Monday Morning Memo

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lynda Remund Named President and CEO

Tampa Downtown Partnership is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynda Remund, SHRM-CP, as President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. After the retirement of Past President and CEO, Christine Burdick in December of 2017, Remund took the lead role as Acting President and CEO in January 2018.

“Lynda’s ability to support and lead a collaborative work environment while effectively managing the Partnership’s strategic initiatives has proven to the Board Officers and the Executive Committee that Lynda is the best person for this position,” said Mickey Jacob, Chairman of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “Over the past 18 years, Lynda has been steadfast in adhering to the organization’s vision and mission of cultivating a diverse and vibrant Downtown through the initiatives she’s lead and the relationships she’s built to support those efforts,” said Jacob.

In her role, Remund manages the Partnership’s organizational structure, vision and mission, facilitates the corporation’s strategic initiatives, and works with Downtown stakeholders to ensure Tampa’s urban core is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood. Recognizing the growth of Tampa’s urban core, Remund led efforts to expand the Special Services District (SSD) into Tampa Heights and in October the Tampa Downtown Partnership officially extended its SSD boundaries for the first time since its creation in 1994.

“I’m very excited about the momentum we’ve had and the direction the Partnership is heading,” said Remund. “I’m honored to serve as the President and CEO for the Tampa Downtown Partnership and am energized to work with our staff, Board, and Executive Committee on executing our vision and mission as laid out in our strategic initiatives.”

Read the full press release.

Urban Excellence Award Winners Focus: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Pocket Parks Phase 1

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority was awarded the 2018 Urban Excellence Award for Activating Public Spaces with their Pocket Parks Phase 1 project.

This award recognizes the first stage in the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority’s plan to design and build five small parks along the Selmon Greenway between Ashley Drive and Meridian Avenue, adjacent to downtown’s Central Business District and Channelside District.

The park sites border the City’s parking lots under the elevated sections of the Selmon Expressway and provide safe, aesthetically pleasing rest areas that enhance Tampa’s network of pedestrian pathways through downtown Tampa.

The landscape design creates an understory of evergreen trees, shrubs and groundcover with seasonal diversity and colors to complement the City’s planned art sculptures. The hardscape design incorporates colored and textured concrete pavement at bicycle parking and seating areas. LED accent lighting is wirelessly controlled from THEA’s offices. The project included a soil improvement plan to support the low-maintenance, water-wise plants and a landscaped, terraced wall to replace eroding slope areas.

About the award: This award recognizes a person, organization, business, project or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to a Downtown space or has created a more attractive pedestrian atmosphere, and commercially vibrant environment through activities, street level store front improvements or design elements.

Finalists are chosen through a three-step process. First, the Tampa Downtown Partnership invites the public to submit nominations for each category. When the nomination period closes, each submission is considered based on the criteria set within each category. Finally, a panel of jurors representing a cross-section of downtown constituencies evaluate the nominations on a scale of 1-10 based on the criteria and their relation to six topics; innovation, creativity, engagement, sustainability, advancement, and impact.

See all of the winners.

Our Holiday Hours

Please be aware of the following special holiday hours.

Tampa Downtown Partnership Office:

December 24 – Closed
December 25 – Closed
December 31 – Closed
January 1 – Closed

Tampa’s Downtown Guides 

December 24 – 8am to 5pm
December 25 – Off
January 1 – Off

Tampa’s Downtown Clean Team

December 24 – 7am to 4pm
December 25 – Off
January 1 – Off

For Emergencies (Police – Fire – Medical) DIAL 9-1-1
For Non-Emergencies call: (813) 231-6130

Mayoral Candidate Forum: Join Us!

Be informed and join us for a chance to have your questions answered by the 2019 Mayoral Candidates on Wednesday, January 16th from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at the Rialto Theatre. A panel discussion with moderator will follow networking and casual conversation. Confirmed candidates: Jane Castor, Harry Cohen, Topher Morrison, Mike Suarez, and Ed Turanchik. Invited but not confirmed candidates: LaVaughn King and David Straz. Register today! Interested in sponsorship for this event? Check out our Sponsorship Packet.

Downtown Security Network Event: Human Trafficking

This edition of the Tampa Downtown Partnership Quarterly Downtown Security Network Breakfast will focus on human trafficking awareness and response. The discussion will include what signs property managers, security professionals, business leaders, and other stakeholders should be on the lookout for and how to take action. The event will take place January 24 at TECO Hall in Tampa’s Downtown with breakfast and registration starting at 7:15am and the program running 8am to 9am. Click here to register.

Tampa Convention Center Moves Forward With Improvement Plan

The Tampa Convention Center has filed plans for expanding with the city.

A Dec. 17 filing shows the center is seeking to add on two levels of meeting rooms at the Riverwalk side of the center, which are scheduled to start construction in July 2019. It also entails demolition of existing roof overhang which will be replaced with curtainwall glazing and precast trim.

A curtainwall glazing would make a section of the convention center have a translucent roof with the additional meeting spaces.

The two-level addition would create 16,000 square feet and 18 meeting spaces.

This is part of the Tampa Convention Center’s $30 million capital improvement plan, funded through CRA and tourism tax dollars; that includes the expanded restrooms and meeting space.

There will also be new restaurants, which aren’t part of the CIP budget. Harpoon Harry’s Crab House is converting a 18,000-square-foot storage space at the convention center into a restaurant while Big Ray’s Fish Camp will operate its first restaurant for Tampa’s downtown alongside The Sail in what will be known as The Sail Plaza.

“Tampa Convention Center plans to go vertical with new space along Riverwalk”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Giant Law Firm to Open in Downtown Tampa

Law giant Baker McKenzie, which announced a Tampa operations center in October, has signed a big office lease in downtown Tampa.

The company has taken a full floor in the SunTrust Financial Centre, where it plans to be fully operational by late summer 2019. The support center will create 300 jobs in downtown Tampa.

Baker McKenzie said Wednesday that its office space will include “alternative workspaces, individual workstations and collaborative work zones.”

The jobs are support positions in legal services, finance, information technology, knowledge management, operations, business development, marketing and communications and talent.

“We expect that many of our Tampa-based employees will take advantage of the opportunity to not only work downtown but also live and play in this thriving area,” Jamie Lawless, executive director of the Tampa operations center, said in a statement. “Being close to the development and action will allow our teams to engage and support the community in a real and meaningful way.”

The SunTrust Financial Centre — one of the most recognizable buildings in the Tampa skyline with an illuminated ziggurat — is now 97 percent leased, said Dan Woodward, a vice president with Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE: HWI), which bought the office tower in 2015.

“Since acquiring SunTrust Financial Centre three years ago we’ve added collaborative meeting space, an outdoor terrace, and new fitness and conference centers,” Woodward said in a statement.

At the SunTrust Financial Centre, Highwoods has won a number of significant office deals in downtown Tampa. In late 2017, coworking company Industrious opened on the building’s 33rd floor; by March 2018, it expanded to the entire 32nd floor as well.

“Baker McKenzie’s selection of the SunTrust Financial Center for the Tampa Center puts them right in the heart of the most exciting transformations happening downtown,” Craig Richard, president of the Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., said in a statement.

“Law giant Baker McKenzie signs big office deal in downtown Tampa” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

New Deal for Port Tampa Bay

Historically, Port Tampa Bay has been known for cargo – like phosphate and petroleum – but soon much more of the cargo coming through the port will be headed for your home.

Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson says a new agreement with Cosco Shipping Lines will change the way the port does business.

Cosco Shipping Lines is one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, moving cargo from four ports in China, across the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal, and now to Port Tampa Bay.

“Central Florida and the I-4 Corridor has really developed into the distribution center for the entire state,” says Wade Elliott, vice president of marketing and business development for Port Tampa Bay. “E-commerce is a critical part of that, like Amazon and Walmart. It means you can do three or four round trips a day to deliver from the port to those fulfillment centers. What this does, it saves time and money.”

Port officials say this is just the beginning. They expect the container business to quadruple at the port by 2030.

Anderson says instead of minerals and industrial goods, the port will soon welcome household goods, electronics, refrigerators, appliances, and furniture could become the new norm.

Port officials say the Cosco deal will increase the port’s existing container business by 50 percent next year. The route will start with one ship a week, beginning late next month.

Officials say the millions spent to install huge, new cranes to unload containers is beginning to pay off.

“I think it is going to mean that business will continue to grow here. It’s what we’ve been striving for, for the last five years,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who sits on the Port Authority board.

“Cosco deal sets Port Tampa Bay on new course”FOX 13

HART Receives Federal Funding for Planning Study

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority are getting a big helping hand in establishing two major projects.

The Federal Transit Administration on Dec. 18 announced that it has awarded a total of $16.6 million to 20 organizations around the country, including HART and PSTA. The funds are through FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning, which assists communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems, according to the announcement.

HART will receive $800,000 for a planning study along a proposed fixed guideway transit corridor between downtown Tampa and the University of South Florida. USF is one of the highest activity centers HART aims to connect with among downtown Tampa, the Tampa International Airport, Westshore Mall, Brandon and MacDill Air Force Base.

Several HART routes and a MetroRapid route currently serve the USF area and connect at the nearby University Area Transit Center. At the transit center, HART connects its services to the USF Bull Runner, a free on-campus circulator service.

However, there is a lack of connectivity between major activity centers, including USF, that relates to the lack of east-west frequency in the system as a whole. Connections among these three areas have been studied extensively for years in the Tampa Bay area and it has been concluded that latent demand exists. The need has yet to be filled by fast-connecting, fixed-route transit, according to HART documents.

Meanwhile, PSTA will receive $1.2 million to plan for transit-oriented development along the proposed Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project, an 11-mile BRT line connecting downtown St. Petersburg to St. Pete Beach.

PSTA’s project is currently in the development phase and is anticipated to be open for service in late 2020. The entire project is $41.36 million.

“Hillsborough, Pinellas to get $2M to better connect USF and fund transit-oriented development in St. Pete”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Application Window Closing for Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School

Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School , Urban Excellence Award Finalist in the Public Sector, is currently taking applications to their lottery for the 2019-2020 school year. Rampello is a highly competitive, A-rated magnet school that was nominated for their positive and significant contribution to Tampa’s Downtown. The students get to experience their magnet theme of cultural arts and humanities by being explorers of downtown’s museums, parks, theaters, and more. Applications will be taken till December 31st. To find out more information or schedule a tour please visit:

Downtown Calendar

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.

Christmas in the City at Bizou

Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25
Bizou Brasserie
Spend Christmas dining at a Downtown Tampa staple. Bizou will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving up delicious feasts to you and your loved ones in an iconic setting. Enjoy one of the Christmas Specials, or stay true to one of your favorite dishes. Regardless of what you order, enjoy a spectacular Christmas experience with your family and friends. For more information, go to Downtown Tampa Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.

Fourth Friday

Friday, December 28, 4pm to 10pm
Downtown Tampa and Ybor City
When the sun goes down, the streets of Tampa and Ybor will light up with music, laughter, art, friends and FREE fun. This evening of special offerings and programs by cultural venues, restaurants, and more takes place on the fourth Friday of every month! For more info, go to Fourth Friday.

Tampa’s Masquerade Bar Crawl

Saturday, December 29, begins 3pm
Downtown Tampa
Whether you are looking for a date for New Year’s Eve, looking to start the 2019 celebrations early, or just want to meet fun people, all you need is a mask and a smile to join this bar crawl! Dress code is casual, but crawlers are free to dress things up a little. Each bar is vetted for optimal levels of fun, and the party keeps rolling on the entertainment-infused buses. So bring your crew or make new friends, discover new places, win cool stuff and have a great time! For more info, go to Tampa’s Masquerade Bar Crawl.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

A Drag Queen Christmas- The Naughty Tour – Friday, December 28, begins 7pm
Sebastian Maniscalco: Stay Hungry -Friday, December 28, begins 7pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Mary Queen of Scots (2018) – Through Thursday, December 27
Trading Places – Friday, December 28, begins 10:30pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Philadelphia Flyers – Thursday, December 27, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens – Saturday, December 29, begins 7pm
WWE Live Holiday Tour – Sunday, December 30, begins 7:30pm

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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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