Monday Morning Memo

Monday, August 21, 2017

Partnership Presents

Executive Committee Profile

Each week we have been highlighting a member of our dedicated leadership team. This week,  we are highlighting Executive Committee member Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D.  Doctor Vaughn has served as president of The University of Tampa since January 1995. Under his leadership, the University has grown and expanded unlike any period in its previous history. During his tenure, University enrollments have nearly tripled, new enrollment records have been set in each of the last 20 years and academic programs have been expanded to more than 200 areas of study, including 13 graduate programs with nine concentrations in the fields of business, nursing, education, writing and exercise science. President Vaughn provides incredible perspective and support to the Tampa Downtown Partnership and we are honored to have him on our Executive Committee!

Our Newest Team Member

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to welcome Michele Smith to our team! As the Administrative Assistant, she will provide administrative support to Directors for projects, events and programs, receive guests, answer phones, and perform varied types of research to support projects and initiatives. Michele, known as “Smith,”  is a certified yoga instructor and is passionate about Downtown Tampa. A transplant from Washington DC, she attended local grade schools and graduated from University of Tampa with a degrees in International Business and Fine Art. As a long-time resident of Tampa Heights, she appreciates thoughtful Downtown walkways and development connecting into her neighborhood. Should you give us a call or stop by the office, please feel free to introduce yourself and welcome her to the Partnership.

Celebrate our Arts & Culture Scene

Tampa’s Fourth Friday is a great opportunity to experience the city’s art and culture scene. More than 18 venues and 30 restaurants and bars throughout Downtown, Ybor, and Tampa Heights participate in the festive event. Beginning at 4 p.m., venues like the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Photographic Art, and TECO Public Art Gallery open for visitors to view their galleries. Wristbands are available for free at participating venues during posted event hours (see schedule) and are your ticket to gain access to all the exclusive offers and deals offered at the participating restaurants and bars. To get around, deals are available to travel for free through the the Downtowner, Coast Bike Share, and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

ICYMI: Our Changing Downtown

During our Development Forum, HCP Chairman Pat Hill presented the results of our Biennial Survey and in it, he compared the state of our Downtown to where it was just eight years ago. In perspective, the number of units available between 2008 and 2016 has grown by 142 percent and the resident population has more than doubled. With an increase in residents comes a greater demand for grocery, shopping and retail, as well as a need for pedestrian safety. Our survey showed that walkable retail, transit options, and continued events and activities available in our downtown are what influence workers and visitors to become residents. View the full presentation.

Share Your News

Tampa Downtown Partnership is dedicated to sharing news that impacts our Downtown stakeholders with each Monday Morning Memo. If you have news that you would like to share with the Downtown community, please email

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

FMoPA 2017 Members Show

Thursday, August 25, 11am to 7pm
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Submitted works will be exhibited and a panel of judges will select winners of eight featured categories. Winners will be announced at the opening reception, and an overall best-in-show winner will be chosen by reception attendees who submit a donation to the museum. For more information, go to FMoPA 2017 Members Show.

The Prego Expo

Saturday, August 27, 11:30am to 4pm
Tampa Convention Center
One of the best pregnancy, parenting and baby events in the country. This show is filled with knowledgeable vendors, experts, and lots of goodies that will assist moms and dads with everything before, during and after pregnancy. For more information, go to The Prego Expo.

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom

Saturday, August 26, begins 7:30pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Dance and sing along to Selena Quintanilla songs performed by recording artist Valerie Morales and a band of Tampa Bay area musicians. The songs are fun and energetic and will keep you moving. Celebrate Selena’s legacy with the music she loved performing. For more information, go to Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

The Midwife (2017) – Through Wednesday, August 23
Lalah Hathaway – Thursday, August 24, begins 8pm
Menashe (2017) – Friday, August 25 to Thursday, August 31
Aliens (1986) – Friday, August 25, 10:30pm to Midnight
Casablanca (1942) – Saturday, August 26, 3pm to 5:30pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Salon 1.0

Although Salon 1.0 has made its name with experts in hair color and cuts, affiliation with Paul Mitchell salons and Motives Cosmetics fills up the front of the salon with a variety of products for the whole family, including the dog! Front and center is a wide variety of Paul Mitchel shampoos, conditions, and styling products as well as Paul Mitchell Tools including blow dryers, flat and curling irons. Motives® by Loren Ridinger, is a favorite among makeup artists, models and photographers, and available for you at the makeup bar. Salon 1.0 is about a 15 minute walk from most Downtown offices, and offers free parking at  Grand Central. 

Marketplace News

The Hall on Franklin, a restaurant collective that brings together some of the biggest names in the city’s food scene, is nearly ready to open in a historic storefront in Tampa Heights.

Tampa Marriott Waterside offers useful promo codes to locals and travelers alike to sweeten their stay, including a romance package and more.

City Bike’s Annual Rental Bike Selloff starts this Saturday, and will continue until they’re gone. All bikes have been professional tuned and maintained, and are available in a variety of sizes.

Araliya Studio is now available as an event rental venue at affordable rates of $50 per hour + $150 fixed cleaning fee,  or a flat fee of $650 per day. Arilaya’s studio is an open, flexible event space of 2,000 square feet with a panoramic floor to ceiling glass front, adjustable event lights, and a surround sound system with microphone.

Crunch Fitness has opened its new 25,000 square-foot gym at Grand Central, 1120 E. Kennedy Boulevard, on August 18. Gym hours are 5am to 11pm. Check out their Founders Special for the first 500 people who sign up for memberships. Base memberships are only $9.95 a month  with no contract and no cancellation fee.

Hablo Taco will become the third restaurant at Channelside Bay Plaza to shutter in preparation of Strategic Property’s plan to demolish the southwest portion of the mall, open Channelside up to the waterfront, and create a new active plaza for the community, including a destination waterfront park. Hablo Taco will close at the end of August.

Mise En Place is offering 25% off wines on August 22 for their Summer Cellar Sale. Choose from any bottle on their List.

Rays Eye the Channel District-Ybor City Area

Officials trying to lure the Tampa Bay Rays across the water are aggressively working to secure a site for a ballpark in the Channel District-Ybor City area, and hope to make an announcement soon. The officials are narrowing in on the Channel District-Ybor City area and have approached landowners about an option agreement that would secure the rights to those parcels if the Rays chose to move. One area of near certainty is how the county would like to pay for a ballpark. Officials are hoping to mimic the public-private partnership between the Atlanta Braves and Cobb County, Ga., that led to the new SunTrust Park.
“Tampa Officials Focusing On Channel District-Ybor For Potential Rays Ballpark”Tampa Bay Times

Buddy Brew to Open at Park Tower

Buddy Brew coffee is opening their first standalone café location in Tampa’s Downtown at Park Tower. The coffee shop will take nearly 2,000 square feet in Park Tower, in a street-level storefront that was previously occupied by the Tampa Bay Rays which sold team merchandise and  closed in mid-July. The cafe is another amenity to boost the appeal of Park Tower, the city’s oldest office tower, which is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar renovation, but it will also give business and leisure travelers another option for local coffee. Tampa’s nascent craft coffee scene is a boon to its reputation as a foodie city.
Buddy Brew, In Growth Mode, To Open It’s ‘Most Modern’ Cafe Yet In Downtown Tampa”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Port Offers More Cuba Cruises

Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018. The new cruises range from five to eight days. Carnival launched its first cruise ever from Tampa to Havana in late June, the first of several voyages to Havana this year.
“Carnival Announces Five More Cruises From Tampa To Cuba”Tampa Bay Times

Proposed Building for Micro-Apartments Sells

The developer who proposed the conversion of an old downtown office building into micro apartments earlier this year has closed on the property — but it may not end up as tiny residential units. Urban Core Holdings LLC paid $4.6 million for the 12-story office building at 220 E Madison St. in a deal that closed Aug. 16, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Friday. The seller was a corporate entity tied to Nick Reader, the CEO of MVP Holdings. MVP Holdings is the parent company of PDQ, a fast-casual fried chicken restaurant, among other concepts. A key part of the redevelopment plan was not offering any parking for residents — a twist that required a waiver in parking requirements from the city. A city planner denied the request for a reduction in required parking in May. The “worst case scenario,” Omar Garcia of Urban Core Holdings said, is that the developer makes it “an awesome office building at the most affordable price in the downtown market.”
Developer Of Proposed Micro Apartments Closes On Building In Downtown Tampa — But There’s A Twist”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development and Transportation

Channelside Bay Plaza Prepares for Demolition

Kimmins Contracting Corp. has filed for a demolition permit for the southwest wing of the plaza, a spokeswoman for SPP said Monday. Demolition is scheduled for mid-September. A waterfront park with programming will create a destination within the district before the majority of its buildings break ground (more than a dozen buildings are slated to begin vertical construction in early 2018). Port Tampa Bay, which owns the land beneath the plaza, approved SPP’s plans to knock down that wing of the mall in June. On that waterfront land, SPP envisions a heavily programmed park featuring art, festivals and pop-up bars and restaurants.
Channelside Bay Plaza Restaurants Close In Prep For Demolition”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Downtown Tampa Transformation Continues

On the west bank of the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa, community leaders are striving to build a better future from the rubble of a sometimes troubled past. Recently, crews started tearing down North Boulevard Homes, the city’s oldest public housing complex, to make way for West River, a 150-acre redevelopment project that will continue the transformation of the downtown area into an urban hub where people can live, work, shop and dine in close proximity. The start of demolition continued the transformation of Tampa’s urban core. Now, the redevelopment has spread west of the Hillsborough River.
“Downtown Tampa Transformation Continues With Prep For West River Development” –  83 Degrees

Countdown to Mission MAX

HART will implement Mission MAX on Sunday, October 8, 2017. This system redesign will include route and schedule modifications based on an extensive period of research, operational considerations, and public input. Through Mission MAX, HART aims to modernize the system to deliver more efficient service and more frequency on core routes. Routes are being aligned to provide shorter trip times and more direct service, and HART is committed to excellence by designing a network that lays a strong foundation for future expansion. For more information, including the full list of changes and an interactive map, visit Individual route maps and schedules, and opportunities to meet with HART staff at transit and transfer centers will be available soon.

USF at Water Street Tampa

The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute is moving in 2019, bringing more than 2,200 students, faculty and staff to live, work and study along the downtown waterfront as a key anchor at Water Street Tampa. By moving within a mile of its primary teaching hospital Tampa General Hospital, USF will attract the brightest students and faculty, and will increase federal research dollars to fight heart disease. The announcement of the expansion of the Morsani College of Medicine into the downtown district is already a positive impact on recruiting top-tier students. USF has become the most selective medical school in Florida, with applications rising 40% since the 2014 announcement of the downtown move. View the newest renderings, get more information, and subscribe to updates through the new website at

Encore Getting Grocery, Hotel

The Tampa Housing Authority expects to enter into a contract in the next 30 days for the sale of a one-acre parcel to a developer for the construction of a 15,000 square-foot grocery store, said Leroy Moore, Housing Authority chief operating officer. And that may not be the only development at the 28-acre mixed-income project on the northeast edge of downtown Tampa. Talks are also underway with a hotel chain to build two hotels, Moore said. One would be a 250-room hotel aimed at millennials; the other, a 200-room hotel for more upscale travelers.
“Grocery And Hotel Deals In Reach For Tampa Encore Project”Tampa Bay Times

Member Corner

TBARTA Has Three New Appointments

Gov. Rick Scott announced three appointments to the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, including one new member. Jim Holton, the owner and president of real estate investment and development business Holton Companies, will take over as the authority’s chair. Scott appointed Holton to TBARTA in 2015 as a regular member. Also receiving appointments to TBARTA were Melanie Griffin and Cliff Manuel. Terms for all three TBARTA appointments will run run from Tuesday through Aug. 15, 2019.
Rick Scott Appoints Three To Reconfigured Tampa Bay Transit Board” – SaintPetersBlog

Join the UT Symphony Orchestra

Are you an instrumentalist? Do you like playing in an orchestra? If so, consider joining The University of Tampa Symphony Orchestra. Membership in the orchestra is open to community members of all ages, including high school, who play string, wind, brass and percussion. Under the direction of Susan B. Robinson and Lei Liu, the orchestra plays a variety of music, from serious classical works to lighter fare. All repertoire is performed at a high level of technical and artistic achievement.

Florida Aquarium’s Leader on Challenges

The new CEO of the Florida Aquarium, Roger Germann, sits down with the Tampa Bay Business Journal to discuss his biggest challenges and next steps for the aquarium. The aquarium will be reinventing itself, Germann said, and the senior staff will be planning for the future of the institution over the next year.
“Florida Aquarium’s New Leader Talks About His Biggest Challenges Ahead (Video)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

THEA is Looking for Volunteers

The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority is seeking 1,600 volunteers as part of its connected-vehicle technology pilot program, which aims to improve the safety and ease of driving in Tampa. The program is set to start in April 2018 and run through December 2019. Those who are selected will receive a 30-percent toll rebate for trips on the Selmon’s reversible lanes, up to a maximum of $550. They’ll also be among the first in the country to test this type of technology, which has been at the forefront of transportation discussions for several years.
“Tampa’s Connected-Vehicle Program Looking For Volunteers”Tampa Bay Times

TBBCA Annual Impact Awards

Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (“TBBCA”) announces its annual Impact Awards will be held on new date, Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. Michael Francis, Music Director of The Florida Orchestra, is the International Artistic Achievement Impact Award honoree; Peter Zinober, Esq., is the Individual Impact Award honoree; Ruby C. Williams, folk artist, is the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Impact Award honoree; Gobioff Foundation – Neil and Gianna Gobioff, are the Patrons of Culture & the Arts Impact Award honorees.  Held yearly since TBBCA’s founding in 1989, Impact Awards celebrate and recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to and in support of arts and culture.

Around Town

THEA Approves Gandy Fast Lane

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) Board of Directors voted to approve awarding the Selmon West Extension Design-Build contract to the team of Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. and AECOM.  The cost of the contract is just over $230 million and will be paid for out of toll revenues and bond proceeds. The Selmon Extension is a 2-mile toll lane in the median of Gandy Boulevard that will offer a choice for regional travelers to either use Gandy Boulevard for local destinations or use the Selmon Extension for a direct connection to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, Dale Mabry Highway or the Gandy Bridge. Read the full media alert.

Westshore Marina District Vision

Eleven years after plans to develop a waterfront tract on the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge were first announced, a new rendering gives a hint of what Westshore Marina District ultimately will look like. BTI Partners, master developer of the $600 million district, has started an “interest list” of potential buyers in the 16-story Marina Pointe tower overlooking Tampa Bay. Prices for the seven townhomes and 112 condos in the boomerang-shaped tower will range from the $600,000s to more than $1.5 million. Smith & Associates will handle sales, set to start this fall in a waterfront sales center on the site near the corner of Gandy and Westshore boulevards.
“A Long-Awaited Vision For Tampa’s Westshore Marina District”Tampa Bay Times

USAA Plans Major Expansion

USAA is expanding its campus in suburban Tampa, planning a new office building that’s nearly a quarter-million square feet. The financial services company said that it is building a 240,000-square-foot new office building at Crosstown Center. The new building means room for up to 1,000 additional employees, bringing USAA’s capacity in Tampa to nearly 4,500 employees. USAA’s expansion in Tampa represents the vast majority of new office construction in this region in the last five years: custom-built space for a single tenant.
USAA Plans Major Expansion Of Tampa Campus (Rendering)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is currently recruiting volunteers, sponsors and partners for the 28th annual Hillsborough River & Coastal Cleanup to assist with removing litter and debris from our neighborhoods and local waterways. Unlike a typical litter removal event, this cleanup offers the opportunity for volunteers of all ages to engage in vital research activities involving litter removal by taking on the role of “Scientist for a Day.” For more information on how to get involved with this community improvement event, visit, or call 813.221.8733.

Connect With Us!

Connect with us on social media to get the latest on downtown events!

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.

Sign Up Now