Monday Morning Memo

Monday, December 11, 2017

Partnership Presents

Coast Bike Share’s Most Valuable Partner

Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce that we have been named Coast Bike Share’s Most Valuable Partner of the Year! The award was announced on December 6 during Coast Bike Share’s third birthday celebration and Most Valuable Biker Awards.  Coast celebrated its third birthday – and the recently crossed 500,000 mile mark – with a free-to-attend event that included a guided group ride around Tampa’s Downtown and a post-ride after party at Hidden Springs Ale Works that capped off with their Most Valuable Biker Awards. Starting with 300 bikes and 30 locations in 2014, Coast Bike Share now boasts 700 bikes with a 200-bike expansion being deployed in downtown which will bring the system total to 900 bikes! Read the full press release.

If You Ever Need a Helping Hand

The Partnership’s Downtown Guides mission is to provide a safer, more accessible environment for people in downtown. The Guides provide for additional safety downtown by serving as the eyes and ears for the downtown community. Their “good-will ambassador” role is a vital part of the Downtown Security Network, working closely with the Tampa Police Department to observe and report suspicious activity. They also offer directions, bicycle repair, assist stranded motorists with flat tires and dead car batteries, provide restaurant suggestions and even suggest parking options. Next time you are out and about, look for their signature pith helmets and bright yellow shirts. Their services are completely free. To reach a Guide, call 813.267.2220.

Get Around Town for Free on Saturdays

Did you know that there is more than one way to get around Downtown for free on Saturday? You can hop on the TECO Line Streetcar, take a Downtowner, or use your two feet to get from point-A to point-B on Saturday with no cost. Arriving every 20 minutes, the historic streetcars connect Ybor City with Channel District and major downtown destinations. The Downtowner Free Ride Service is available in your smart phone’s app store and acts as a point-to-point service with hailing done right from your phone. And of course, there is always the option to walk! Take a stroll along the Riverwalk or cruise along the bustling streets of Downtown and explore all there is to offer from the ground floor.

In the News: Urban Excellence Awards

The following is a n excerpt from 83 Degrees Media. View the full article here.

“What is the value of a new dog park to the surrounding neighborhood? For residents on the northern half of the Channel District in downtown Tampa, it’s immense, if only measured based on dogs-per-acre. The Deputy Kotfila Memorial Dog Park is built underneath the Selmon Expressway, directly across from Bell Channelside and within walking distance of Grand Central and Ventana. It’s excellent thanks to a thoughtful design and dual use of space (dogs below, cars above), and the acknowledgement of a public hero: Hillsborough County Deputy John Robert Kotfila, Jr. lost his life to a wrong-way driver on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in March of last year. The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority wanted to do something to honor his legacy. After learning about the strong bond between Kotfila and his German Shepard, Dexter, it was decided to  dedicate the Selmon Greenway dog park in his honor.” “The full list of winners is available on the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s website. Look for winners in categories like historic preservation, experience, collaboration, and people’s choice. Taken in aggregate, these actors and their impacts build upon the momentum that continues to push Tampa’s urban center in more dynamic directions each year.”

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

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

Through Friday, January 5
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Tampa at the Winter Village presented by USAmeriBank and brought to you by Tampa Downtown Partnership. The park will be transformed with the sights, sounds and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages. Skate around at the outdoor ice rink or get some gift shopping done at the Holiday Market. For more info, go to Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park.

A Very Merry Art Meets Jazz

Wednesday, December 13, begins 6pm
The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk
This event will feature live jazz sax music from Johnny Magnuson and vocalist Meredith Walker. While you enjoy the sounds of the jazz tunes filling the room, fill your plate at the full buffet and full bar catered by Waterworks Bar and Grill. For more information, go to A Very Merry Art Meets Jazz.

Elf in the Park

Friday, December 15, 7:30pm to 9:15pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Elf will be presented as a free community screening as part of the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Winter Village event. Lawn seating is first-come, first-served, so please don’t forget your blankets or folding lawn chairs. Refreshments will be available for sale from Tampa Theatre and a variety of other Winter Village vendors. For more information, go to Elf in the Park.

Sorting Ceremony Dinner: A Magical Holiday Feast

Saturday, December 16, begins 6:30pm
Glazer Children’s Museum
Enjoy a magical holiday feast and come dressed to impress as your favorite witch, wizard, or fantastic beast! Enter through Platform 9 3/4, get sorted into your Hogwarts House, feast on a banquet fit for a wizard, and toast to the evening with a tasty butter beer! For more information, go to Sorting Ceremony Dinner.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Love Never Dies – Tuesday, December 12 to Sunday, December 17
Ben Haggard – Friday, December 15, begins 7:30pm
The Florida Orchestra – Holiday Pops – Friday, December 15, begins 8pm
Dean Johanesen – Live & Local– Saturday, December 16, 5:45pm to 7:45pm
Private Lesson Recitals – Saturday, December 16, 10am to 6pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Katy Perry: Witness Tour – Friday, December 15, begins 7:30pm
Jingle Ball – Saturday, December 16, begins 7pm
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – Sunday, December 17, begins 3pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Swanson Soapworks

Swanson Soapworks offers handcrafted, all-natural, vegan soap bars and skin care. Made by local artisans, you can purchase their goods at the Winter Village Shops until January 5! Hours are Thursday 4pm to 9pm, Friday 4pm to 10pm, Saturday 10am to 10pm, and Sunday noon to 9pm. Choose from soaps like green tea matcha, tea tree, neem + kelp, activated charcoal + fennel, and many more! Looking for the perfect gift for a host or in-law? Try their moisturizing body butter, body polish, or moisturizing shae butter. All products are created in small batches with natural ingredients and are cold-pressed.

Vale Foods Opens in Downtown

It’s undeniable that the foodie scene in Tampa Bay has grown exponentially in the past few years. However, the rise of food options also has also increased the demand for healthy and convenient food alternatives that won’t break the bank. Vale Food Co. is making its way to downtown Tampa and is looking to make healthy eating affordable and accessible. Offering a fast-casual dining experience, diners can enjoy essentially two sides to Vale Food Co. On one side you can build your own bowl from a wide selection of bases, veggies, proteins and sauces. On the other side of the restaurant is the super foods station. Founded by Sunny Ilyas in 2014, Vale Food Co. started as a meal plan delivery service in Tallahassee, FL that provided freshly made meals right to the costumer’s front door. A high demand for the meal plans resulted in the opening of a full service restaurant in Tallahassee, and eventually a restaurant in Gainesville, FL. With the success of the first two locations, and with FSU and UF graduates flocking to the Tampa Bay area, it only made sense to open up shop in Tampa. The downtown location will offer the full service restaurant for the time being with hopes of offering the meal plan delivery in the near future.
“Vale Food Co. Opens in Downtown Tampa”That’s So Tampa

Take a Look at Tampa Theatre’s Renovations

Tampa Theatre is in the middle of a six-week, multimillion-dollar renovation, slated to cost about $6 million. See photos of ongoing construction at the theater in the gallery above. The theater is slated to open in late December. Read more about the project here.
“Take A Hard Hat Tour Of Ongoing Tampa Theatre Renovations (Photos)” Tampa Bay Business Journal

Rental Market Trends

As reported by GlobeStcom, Apartment rents held steady in November while decreasing slightly from the previous month for all unit sizes, RentCafe reported Wednesday. On a market level, the fastest year-over-year growth is occurring in small and medium-sized cities, while some of the more volatile metro areas are stabilizing. In Tampa, the average rent for an apartment is $1,135, a 6 percent increase compared to the previous year, when the average rent was $1,066.  Average rent in Downtown is $1,781. The most affordable neighborhoods in Tampa are Forest Hills, where the average rent goes for $850/month, North Tampa, where renters pay $850/mo on average, and University Square, where the average rent goes for $850/mo. If you’re looking for other great deals, check out the listings from Rowlett ($885), Terrace Park ($895), and Lowry Park ($905), where the asking prices are below the average Tampa rent of $1,135/mo.
“Average Rent Market Trents”

 Innovation Hub Planned for Channelside

Jeff Vinik is planning to open an “innovation hub” within Channelside Bay Plaza, a massive space that could bring hundreds of people, from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists, to a currently moribund corner of downtown Tampa. Vinik and his real estate development company, Strategic Property Partners, are in the design phase of the innovation hub, which could occupy 40,000 to 75,000 square feet on the second floor of the remaining portion of Channelside Bay Plaza. He is also planning to launch a venture capital fund to support the startups that will eventually be housed at Channelside. He said  last Tuesday at a BisNow event that he hopes it will be “at least” $20 million, and potentially “significantly more” than that, from both his own money and other investors.
Vinik Announces Plans For Innovation Hub, $20M Venture Capital Fund In Downtown Tampa”Tampa Bay Business Journal


Development and Transportation

JW Marriott Coming to Tampa

The 26-story convention hotel in Water Street Tampa will be a JW Marriott, a luxury flag that is not yet in Tampa. Strategic Property Partners, the developer of Water Street Tampa, announced the flag for 10 Water Street, which will include 519 rooms and the region’s highest rooftop bar. SPP also announced $40 million in renovations to the adjacent Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina. The two properties will have a combined 1,246 rooms and 175,000 square feet of meeting and event space, putting the city in the running for larger conventions than it is currently able to host. Construction on the JW Marriott Tampa is slated to begin in early 2018. JW Marriott has long been speculated as the flag for the new convention hotel in commercial real estate circles. The improvements to the Marriott Waterside will be complete in 2019. The renovations will more than 3,100 square feet of retail space in the northwest corner of the building, along Water Street, and expand it from 719 to 727 rooms.
“Strategic Property Partners Names Flag For New 26-Story Convention Hotel In Water Street Tampa”Tampa Bay Business Journal

A New Look at the Water Street Vision

For what’s billed as a $3 billion project, Water Street Tampa now is still largely just a bunch of sandy parking lots cross-hatched by roads under construction. But the vision is becoming more clear, and late Monday developers at Strategic Property Partners released one of their most detailed renderings yet for what they want the project to look like. “That’s what we’re working towards,” said Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who is developing Water Street Tampa with Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment fund. “To be able to accomplish that or something really close to that.” What that rendering shows is a fully baked, strikingly vertical urban neighborhood, topped with green. Construction on some of these buildings has been projected to start as soon as early next year. Other pieces of the project are likely still years away from breaking ground.
“A New Look At The Vision For Water Street Tampa”

Commuting in Tampa Could Be Worse

Commuting to work in the Tampa Bay region is a headache, but it’s not the worst in the nation. American Community Survey five-year data released Thursday estimates the average daily work commute for drivers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro takes 26.7 minutes. That commute is longer than in Jacksonville, but less than in Miami or Orlando. People working downtown have better access to transit than any other part of Tampa. HART’s new “Mission Max” routes focus service on high-emphasis corridors. Use HART’s website to see which route might work best for you. Click here for more information.
“It Takes A Long Time To Commute In Tampa Bay, But It Could Be Worse” Tampa Bay Business Journal

FDOT to Host Community Meeting

Join the Florida Department of Transportation and Tampa Downtown Partnership on December 13 for the Downtown Tampa and Urban Core Community Working Group. The meeting is meant to bring together four agencies and multiple studies in one meeting to create a more efficient and effective way for the community to engage in the transportation plans. Topics include;  short term changes and an ultimate vision for Florida Ave./Tampa St. through The Heights Study, the Downtown Tampa interchange and I-275 North, connecting land use and transportation in the MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan, and gaining traction on transit – what’s next for regional and local transit, intermodal centers, and more. The event will take place at the Seminole Heights Branch Library beginning at 5:30pm.  Can’t make it in person? Register for online viewing.

Member Corner

HART Board of Directors Appoint New Interim Chief Executive Officer  

On Monday, December 4, the HART Board of Directors appointed Jeffrey Seward to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective December 4, while the Board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve Seward, a 6-year HART employee who currently serves as Chief Financial Officer, to succeed Katharine Eagan who recently announced her departure after nearly eight years of service, to be CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pa. Her last day at HART will be January 5.

South Tampa Chamber Hosts Breakfast with the Mayor

The 5th Annual Breakfast with the Mayor, hosted by the South Tampa Chamber, will be help on January 10 at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. Use discount code MAYOR18 for $10 off your registration. Register here.

Explore Career Opportunities in Agriculture

Hillsborough County will host a free bus tour of local agriculture businesses to provide military veterans, reservists, transitioning active-duty personnel, and their spouses an opportunity to explore career options in the agriculture industry. The Military Agriculture Tour will start at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, from Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579 in Seffner. The tour is organized through a partnership between Hillsborough County Economic Development, Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, Hillsborough County Extension Service, and community partners committed to assisting transitioning veterans by providing meaningful connections to quality civilian career opportunities and training. More information on Military Agriculture Tour community partners and career resources for transitioning veterans is available at Pre-registration at the event page is required by Jan. 16. Seating is limited. Lunch will be provided.

Thank you GreenbergTraurig

A big thank you to GreenbergTraurig for offering to host our monthly downtown transportation committee meetings. This advisory group gathers monthly and serves as a forum for an industry/agency information exchange and to discuss relevant projects and initiatives. Click here for more information.

Application for Rampello School Closed Tomorrow

December 12th at noon signals the closing of the application window for a shot to get your child into the “A” rated school right here in downtown- Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School. There is an additional form to fill out for extra weighting in the lottery if you live or work in beautiful Downtown Tampa. Email with any questions. School district page where you apply: Rampello site where you can find the downtown verification form and sign up for a tour:

Around Town

Tampa Named Hippest US  City

Some cities like Portland, Oregon, are known for being hipster havens, but increasingly, more under-the-radar places are becoming hotspots for millennials. Smaller cities like Tampa, Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Washington, are not only filled with vegan stores, microbreweries, and thrift stores, but they’re also more affordable to live in than many bigger cities. MoveHub created a US Hipster Index that ranked cities based on a variety of factors that make them appealing to young people. The index takes into account the density of tattoo parlors, vegan stores, microbreweries, and thrift stores, as well as any increases in rent.
“The Hippest Cities In The US Everyone Under 30 Wants To Move To”Business Insider

Shop Gandy This Holiday Season

This Holiday season the Shop Gandy! business support campaign encourages residents and shoppers to gift more thoughtfully by shopping local at the hundreds of businesses along Gandy Boulevard for their holiday purchases. Shoppers can stock up on holiday beverages from Fine Wine & Spirits or treat someone special with a gift certificate for Manis and Pedis from Daba Nails. The gift of a Youfit Gym year-long membership is perfect for the fitness guru in your life. Gifts cards from Ranch House Grill, 81Bay Brewing Company, Marcos Pizza, Twistee Treat and Yuppie Puppy are just a few items that make great stocking stuffers or gifts for family, friends or employees. Shoppers and local residents can visit for the Shop Gandy Business Directory with a complete listing of businesses to shop on Saturday and throughout the holiday season. Holiday gift suggestions and ideas can also be found on the Shop Gandy! website

Where Tampa Bay is Competitive

Tampa Bay Partnership recently unveiled the 2018 Regional Competitiveness Report, which tracks our region’s performance on key issues like income, labor force participation, poverty levels and a host of other factors. The region is benchmarked against cities like Atlanta, Denver, Austin, Pittsburgh, San Diego and others. One surprise? Higher education attainment is lower in the Tampa Bay region than in peer and aspirational cities. Not surprising? Our average wages lag behind, despite a healthy pace of job gains. Now that regional leaders have determined key benchmarks for prosperity, it’s time to take action on the indicators where we fall behind.

West Tampa CRA Strategic Action Plan

On December 18, the public is invited to attend the Second community meeting that will focus on the City of Tampa’s Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Strategic Action Plan for the West Tampa CRA. In 2015 the City of Tampa designated the West Tampa Community Redevelopment Area, per Florida statute. The next step is the development of a strategic action plan to guide the use of revenues and redevelopment initiatives. The Strategic Action Plan (SAP) for the West Tampa CRA will be a five-year plan, with one-year increments, which identifies specific programs/investments within the West Tampa Redevelopment area. The public meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 2200 N Oregon Ave, Tampa, FL 33606. The City of Tampa, the West Tampa CRA Advisory Committee and Consultant Team KimleyHorn invite the community to visit the city website for more information.

Historic Homes and Holiday Lights Bike Tour

Led by local historians, ride with Florida Bike Tours on December 14 from 6pm to 9pm through the merrily lit streets of Hyde Park and past its beautifully decorated homes to learn more about their national historic significance. Registration will be held at Irish 31 for a Holiday Happy Hour with a free glass of wine or draft pour. Then, History Bike Tampa’s expert guides will lead us on a whimsical ride down Hyde Park’s decorated streets to various stops outside of homes on the National Historic Registry. Top off the night with a cookie and a quick photo in front of the Hyde Park Christmas tree. Pre-register here.

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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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