the business, located at 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 112, 4.5 stars out of 98 reviews.
Expect a dog-friendly patio, a popcorn machine and pool table inside, and plenty of craft beers on tap. Beer offerings range from Wicked Weed Watermelon Dragonfruit Burst to Cigar City Hard Apple Cider. Drop by on Mondays and Wednesdays for Running for Brews, or try free yoga.
Cena, an Italian spot, is another neighborhood go-to, with four stars out of 165 Yelp reviews. Head over to 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd. to see for yourself.
Menu highlights include the Branzino, seafood risotto and beer glazed pork belly with caramelized peaches, apples and tomatoes.
5. Bamboozle Channelside
Check out Bamboozle Channelside, which has earned four stars out of 156 reviews on Yelp. You can find the Vietnamese spot, which offers coffee and more, at 109 N. 12th St.
This cafe offers smoothies, soups and sandwiches, along with vegan and gluten-free options. Popular menu items include the chocolate banana smoothie, taro milk tea, the banh mi sandwich with lemongrass tofu and the baby chicken pho boat. Check out open mic night on Fridays.
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!
Bulls Kickoff Luncheon
Thursday, August 15, begins 11am
Tampa Marriott Water Street
Head Coach Charlie Strong and the entire 2019 USF football team will be in attendance for the first-ever Bulls Kickoff Luncheon. Lunch will be served and Coach Strong will preview the Bulls’ upcoming season. The event will also feature Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly, an opportunity to meet the 2019 team, photo opportunities with Rocky the Bull and USF cheer teams, the USF Herd of Thunder Band, and door prizes for those in attendance. Attendees will be seated with USF players at their table. For more information, go to Bulls Kickoff Luncheon.
Thursday, August 15, 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.
Silent Disco 2019
Saturday, August 17, begins 8pm
Tampa Museum of Art
Get ready to dance, because the Tampa Museum of Art is bringing back Silent Disco! The unique music experience, which has become popular at major music festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella, requires dancers to wear wireless headphones that pick up the music instead of a speaker system. The surreal musical experience allows attendees to choose from three DJ stations at the switch of a button. Listeners will only hear the music being played on their selected station for a personalized experience. For more information, go to Silent Disco 2019.
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
Maiden (2019) – Through Thursday, August 22
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) – Friday, August 16, 10:30pm to Midnight
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Sunday, August 18, 3pm to 5:30pm
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
This Week at Amalie Arena
Bolts Brew Fest – Friday, August 16, begins 7pm
Queen + Adam Lambert: The Rhapsody Tour – Sunday, August 18, begins 8pm
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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.
- Member Spotlight: University of Tampa Receives Silver LEED Certification for Graduate and Health Studies Building
- Nominations for the 2019 Urban Excellence Awards are Open!
- Tampa's Downtowner Service to Continue with Funding from HART and FDOT
- Digital Marketing Firm for Car Dealers Moves Headquarters to Tampa's Downtown
- Explore the 5 Most Popular Spots in Tampa's Channel District Neighborhood
- Downtown Calendar
- Connect With Us!