Monday Morning Memo

Monday, August 14, 2017

Partnership Presents

Executive Committee Profile

The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Executive Committee is comprised of professionals from both the public, private, and non-profit sectors who are fully invested in the future of Downtown. This week, we are spotlighting Beth Bernitt of AECOM. As Senior Vice President, she is responsible for business line growth for the firm’s Buildings + Places business line across the Southeast Region and Latin America. Beth brings 34 years of experience of strategic planning, client growth and relationships, marketing strategy and design management to the role which encompasses architecture, building engineering, interiors, workplace strategy, master planning, urban planning, landscape architecture and economics practice areas. To reach her success, Beth has made several bold career moves – read about them in this blog. We’re honored to have Ms. Bernitt on our Executive Committee. Thank you for your continued service and support!

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

Ping Pong Thursdays

Up for a game of ping-pong? Show us what you’ve got! Tampa’s Downtown Guides will be available each Thursday from noon to 1pm in Lykes Gaslight Park to take on a game of ping-pong with anyone willing. It’s FREE, so come out and have some fun. Make your friends jealous by taking a selfie as a player or a spectator and be sure to tag @tampasdowntown  on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – our Guides are very photogenic too!

Meet our COO, Lynda Remund

Lynda Remund joined the Tampa Downtown Partnership as Director of District Operations in October 2000. In her new role as Chief Operating Officer, Lynda manages and coordinates the daily operations of the Tampa Downtown Partnership including organizational structure, management and vision, company policies, and supporting the organization’s strategic initiatives. She also holds senior management responsibilities for operations of Tampa’s Downtown business improvement district and manages the organization’s contract with the City of Tampa which it has maintained for over 23 years. Lynda lives in Dunedin with her husband Rene and their two miniature dachshunds. She is the proud nana to three grandsons and truly enjoys family time and traveling.

Q:Tampa has changed a lot since you started at the Partnership. What change, small or big, has been your most memorable?
A: Being a Tampa native, I have seen this city transform.  The most memorable time has to be today with residential, the Riverwalk, and the activation of public spaces, downtown is embracing urbanism and forging its own identity.

Q:Where would you take an out-of-towner to lunch?
A: Columbia Café at the Tampa History Museum; the 1905 Salad is a must.

Q: What piece of advice would you give a new visitor to Downtown?
A: Embrace the culture; eat local, get on the water, take the Downtowner to one of 10 museums, and access to learn about all things downtown.

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

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Thursday, August 10 to Sunday, August 20
Stageworks Theatre
In this stage production it’s 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual quiche breakfast. But danger approaches… Will they be able to keep their cool when Communists threaten their idyllic town? For more information, go to 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche.

Flicks and Food Trucks

Thursday, August 17, 6pm to 10pm
Grand Central at Kennedy
Gourmet food truck fun paired with independent short flicks and live music! This urban, hip event features microbrews and tasty cocktails from the Pour House and City Dog Cantina. Gourmet food trucks line up to offer everything from burgers to vegetarian bites. There will be something for everyone! For more information, go to Flicks and Food Trucks.

Latin Nights

Thursday, August 17, 9pm to 11pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Enjoy a fun evening of food and dancing. Meet new friends, experience Latin-inspired tapas and drink specials, and dance to the thrilling rhythms of a live salsa band and DJ. Dance guidance will be provided by Simone Amaral of Simone Salsa dance studios. For more information, go to Latin Nights.

Silent Disco 2017

Saturday, August 19, begins 8pm
Tampa Museum of Art
This surreal musical experience allows attendees to choose from three DJ stations at the switch of a button. Instead of listening to music through a speaker system, guests will wear wireless headphones and will only hear the music being played on their selected station for a personalized experience. For more information, go to Silent Disco 2017.

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Fallen (2017) – Wednesday, August 16, 7pm to 8:15pm
Sing-Along Grease (1978) – Sunday, August 20, 3pm to 5pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Postseason: Tampa Bay Storm vs. Cleveland Gladiators – Monday, August 14, begins 7pm
Monster Jam – Saturday, August 19, begins 1pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Tampa Marriott

The hotel shop at the Tampa Marriott Waterside is stocked with some noteworthy finds, including fashionable men and women’s wear, toiletries, jewelry, hats, scarves, hair accessories, and sandals. You’ll also find Papyrus greeting cards, sunglasses, and an assortment of cigars and wines. Tampa Bay Lighting fashion for men and women are available too. Stroll along Florida Avenue to Old Water Street, and you’ll arrive – perhaps you’ll enjoy a great lunch in the hotel’s beautiful lobby, or tuck yourself away for a an iced coffee in the Starbucks, just adjacent to the shop.

Marketplace News

Farmacy Vegan Kitchen and Bakery has expanded into Duckweed’s Channel District location at Place at Channelside, serving an abridged menu of smoothies, acai bowls, grab-and-go and even select baked goods.   

The Attic Café has announced renovations of its rooftop bar/restaurant.  They’ll be closed August 21st until  they re-open “BIGGER and BETTER” on Sept 5th! During the renovation, the Café will be located in the lobby of the first floor, serving coffee with a light lunch menu available at what they are calling “The Attic Express!” 

The Hall on Franklin will open soon as a trendy mash-up of food and beverage vendors sharing a century-old former automobile showroom. The seven-restaurant collective joins an enclave of entrepreneurs reawakening the northern edge of downtown Tampa, a lively entertainment district until the streetcars stopped running.

Florida Wellness Medical Group is offering Student Sports Physicals for $15 at their downtown location. Walk-Ins are welcome or call for an appointment at 813.229.2225.   

The Oxford Exchange has opened its application process for the 2017 Annual Holiday Gift Bazaar. Since 2013, the Bazaar has showcased the unique stories and creations of local talent with our own community.  

Why the Arts Mean Business

On September 14, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County will be offering the opportunity to learn about the economic impact of the arts, including tourism and employment, in Hillsborough County and across the nation. The Arts Council partnered with Americans for the Arts over the past two years to complete Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5), the most comprehensive study of the impact of the nonprofit cultural sector ever conducted. Funding for the local AEP5 study was provided by the Hillsborough County Economic Development Department and the Gobioff Foundation. Hear from Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC, as he goes through the study findings and discusses how the outcomes can be utilized to shape the future of Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay Region. Click here for more information and to register.

Straz Center Names Director of Programming

Patrick Leahy has been named director of programming at the Straz Center. In his new role, Leahy is responsible for booking a vast array of programming including comedy, rock music and other popular entertainment. Leahy joins the Straz Center after a twenty-plus year career in concert programming, event marketing and sales, production and management. Founder of 409 Management & Consulting LLC, Leahy’s clients included SeaWorld Entertainment, the Cincinnati Reds, World Beer Festival, Sarasota Blues Festival and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He served in leadership roles during the consolidation of the concert industry from SFX to Clear Channel Entertainment. He comes to The Straz after successful management of Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla., where he served as general manager and principle consultant.

Luxury Coworking Space Coming Downtown

A luxury coworking company is moving into Tampa’s urban core, taking over one of the top floors in the SunTrust Financial Centre. Industrious, which has locations in tech hubs across the country, has leased 19,702 square feet on the 33rd floor of the SunTrust tower. It is slated to open in November. The space will feature 60 offices, with two executive suites with private offices and dedicated meeting space. There will be three conference rooms and two huddle rooms, six phone rooms as well as “wellness” and “focus” rooms. Pricing for the Tampa spaces is not yet available. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Industrious leases private office space from $571 for one person to more than $1,500 for a four-person space; coworking space begins at $382.
Luxury Coworking Space Coming To Downtown Tampa Office Tower”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development and Transportation

HART Board Approves Mission MAX

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority board of directors approved a massive restructuring of its routes during a meeting last Monday, calling it Mission MAX-Modernizing and Aligning for Excellence. The approved changes will cut service by approximately 20 percent, while other routes with high ridership will grow. Service cuts will mostly affect areas outside of Tampa like Sun City Center, FishHawk and Temple Terrace. Board members tentatively agreed to include $2 million for one year. Meanwhile, HART faces a $6.2 million deficit next year. The approved route changes will save the county $5.8 million, making that deficit drop dramatically. The new plan will go into effect October 8.  Almost all HART local routes will run seven days a week, weekend service will run from 6am to 10pm, and all current weekend late night routes will continue to operate until midnight.
“Hillsborough Transit Agency Approves Sweeping Cuts To Bus Routes”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Five Big Projects inTampa

The city of Tampa is on the cusp of a total makeover. With billions of dollars in investment and dozens of new apartment, condo, office and cultural buildings in the pipeline, the city’s skyline and surrounding communities are poised to look a whole lot different than what it does today. But dreaming up the future of Tampa doesn’t come without its challenges. For all the promises of a new urban core filled with hotels, parks, food halls and stores, there are also potential pitfalls. The Tampa Bay Times identified the five key obstacles that stand in the way of some of the biggest projects proposed in Hillsborough County. View an interactive map of developments in Downtown Tampa.
“Five Big Projects in Tampa; Five Big Problems Looming”Tampa Bay Times

Making a Case for Bus Ridership

As lagging transit options plague the region, transit activists and the business community are having a hard time making a case for fixing it. It’s a vicious cycle. Tampa Bay transit can’t improve because agencies are under-funded, but elected officials who try to increase funding get fierce pushback from critics who point to lagging ridership. The low gas prices also make it easier for people to take rides from friends and family without hitting their pocket books too hard. Making the rounds in places where residents tend to be younger and more progressive gives HART officials the opportunity to show off the benefits of riding the bus. HART gives riders the option to safely surf the web with Wi-Fi while commuting. That’s also a plus for Hillsborough workers. While riding the bus might take a little longer, the time can be spend productively by utilizing the ride to answer emails or do research on a project.
HART Combines Transit And A Cafe ‘Hangout’ To Rally Support For Riding The Bus”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Howard Frankland Bridge Relief Coming

The Florida Department of Transportation wants to add a third lane to both directions of I-275 approaching the bridge on the Tampa side, according to District 7 secretary David Gwynn. Expanding that part of the interstate was part of the Tampa Bay Next project, formerly known as Tampa Bay Express. The old TBX plan called for adding 90 miles of toll roads to interstates 4, 75 and 275, but opposition led state officials to re-brand and re-think the $6 billion project. But traffic entering Tampa from the Howard Frankland is so bad that the state plans to fast-track those improvements while the rest of Tampa Bay Next remains under review. Adding an extra lane to southbound I-275 will also help commuters taking the bridge to St. Petersburg. And neither of the new lanes will be tolled.
“Tired Of Howard Frankland Bridge Traffic? Relief Is On The Way”Tampa Bay Times

Making Streets Safer

Are you passionate about making streets throughout the Tampa Bay region safer for drivers, passengers and vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians? Team up with the Hillsborough MPO’s Vision Zero coalition at the Tampa Theatre on August 22 for the fourth in a series of public workshops geared toward creating a more bike-friendly culture and improved safety measures for all users of the streets of Hillsborough County –  which is currently recognized as one of the most deadly places in the United States to be a pedestrian.
“Vision Zero: How To Make Local Streets Safer For Everyone? Join The Conversation August 22”83 Degrees

Member Corner

ShareYour Transit Ideas

The team behind the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan wants to know your thoughts about our region’s best-performing transit connections at community workshops to be held this month in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. The workshops will provide an opportunity for the public to review our region’s best-performing transit connections and how they were identified. They will also provide a chance to offer ideas and comments on the types of transit, such as express bus, bus rapid transit, automated guideway transit, light rail, or commuter rail, that could best work along each connection.
“Regional Transit Feasibility Plan Team Seeks Your Comments On Regional Transit Connections”Tampa Bay Newswire

UT Ranks in Princeton Review

The Princeton Review recognized UT as one of the top institutions for undergraduate studies in the country for the sixth consecutive year. Of the roughly 2,500 universities in the U.S., only about 15 percent made this year’s list. Recognizing UT as a medium-sized, diverse university, the Princeton Review acknowledged the campus as active and lively while still offering students an intimate classroom experience.
“Princeton Review Ranks UT Among Top Undergraduate Institutions”The Minaret

Planning & Design Awards

The Planning Commission’s 35th annual Planning and Design Awards celebration is Thursday, October 19. Entries are due no later than 5pm on Friday, August 18 . Winning projects contribute to a better quality of life and serve as models to learn from and emulate. With the emphasis on the importance of great planning in our own region, the awards program is held in October to align with Tampa Bay Design Week and the many national festivities during the American Planning Association’s National Community Planning Month and celebration of Great Places in America! Click here for more information.

Tampa General Hospital Ranked

Tampa General Hospital moved up the ranks of best hospitals in a new report from U.S. News & World Report. Tampa General, one of eight Tampa Bay area hospitals to get a “best” designation, is No. 2 in Florida, according to the publication’s 2017-18 rankings published Tuesday morning. The hospital, the largest in the Tampa Bay area, was No. 3 in the state a year ago. U.S. News also ranks hospitals by specialties. TGH had six adult specialties — cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, nephrology, pulmonology, and urology — that made the national rankings. None of the other local hospitals had adult specialties that ranked nationally.
“Eight Tampa Bay Hospitals Make U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital List”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Tampa Theatre Receives Largest Donation

A longtime resident, Richard Redman, has willed the Tampa Theatre $623,500, the organization announced last Tuesday. It’s the largest individual donation of the theater’s current fundraising campaign and perhaps the largest in the organization’s history. The donation brings the theater’s ongoing $6 million capital campaign up to $5.3 million. All of the funds, including Redman’s, will be used for “urgent” repairs to the storied building located at 711 N. Franklin St., including electrical work, removing excess groundwater in the basement, lobby restoration and new seats. Modern comforts, such as cup holders and more leg room, will be added.
“Tampa Theatre Receives $623,000 Donation”Tampa Bay Times

Around Town

Tampa Baseball Museum Event

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House will present a family-friendly celebration of Tampa Bay’s rich baseball history on Saturday, September 23, 10 am-2 pm at Centennial Park in Ybor City. The event includes MLB alumni, games, music and a hotdog eating contest with prizes. A special outdoor exhibit on some of Tampa’s iconic players will be featured. Baseball-inspired fun, food, and the comradery of fans from near and far are on deck for Homeruns & History as we round the bases toward the opening of the Tampa Baseball Museum. Visit for more information.

Tampa Bay is Leading Florida Recycling Efforts

Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are leading the state of Florida in recycling efforts, according to data released last month from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The agency’s 2016 annual recycling rates for individual counties and the state show both counties tied for the highest county recycling rate at 82 percent. FDEP annually tracks the progress being made by Florida counties as they strive to reach the state’s goal of recycling 75 percent of all waste by the year 2020.

A La Carte Pavilion Sells to Homebuilder

Taylor Morrison, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, closed last week on  A La Carte Pavillion. The 13-acre waterfront site sold for $10.5 million, a year after another builder backed out. The seller, Egypt Shrine Holding Corp., has received $3 million and will hold a $7.5 million mortgage while Taylor Morrison goes through the permitting process. Another major builder, Texas-based David Weekley, had a contract to buy the property but backed out last summer after discovering a considerable amount of fill would be needed in order to support the large multi-family housing project it planned.
“Mecca For Galas, Tampa’s A La Carte Pavilion Finally Sells For $10.5 Million”Tampa Bay Times

Westshore Luxury Apartments Move Forward

A luxury residential development near the intersection of Westshore and Gandy boulevards has landed a construction loan. Related Development LLC, the rental and mixed-use subsidiary of Related Group, said Thursday that it has closed a $52 million construction loan for the development of Town Westshore, a 396-unit apartment complex at 5001 Bridge St. Related said that SunTrust Bank is the lender. A mortgage has not been yet been filed in Hillsborough County. Town Westshore is part of the Westshore Marina District, a mixed-use development underway on the Westshore waterfront. BTI Partners, based in Fort Lauderdale, is the master developer of the project.
“Luxury Apartments In Westshore Marina District Take Key Step Forward”Tampa Bay Business Journal

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