Monday Morning Memo

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Partnership Presents

Monday Morning Memo, on a Tuesday Afternoon

Dearest Monday Morning Memo subscribers, please accept our deepest apologies for the delay in sending out this week’s Monday Morning Memo. We experienced an interruption in accessing our files, which caused the delay. Our service provider is addressing the issue and putting in place parameters so this incident will not occur in the future. Thank you for your patience and dedication to Tampa’s Downtown.

Board Member Spotlight: Josh Christensen

Josh Christensen is the Chief Operating Officer of Southeast Gulf Cost for Suffolk. In early 2018, Josh led the opening of Suffolk’s Smart Lab in Tampa that helps clients visualize construction projects using virtual reality. The construction firm, which already has opened a similar lab in New York City and San Francisco, built the Tampa Smart Lab adjacent to its Channelside office. The Smart Lab features a virtual reality cave, which simulates what it will be like inside a building that has not been constructed yet. Curious about what he likes to do in his spare time and his professional passion? Check out this interview.

Save the Dates for Our Fall Debriefing Series

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 25 and Tuesday, October 30 as we kick off our Fall Debriefing Series! In September we will discuss Sports & Downtown: Making the Connection then in October join us for a conversation on Transportation: What’s to Come! The Downtown Debriefing Series features eight breakfast events annually, focusing on important development issues that impact Downtown including topics such as the Downtown Residential Experience, the importance of smart planning, sustainability, arts and culture, transportation Initiatives, City of Tampa updates, and other important issues. All Debriefings begin at 7:30am with networking and conclude at 9am to get you back to your workday. We are currently seeking sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring our Debriefing Series, please contact Lindsey Parks or  Ivy Niven!

Call for Sponsors: Downtown Security Network Series

Our Panel Series is approaching and we are looking for sponsors! The Downtown Security Network (DSN) was formed in 1994 in an effort to make downtown Tampa a safer and more inviting place for workers, residents and visitors. Through the DSN, the Tampa Downtown Partnership works together with the Tampa Police Department to develop close working relationship with downtown businesses, companies, property owners, employees and residents. One of the most important rolls of the DSN is to disseminate vital information to the network’s 4,000+ members. To do so, we put together a quarterly series of the most current safety topics and scenarios. Our first series topic is “Leading the Efforts: From the City Center to the County” and is being held September 20 from 7:30am until 9am at the Tampa Fire Museum. If you are interested in sponsoring or attending, please contact Ivy Niven at

Your Downtown Activity Has a Soundtrack

In partnership with Symphonic Distribution, the Tampa Downtown Partnership has curated six public playlists on music streaming service Spotify. Spotify users can now access playlists for signature Downtown experiences for living, working, playing, and learning in Tampa’s downtown. “We are really excited to be partnering up with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and providing the soundtrack for Downtown Tampa,” said Janette Berrios, Director of Marketing for Symphonic Distribution. “After moving our operations to the downtown area, we quickly realized that there is a great opportunity to connect this vibrant and dynamic area with the music that is being created in it,” said Berrios. The music featured in the playlists will include music from the best up-and-coming Tampa musicians, indie music from around the globe and some local favorites, including musicians who play during the monthly Downtown music series, Rock the Park. To view all of the playlists, visit Tampa Downtown Partnership’s profile on Spotify at, choose your favorite playlist, and enjoy.

Our Chairman Visits Reina Shoe Repair

Did you know that Reina Shoe Repair has a chair where Al Capone once sat to get his shoes shined? Did you also know that Reina is the only shoe repair location in Tampa’s Downtown? Did you further know that the shop was once four times the size it is now? Serving Tampa’s Downtown since 1920, Reina Shoe Repair is truly a gem for the workers and residents who need a quick shoe shine or repair. Bring your worn soles, cracked leather, and broken heels for the chance at a second life with shop owner Anton. Our Chairman, Mickey Jacob, took a quick trip to Reina’s to speak with Anton – check it out in this video.

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 #TampasDowntown

“Ugly Lies the Bone”

Through Sunday, August 19
Stageworks Theatre
This award-winning play chronicles the homecoming of a newly-discharged female American soldier to Titusville, Florida. When she returns, Jess is still coming to terms with her own physical and emotional scars as she grapples with the question of ‘What now?’ As she undergoes a new innovative recovery process involving virtual reality, she builds a new world where she can begin to heal herself. For more information, go to “Ugly Lies the Bone”.

2018 Political Hob Nob

Tuesday, August 14, begins 4pm
Tampa Convention Center
This premier election event gives voters an opportunity to meet candidates for all elected positions from Congress to county commission. This biennial gathering is the pinnacle of election seats, drawing crowds of over 50 candidates and 600 constituents. For more information, go to 2018 Political Hob Nob.

Thirty on Thursday: Patricia Cronin

Thursday, August 16, 12:30pm to 1pm
Tampa Museum of Art
Hit the galleries for a concise conversation with artist Patricia Cronin, Chief Curator Richard E. Perry, and Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Seth Pevnick. Explore a range of Cronin’s artwork, including her larger-than-life statue of Aphrodite in the exhibition Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite, and the Lure of Antiquity: Conversations with the Collection. Thirty on Thursday is offered free with regular admission. For more information, go to Thirty on Thursday: Patricia Cronin.

3rd Thursdays

Thursday, August 16, 6pm to 10pm
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.

On Stage at the Straz Center

Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Wednesday, August 15 to Sunday, September 9
Latin Nights – Thursday, August 16, begins 9pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Eighth Grade (2018) – Through Thursday, August 16
Koyaanisqatsi (1982) – Friday, August 17, 10:30pm to Midnight
Goody Goody®: Past Present and Future (2018) – Saturday, August 18, 2pm to 3pm
Blazing Saddles (1974) – Sunday, August 19, 3pm to 4:30pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Bolts Brew Fest – Friday, August 17, begins 7pm
Journey & Def Leppard – Saturday, August 18, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Downtown Business Spotlight: Cena

Cena is a modern, fresh and simple Italian food served in a contemporary and stylish setting. Open since 2014, Cena is located in the Grand Central building at the heart of the vibrant Channel District. Owned by Grand Central developers Ken Stoltenberg and Frank Bombeeck, Cena is dining from the roots – great ingredients, traditional dishes and attentive service. It also delivers deconstructed versions of all-time favorite desserts, which are visually striking and tasty.  The restaurant recently rolled out some weekly specials, which includes; Happy Hour from 5-7p on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, Industry Night every Thursday 20% off entire bill, and Half-off Wine Bottles every Sunday. Cena – “dinner” or “supper” in Italian. Planning a visit? Don’t forget to order the Branzino. It’s a juicy white branzino fillet with a crisp brown skin crisscross over a base of slightly bitter escarole tempered by white beans.

Juried Art Exhibit Honoring Henry Plant’s 199th Birthday

Artists from the Tampa Bay area (Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties) are invited to submit one piece of visual art that reflects one of the many aspects of Henry’s life. The work may be in any style, as long as the topic is based on or evokes the spirit of Henry’s extraordinary accomplishments, his impact on the development of Florida, his transportation empire the Plant System, his grand resort hotels, or his legacy. The art will be displayed in the historic Music Room of the former Tampa Bay Hotel on Saturday, October 27, 2018 in honor of Henry’s 199th Birthday. For more details, visit  Contact Heather Trubee Brown, or 813.258.7304, or Scott Simpson, or 813.258.7307 with questions.

Columbia Restaurant Gives Back

Let your appetite do the giving while you support local non-profit groups in Florida by dining at any of the seven Columbia locations in Florida during the entire month of September for lunch or dinner during the 21st Annual Columbia Restaurant Community Harvest program. Through this program, The Columbia donates 5 percent of all guests’ September lunch and dinner checks to the charitable organizations chosen by their customers. The Columbia Community Harvest takes place in all of the Columbia locations including Ybor City in the historic district of Tampa, St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, St. Augustine, Sand Key on Clearwater Beach, Central Florida’s Town of Celebration, the Columbia Cafe on the Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa at the Tampa Bay History Center and the Columbia Restaurant Cafe at Tampa International Airport. All Columbia locations are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. For more information, see

Tampa Bay Wave Hosts Demo Day

Tampa Bay Wave is excited to host Demo Day on Wednesday, August 22 at CAMLS in Tampa’s Downtown. This is an exclusive opportunity to learn about the increased deal flow from Tampa Bay Wave’s newest TechDiversity Accelerator cohort powered by the Nielsen Foundation. The TechDiversity cohort’s caliber and diversity have generated national & local media attention, including this Tampa Bay Business Journal article. The majority of the newest cohort companies are generating revenue, all have management teams – many very seasoned. They represent some high growth Tech verticals including Health, Education, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more. Get more information and register for the event here. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Tampa Museum of Art Kicks-Off the Season of Love

The Tampa Museum of Art has announced an exciting slate of exhibitions for Fall 2018 focused on the theme of love. Sponsored by the Vinik Family Foundation, the Season of Love begins in August with the unveiling of Patricia Cronin’s commissioned sculpture Aphrodite Reimagined. This work is a contemporary look at the Greek goddess of love and beauty inspired by an ancient marble torso from the Museum’s renowned antiquities collection. On loan from the collection of the Vinik Family Foundation, Yayoi Kusama’s LOVE IS CALLING, one of the artist’s celebrated Infinity Rooms, opens in late September and features an immersive mirrored environment with audio of Kusama reciting a love poem she composed. Finally, in October, a retrospective of Robert Indiana’s sculpture will feature never-before-exhibited examples of the artist’s iconic artwork LOVE.  These special exhibitions reflect the Museum’s longstanding commitment to presenting outstanding works from classical antiquity as well as modern and contemporary art. For hours and more information, visit

Development and Transportation

BT Nguyen Brings Signature Cuisine to Downtown Tampa

Chef BT Nguyen’s latest contribution to Tampa’s dining scene is BT-in-a-Box, a dining garden and biergarten that will open at Sparkman Wharf this October. Her French-Vietnamese cuisine will aid in the redevelopment of the former Channelside Bay Plaza and add a new dimension to Downtown Tampa’s waterfront. The dining garden will serve small portable servings of Nguyen’s most popular dishes from her other restaurants in Tampa that include Restaurant BT, Bistro BT, and BT-to-Go.
“BT Nguyen Will Bring French-Vietnamese Cuisine To Sparkman Wharf”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

All for Transportation Launches Campaign

All for Transportation launched a campaign on Thursday to convince Hillsborough County voters to support a one-penny county sales tax increase for transportation. The petition that collected nearly 77,000 signatures in six weeks got the tax on the general election ballot, and the group expects this support to continue at the November 6 elections. If the plan is approved, the tax will increase from seven to eight cents and generate about $280 million per year to pay for mass transit systems, road improvements, and long term projects to ease congestion. Heavy financial support came from big-name donors like Frank Morsani and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.
“After Making The Ballot, All For Transportation Launches Hillsborough Campaign” Tampa Bay Times

First Phase of Water Street Awaits City Approval

On Thursday, the Tampa City Council voted on public hearing dates for the initial development of Water Street Tampa by Strategic Property Partners. The $3 billion project will stretch more than 50 acres between the central business district and the Channel district waterfront, but the development agreement being approved will only cover the area between Channelside Drive and Cumberland Avenue. The rest of the project, including the JW Marriott and 815 Water Street, has not yet received approval by the city council. The hearing dates in the resolution are Aug. 23 and Sept. 6.
“Portion Of Water Street Tampa’s First Phase Teed Up For Key City Approval” Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Connected Vehicle Program Expands to Downtown Tampa

The Connected Vehicle is a pilot program by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority that is expanding to more drivers who use the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway’s reversible express lanes to get Downtown. The program installs specialized rear view mirrors to alert drivers of hazardous road conditions or if they are driving the wrong way. Participants, who must be over 18 and regularly commute to Downtown Tampa, receive half off toll rates along the Expressway. THEA was one of three agencies nationwide that the U.S. Department of Transportation chose for this project and the only one that uses privately owned vehicles.  The technology is new and local auto mechanics have not been trained on how to install the specialized mirrors. The Hillsborough County Community College is working with auto mechanic students on a paid internship program to install the equipment under supervision, giving those students access to new skills other professionals don’t have.
“Tampa Is Becoming A National Model For Connected Vehicle Technology”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Dave Burton Brings Burgers to Sparkman Wharf

Dave Burton, a partner in Holy Hog BBQ in Tampa and the Getaway in St. Petersburg, plans to serve up burgers, chicken sandwiches, tenders and fries at Flock & Stock this October at Sparkman Wharf. Sparkman Wharf, which has gone by the name Channelside Bay Plaza since 2007, is being redeveloped as part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa mixed-use development. Burton also is known for the Tampa Pizza Company, Heights Melts and the Heights Fish Camp in the Hall on Franklin, and GenX Tavern, a restaurant and bar with a retro 1980s and ‘90s vibe. Flock & Stock will be one of 10 restaurants scheduled to be opened by a Who’s Who of seasoned pros from Tampa’s restaurant scene. At Sparkman Wharf, each will occupy an old shipping container painted with Florida-themed murals.
“Dave Burton Bringing Burgers And Other American Roadside Fare To Sparkman Wharf”Tampa Bay Times

Member Corner

Arts Council Wants Your Opinion

The Arts Council needs your help. Please take a few minutes to fill out their annual survey. It is critically important for us to have citizen input to determine how good a job we are doing in achieving the goals of the plan, and to identify new community needs that we should be addressing. In the summer of 2017, the Board of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County approved a three-year Strategic Plan—the first in the organization’s history. You can read the Strategic Plan here. One of the goals of the plan was to ensure programmatic excellence, effectively, and relevance and ensure that all services reflect constantly changing community needs.

Last Call for the Planning & Design Awards

The Planning Commission is proud to announce the 36th annual celebration of excellence in planning in Hillsborough County. This awards program is a well-respected tradition honoring projects contributing to a better quality of life in our community and serving as models to learn from and emulate.  See Call for Entries for details on Criteria, Categories, and Submission. Don’t miss the deadline! Complete submission packages will be accepted only in digital format no later than Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 5 p.m. with $195 entry fee. Visit event site for more info and sponsorship opportunities.

UT Named a Best College by Princeton Review

The University of Tampa has been again named by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education. The rankings, listed in the book “The Best 384 Colleges,” are based on surveys of 138,000 students at 384 top colleges. “We picked the 384 ‘best’ colleges for our book primarily for their outstanding academics; we highly recommend each one,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and the book’s lead author. In its profile, students praise UT as a “school rich in diversity, student engagement opportunities and academics.” They also acknowledge the “amazing professors” who are “encouraging, insightful, well-versed in their fields of study, and have many connections in the Tampa area they are always willing to share.” The Princeton Review’s school profiles and ranking lists in “The Best 384 Colleges” are posted at For more information on the rankings and methodology, visit

Westshore Alliance Pitches Mobility Plan

The Westshore Alliance will ask the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization this week to consider including its transportation plan for the business and residential hub in the organization’s long-range transportation plan, which is necessary for all future transportation projects. The Westshore Alliance plans include a series of road improvements paired with mobility options on transit, bikes and through walkable corridors. The multifaceted approach is a staple in urban planning, where officials must balance the needs of people commuting by car with those who favor multimodal options, which accounts for a growing portion of young professionals. The first phase of the Alliance’s project is already underway and is expected to continue through 2020 with construction on approved projects launching in 2021. The group also plans to promote circulator and express bus options that would support transit and transportation in the district as well as partner with local businesses to offer rideshare discounts or vouchers to employees. Construction on the Alliance’s proposed projects is expected to take five years.
“Westshore Alliance To Pitch Its Mobility Plan For Long-Range Transportation Inclusion (Renderings)”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Burr & Forman Welcome a New Associate

Burr & Forman LLP announces the addition of Tampa-based associate Patrick Reid, who joins the firm’s Intellectual Property and Cybersecurity Practice Groups. In his practice, Reid assists clients in developing strategies to identify and protect inventions and technology, and to defend their associated rights, as necessary. Reid has more than 100 U.S. patent applications, 83 issued utility patents, 31 issued design patents and 126 federal trademark applications, including 61 registered federal trademarks. He served as an associate trial counsel in several federal litigations, and has experience performing infringement analysis and briefed decisions in case law. Reid is admitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is actively involved in the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsborough County Bar Association and the Jesuit Bar Association.

Around Town

Stuff the Bus Supply Drive

Kids worry about many things on the first day of school like their friends, clothes, hair and shoes.   But one thing no student should have to worry about is having a pencil and a piece of paper as they sit down at their desks to begin the new year. Sadly, this is a reality for far too many students. The Hillsborough Education Foundation is collecting school supplies for students in need now through September. Help us fill the shelves of the Teaching Tools store, so kids can have the tools they need for a productive school year with your support.  Join forces with other businesses and community organizations to help kids succeed from the first day to the last day of school. Learn more about the Stuff the Bus supply drive, visit online at  To schedule your own supply drive, call Laura Grucza at 813-574-0274 or at

2018 Career Expo

Nova Southeastern University Tampa Campus is hosting a Career Expo on August 22nd from 10am to 1pm. Learn about the seven steps to success presented by Barry E. Johnson, associate director of employer development for Nova Southeastern University and meet with local companies and organizations about job opportunities. Professional attire is recommended for attendees. Workshops will begin at 10:30am and noon. Visit to RSVP.

Affordable Housing Open House

Hillsborough County will hold an affordable housing open house on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to help give people information about housing and other community resources. The free event is from 10 a.m. to noon at the Emanuel P. Johnson Recreation Center, 5855 S. 78th St. in the Progress Village/Palm River area. The open house is designed to inform residents of the wide variety of housing resources and services available. Numerous nonprofit organizations and partners of Hillsborough County will attend, including agencies that provide down-payment assistance, credit counseling, homebuyer education, and financing. Groups that help veterans or those with special needs also will be at the event, as will organizations that provide assistance for housing repairs. See which organizations are scheduled to provide information at the open house.

St. Pete’s New Western Art Museum

There are 12 museums of Western art in the country says Tom James, chairman emeritus of Raymond James Financial, and he’s visited most of them. Now James and his wife Mary are unveiling their own museum showcasing the American West and Native American Indian culture. The new $75 million privately funded James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is located at 150 Central Avenue, in the heart of St. Petersburg’s waterfront arts district. The museum launched a soft opening earlier this month, to be followed by an official grand opening the weekend of April 28-29. James started collecting over 50 years ago when he was in college at Harvard, and later, after he and Mary married. They now have a 3,000-piece private collection of paintings and sculpture featuring wildlife, western landscapes, Native American Indians and cowboys. Mary has an equally a stunning collection of Native American jewelry, from necklaces and bracelets to the bolos that James says he favors instead of ties.
“St. Pete’s Newest Arts Gem: James Museum Of Western & Wildlife Art”83 Degrees

Meet the Guy Behind the Central Avenue BRT Plan

Abhishek Dayal moved to the United States from his home in New Delhi, India to earn his master’s degree in urban planning after spending the early part of his life surrounded by congestion. Now, the young urban planner is heading the Central Avenue bus rapid transit plan that is forging a path for better transit throughout Pinellas County and the greater Tampa Bay region. Dayal is the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority director of project management for the Central Avenue BRT project. For now, Dayal shared some vague details about the route. It will include business access transit lanes, which means they’ll be dedicated for transit but general traffic could use the lanes to access business entrances. Those lanes give transit vehicles the benefit of a dedicated lane without having to build the route’s alignment away from businesses. Dayal also said the stations will likely all be different, depending on how many other bus routes access the same station and how frequently it is used.
“Meet The Guy Behind St. Pete’s Trailblazing Dedicated Bus Route”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

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