Monday Morning Memo

Monday, August 7, 2017

Partnership Presents

Executive Committee Profile

The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Executive Committee includes developers, architects, and heads of companies who are committed to ensuring Downtown is a diverse and vibrant neighborhood. This week, we highlight Laura Crouch, Director of Community Relations and Economic Development with TECO, an Emera Company. Laura is a Tampa native, graduating from the University of South Florida in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. She joined Tampa Electric in 1995, and has been in various departments in her 22-year career with the company. Laura is extremely involved in the community, having served in leadership positions with the Westshore Alliance, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, After-School All Stars, and Leadership Tampa, to name a few. We’re honored to have Ms. Crouch on our Executive Committee. Thank you for your continued service and support!

Exciting Staff Announcements

Tampa Downtown Partnership is pleased to announce the promotion of three employees; Lynda Remund  as Chief Operating Officer, Ashly Anderson as Senior Design Manager, and  Rachel Radawec as Placemaking  and Community Engagement Manager. “Each of these positions play an important role in supporting the four key initiatives the Tampa Downtown Partnership staff, Board and Executive Committee identified during our strategic planning process,” said President and CEO, Christine Burdick. “Our Downtown is, and will be, undergoing significant changes that will shape Tampa’s future,” said Burdick. “The next two years will be paramount in how our organization responds to city center growth and expansion, circulation in Downtown, maximizing the public space experience, and addressing our own brand relevance.” Read the full announcement.

Have a Great Idea for Downtown?

Do you have a great idea that you think will enhance Tampa’s Downtown? We want to hear from you! Tampa Downtown Partnership is calling all creatives and Downtown enthusiasts to apply to our Activation Grant Program! The purpose of the Tampa Downtown Public Space Activation Grant Program is to create unique, publicly accessible activations in the public realm. The proposed projects must enhance the downtown experience via the arts and/or social good. View  the 2017 Public Space Activation Grant here.

Exclusive Deal for Our Readers

Are you ready for some football? Support the Tampa Bay Storm with special downtown discounts. The road to Arena Bowl XXX starts on Monday, August 14 at 7pm! Tickets start at just $20. Click here to purchase your tickets. For more information contact Shannon Dixie at 813.301.6614 or Promo code: STORMDP

Downtowner Fleet Expands with Chevy Bolts

Last Wednesday, the Downtowner fleet expanded with the addition of two new Chevy Bolts to the 12-vehicle fleet of GEM cars. The Bolt was released by Chevy earlier this year and like the GEM car, is 100% electric. “Adding these vehicles to the fleet will reduce wait times, support increasing ridership demand and provide riders with protection from the Florida heat via air conditioning”, said Travis Gleason, COO for Downtowner. “The Chevy Bolts are able to run over 200 miles per charge allowing us to utilize the vehicle for the entirety of the day with no down-time,” said Gleason. Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning at Tampa Downtown Partnership, headed up the initiative to bring the free ride service to Downtown. “Our goal is to secure long-term stability for the service. Our growing ridership has proven that there is a willingness to think outside of the car, especially for short trips. Downtown Tampa’s residents, workers and visitors are increasingly looking for ways to park their car once, and have options for those short trips. I’m excited to see how this service evolves,” said Kress. Tampa Downtown Partnership and Downtowner invite local companies to consider the opportunity to brand a vehicle. Funds raised from these advertising campaigns will help support the service. For more information, contact Read the full release here.

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.

Art Meets Jazz at the Barrymore Hotel

Thursday, August 10, 6pm to 9pm
Waterworks Bar and Grill
Join us for Art Meets Jazz at The Barrymore Hotel, featuring live jazz music from Johnny Magnuson, art exhibition by local Tampa artist Francine J. Bauer, a full buffet and full bar. Art Meets Jazz.

Incredible Duck Race

Saturday, August 12, 10am to 1pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Adopt a rubber duck and enter it into this massive duck race benefiting the Kiwanis Club of Tampa charitable foundation! The event features family friendly music, food, and activities all leading up to the big race. For more information, go to Incredible Duck Race.

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

A Ghost Story (2017) – Through Thursday, August 10
Member Mixer – Wednesday, August 9, begins 6pm
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) – Friday, August 11, begins 10:30pm
The Wizard of Oz (1939) – Saturday, August 12, 3pm to 5:30pm

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Motown The Musical – Tuesday, August 8 to Sunday, August 13
Evening of Dance – Friday, August 11, begins 6pm
Pole for a Purpose – Saturday, August 12, begins 7pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Lionel Richie: All the Hits – Friday, August 11, begins 7pm
WWE Live: SummerSlam Heatwave Tour – Saturday, August 12, begins 7:30pm
John Mayer – Sunday, August 13, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: UT Bookstore

For those who like to take a walk and browse around a fun store at lunchtime, there’s the University of Tampa’s Bookstore filled with shoppers’ treasures. Look for Hunter Rain Boots, Vera Bradley purses, blankets, and accessories, L’Oréal makeup and skincare, Tom’s Shoes and Papyrus cards.  Random finds include rain ponchos, yoga mats, hair bandeaus, tech accessories, and best seller novels. If you’re a UT family, you’ll find very cool looking tee shirts, leggings, and more UT brands throughout the store! Looking for deals on home goods?  All dorm essentials, including pillows, comforters, and sheets, are 40% off.

Marketplace News

Inside the Box is headed for the ground floor of downtown Tampa’s Times Building. The new cafe at 1000 N. Ashley Drive is the fourth Inside the Box location for Metropolitan Ministries (if you count the one that’s planned for the soon-to-open Heights Public Market). It’s expected to premiere with specialty sandwiches and salads in the recently renovated lobby of the 10-story, 180,630-square-foot Times Building, owned by New Jersey-based Denholtz Associates, sometime in September.

Caffeine, located at 212 E Cass St., has expanded its Tampa Bay footprint to include on-premises roasting and a drive-thru at 2420 W. Kennedy Blvd. (Drama Burger’s previous location).

State of the Downtown Office Market

JLL recently released its annual skyline report, which takes stock of available office space in the city’s core buildings. The narrative of the office market in downtown Tampa has changed little in recent years — this year’s report shows dwindling vacancies and rising rents, just like years past. The average asking rent, according to JLL, is around $27 per square foot. But the top floors in the best buildings are asking $32 to $34 per square foot, which is a better indicator of what brand-new space might rent for. Depending on land costs, rents of $34 to $35 per square foot are typically necessary to make new office construction profitable.
Downtown Tampa’s Office Market Is Stuck In A Holding Pattern”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Amalie Arena Ranks Top Worldwide

Amalie Arena sold the third most tickets of any arena in the country so far in 2017, and is No. 15 in the world in ticket sales, according to a ranking by concert industry trade magazine Pollstar. The downtown Tampa arena sold 322,828 tickets in the first half of the year. Only New York venues Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center sold more tickets in the U.S., according to the ranking of the top 200 arenas with more than 15,000 seats. The O2 arena in London was No. 1 with more than 1.36 million tickets sold.
“Amalie Arena’s Ticket Sales Among The Strongest In The World, Ranking Says”Tampa Bay Times

New Retailer Coming to the Channel District

Don Me Now’s owner, Danielle Evans, is moving from her Hyde Park location to downtown Tampa’s Channel district. The boutique will include a draw beyond clothing and accessories: Champagne. Experiential shopping is one way brick-and-mortar retailers, at national and local levels, are trying to compete with the convenience of e-commerce. At Don Me Now, the bubbly bar — which will serve cava, prosecco and champagne — gives customers a reason to visit more often than they would if clothing were the only offering. The hybrid concept of a champagne bar and clothing boutique is a new type of retail for the Channel district. The vast majority of storefronts in the urban neighborhood are occupied by service-oriented businesses — gyms, salons and dry cleaners — as well as bars and restaurants.
“’Bubbly Bartique,’ A Hybrid Champagne Bar And Clothing Boutique, Coming To Downtown Tampa’s Channel District”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development and Transportation

Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot

In 2015, Tampa was one of three locations awarded a grant from the Department of Transportation to stand up pilot projects focused on connected vehicles. The other two projects are in New York City and Wyoming. Led by the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, Tampa is testing 13 different applications for connected vehicles technology across six different use cases: morning back-ups, wrong-way entry, pedestrian safety, transit signal priority, streetcar conflicts and traffic flow optimization. These will combine applications that include both vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Tampa will start the full deployment of private vehicle units in December. The goal is to have all 1,600 units deployed by April 2018 and begin evaluation the following month.
“Tampa Revs Up Connected-Vehicle Pilot”

Resurfacing Leads to an Urban Shared-Use Path

Working from the belief that Tampa’s streets should be safe for every user on the road, the FDOT will expand upon a pavement resurfacing project in 2018 with the installation of the first protected bicycle track on a state highway. The cycle track — also known as an “urban shared-use path” — will run along the north side of Jackson Street (State Road 60) from Ashley Drive to Nebraska Avenue. At 10 feet wide, the cycle track provides designated roadway space for bicyclists traveling in both directions, and will be buffered by a 4-foot-wide raised island that separates cyclists from motor vehicle traffic. Special green pavement markings at side-street intersections and driveways will alert motorists to the presence of cyclists in areas where the cycle track intersects with motor vehicle traffic.
“FDOT Paves Way For Protected Cycle Track On Jackson Street In Downtown Tampa”83 Degrees Media

HART Transit System Redesign

Based on community feedback, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) staff has recommended multiple revisions to its 2018 proposed transit system redesign plan, which is intended to improve service delivery and, in turn the customer experience. The redesigned bus network will better serve today’s customer and prepare the HART network to meet future needs. Click here to walk through all the revisions to the plan and service clarifications.

Tribune Development Groundbreaking

On August 23, Related Group, Suffolk, and Arquitectonica are hosting the official groundbreaking for the Tampa Tribune project. Situated on the western bank of the Hillsborough River within walking distance of Publix, Downtown, and the Tampa Art Museum, Tampa Tribune includes an eight story waterfront portion with three wings stretching east, and a center wing with a pool and covered deck. With three courtyards, a fitness center and a club lounge, Tampa Tribune provides ample opportunity to enjoy life on the river. Stay tuned as this development continues construction.

Member Corner

Meet the  Newest Leadership Tampa Class

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced the fifty members of the newest Leadership Tampa class. It is the third oldest leadership program in the nation and its goal is to identify, guide and enhance the skills and opportunities of current leaders in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Members of Leadership Tampa are business/professional people who hold leadership positions within their companies or organizations. Additionally, they have demonstrated a concern for community issues and volunteered their time with service and professional organizations.
“Exclusive: See Who Is In The Newest Leadership Tampa Class” Tampa Bay Business Journal

Public School Students Gain Library Access

Thanks to a new partnership between Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, students enrolled in grades K-12 in the public schools system, including charter schools, don’t need to be library card holders – or even apply for a card – in order to check out books, printed materials, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, or to use a wide variety of online resources and learning tools from the public library system. Their seven-digit student ID number is all they’ll need. The new initiative is called HAAL Pass. HAAL stands for Hillsborough All Access Libraries. HAAL Pass will make additional library resources available to more than 200,000 public schools students – four times the number of school-age kids who now have Hillsborough County library cards.

Florida Aquarium Receives NOAA Designation

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently designated The Florida Aquarium as a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™. The Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassador™ is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to strengthen partnerships with external organizations toward building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ initiative formally recognizes NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water, and climate events. As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™, The Florida Aquarium is committed to working with NOAA and other Ambassadors to strengthen national and local resilience against extreme weather.

Tampa Theatre Restoration Plans

To explain more fully the research that has gone into uncovering Eberson’s original vision and show audiences the scope of work that will be completed during the November/December shutdown, Tampa Theatre will host Restoration Tours. These hour-long tours will walk patrons through the various projects covered in this current $6 million phase and conclude with a short film featuring the project’s lead architects, designers and historical experts. Restoration Tours will be offered at noon Thursday Sept. 28; and at 10:00am Saturdays, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16. Suggested donation for admission is $10 at the door, and all proceeds will benefit the Theatre’s “Cush Your Tush” fundraising campaign for the new seats. For details, visit

The Planning Commission’s Redistricting Effort

The public is invited to attend the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission on August 14, 2017 to hear information on the redistricting process. There are currently 4 alternative maps developed by staff for redistricting. Click here to download a brief fact sheet on Redistricting. Can’t make the August 14 meeting? There will be six more public meetings held throughout Tampa on August 21, 28, 30, 31 and on September 5 and 7.

HART Hangout

On August 10, meet at the Marion Transit Center (MTC) in Downtown Tampa for the first ever HART Hangout. Think of it as an informal transit “meet up” to connect with fellow riders and hear about all the interesting transportation-related initiatives going on in Tampa Bay. Beginning at 5pm, take Route 1 – operating every 15-20 minutes. HART staff will be at MTC from 5pm to 6:16pm to assist with any questions and provide complimentary 1-day passes. HART Hangout will be taking place at the Independent Bar and Cafe, Tampa, which will be offering specials from 5:30pm to 8pm. HART Board Member/County Commissioner Pat Kemp will be joining as a speaker with HART CEO Katharine Eagan.

Around Town

Mixed-Use Development Coming to Seminole Heights 

Wesley Burdette, who opened the Warehouse Lofts in early 2016, is planning a mixed-use building with a parking garage at 5236 N. Florida Ave., on a .76-acre lot he paid around $500,000 for in 2015. The Avenue Lofts will include 52 residential units in three stories over 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail fronting North Florida Avenue. It also includes a 100-space garage, which will be behind the main building. Two tenants have already committed to the retail space: Anytime Fitness, which has around 5,000 square feet. The remainder of the space will be a food hall concept, Burdette said, with Tampa barista Ty Beddingfield’s Kofe concept as an anchor.
New Mixed-Use Development To Break Ground In Seminole Heights (Renderings)” – Tampa Bay Business Journal

New Nonstop Service from TIA

Tampa International Airport will be offering new seasonal nonstop service to Omaha once a week via Southwest Airlines. The seasonal service on Saturdays between TIA and Omaha Eppley Airfield is a first-time offering and will begin March 10, 2018 and run through April 28, 2018. The route marks the 83rd nonstop destination for TIA, including 66 domestic and 17 international routes. The Omaha flights are targeted at the college spring break crowd, according to a TIA spokesman. During this year’s spring break period, the airport experienced the busiest March and April in its history. TIA beat its previous record by more than 50,000 passengers in the two months combined, with a total of nearly 3.8 million passengers.
Tampa International Getting New, Seasonal Nonstop Flight To Omaha” – Tampa Bay Business Journal

Central Florida Leads Job Growth

Led by Tampa Bay and Orlando, Central Florida’s major metro areas dominated the ranks of job growth in the past year by larger cities in the United States, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among cities with at least 1 million population, Tampa Bay’s over-the-year employment in June rose 3.6 percent, while smaller Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area registered a 4 percent gain — the biggest percentage bump among the country’s 50 largest metros, BLS said.
“Tampa Bay, Orlando, Jacksonville Rank In Top Five U.S. Metros For Job Growth”Tampa Bay Times

Julian B. Lane Community Open Houses

West Tampa artist collaborative, Pep Rally, has been commissioned to create artwork that will be installed inside the Julian B. Lane River Center building. The artists would like to hear from the West Tampa community, to shape their vision as they create the artwork. The open houses are scheduled from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on August 16, 24, and 29. Get more information on the open houses and how you can participate here.

ICYMI: Tampa Made Another Best List

WalletHub, a personal finance website that offers free tools to help consumers reach top financial fitness, has named Tampa as one of the Best Big Cities to Live in 2017. WalletHub’s analysts compared the 62 largest U.S. cities based on 50 key indicators of attractiveness. Their data set ranges from quality of public school system to job opportunities to median annual property taxes.  Tampa ranked number 14 out of th 62 cities ranked. View the full report and description of the methodology.

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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.

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