Clyde Higgs currently serves as CEO & President of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI). In this role he leads the executive team in providing oversight of the Economic Development, Design & Construction, Real Estate Development, Housing, Procurement, and Human Resources activities of ABI. He also lends his leadership to establishing and expanding strong working relationships with private and public partners across the region, state and nation. Clyde brings 20 years’ experience in economic development, real estate, intellectual property, technology, strategic planning, design, real estate development, grant and donor funding, and government relations, with a diversity of projects including those that specialize in urban innovation, science and technology.
Clyde joined ABI from his position as Executive Vice President of Operations & Development for the North Carolina Research Campus, a multi-faceted initiative of Los Angeles real estate developer Castle & Cooke using the recruitment of science and technology companies as the platform to redevelop and reinvigorate Kannapolis, a former textile town near Charlotte, North Carolina. As a top executive at the Kannapolis Project, he helped steer the day-to-day operations of a multi-billion-dollar revitalization effort involving economic revitalization of the local economy. His work entailed ground and facility leasing over vast tracks of industrial lands and facilities; oversight of a complex multi-million annual operating budget; supervision of 60+ employees and consultants; and organizational direction of the capital improvements program. He also provided strategic guidance for broad-based community advocacy and engagement, partnership development with state and local governments, universities, construction and design vendors, and real estate brokers and investors to ensure the project’s success.
Before joining the NC Research Campus, Clyde served in various technology-based, economic development leadership roles.
Clyde is a graduate of the University of South Alabama and holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from East Carolina University. He has served on numerous boards and professional organizations, including two gubernatorial appointments: by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Emerging Technology (Board) for early stage companies working on innovations in the fields of biotechnology, healthcare, energy and information technology; and by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to the State Board of Community Colleges where he served as Vice Chair.
Registration and sponsorship/marketing opportunities are now open for the 2020 Downtown Development Forum! The Downtown Development Forum is a half day conference discussing topics and efforts of the downtown community’s economic development efforts. Hear from expert panelists, speakers, and a keynote address.
Learn more about the Altanta BeltLine at beltline.org
Miami and Orlando may be the tourist destinations that come to mind when travelers think of Florida, but Tampa is becoming a rival. It’s also a popular convention destination, so you may find yourself there on business.
If that’s the case, and you don’t have the time or the inclination to make it to the beaches that the area is known for, you aren’t out of options: The city has its own appeal beyond water activities, with Cuban cuisine, craft beer, sports and a laid-back culture that celebrates pirates and cigars.
“Business travelers are the bread and butter of Tampa Bay’s visitation,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, adding that “they’ll find the city designed to please and easy to explore.”
Anchored by a riverfront convention center and the 2.6-mile-long Riverwalk, Tampa’s downtown district and surrounding neighborhoods offer people plenty of ways to spend free time outside a business meeting.
Here are some ideas to help you make the most of a few extra hours in Cigar City.
Where to go
Start the day with a walk or run on the Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile-long pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River. The bronze and marble busts you’ll pass are part of the Historical Monument Trail, which honors 30 people who played an important role in the city’s history.
Say yes to a breakfast meeting at Oxford Exchange, housed in a restored 1891 building near the downtown University of Tampa campus. This hip, club-inspired space houses a bookstore, a champagne bar, coffee and tea bars, a coworking space and a restaurant that has an art-filled main dining room, a conservatory with a retractable roof and a menu that includes everything from healthy kale scrambles to sinful Nutella babkas.
The University of Tampa, across the street, has two attractions worth a visit:
A plaque honors Babe Ruth’s longest home run (587 feet), hit on April 4, 1919 at what was then Plant Field, during a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Giants.
The Henry B. Plant Museum is here, too, housed in the former south wing of the opulent 511-room Tampa Bay Hotel, built in the early 1880s. Now a National Historic Landmark, the museum offers a glimpse at the hotel’s original furnishings that wealthy guests were able to enjoy before the hotel closed in the early 1930s.
For more art and history, stop at the Tampa Bay History Center or the Tampa Museum of Art. Both are easily accessible from the Riverwalk. The history museum closes daily at 5 p.m., but the onsite Columbia Café, an informal outpost of the iconic Ybor City restaurant, stays open much later. The art museum stays open until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings, when admission is “pay-as-you-will.”
Cuban sandwiches, cigars and chickens
If you have a few hours in the afternoon, explore the compact and historic Ybor City neighborhood, northeast of downtown Tampa.
Get there by Uber or the free TECO Line Streetcar. Stop at the Visitor Information Center to get a map, make way for the community’s free ranging chickens and “be sure to see the iconic Cuban Club, one of the social clubs that provided aid, comfort, recreation and health care to the Cuban population,” says Lonnie Herman, owner of Ybor City History Walking Tours. Jose Marti Park, on the only Cuban-owned land in the United States, is a must-see stop as well, says Herman, as is Tabanero Cigars, “where you can get a Cuban coffee and see cigars being hand-rolled.”
Better yet, join one of Herman’s scheduled tours. He’s got the keys and the behind-the-scenes stories for many of Ybor City’s historic buildings.
Before leaving Ybor City, stop for lunch at Columbia, the iconic Spanish and Cuban restaurant that first opened in 1905 and is well-known for its traditional take on the cuban sandwich it calls “The Mixto.” What started as a 60-seat café is now a block-long destination with 15 dining rooms, seating for 1,700 and a flamenco dancing show every night except Sunday.
Other places to eat and drink
Tampa is well known for craft beers made by Cigar City Brewing, Coppertail Brewing and others. Stop by their respective taprooms or try one of the 34 rotating beer selections on tap at the outdoor Fermented Reality Biergarten at Sparkman Wharf. In addition to dining and retail outlets in colorfully painted shipping containers this area is home to Splitsville, an upscale restaurant and gaming center with ping pong, billiards, foosball, darts and shuffleboard.
And for a unique, luxe, old-world dining experience, be sure to make a reservation way in advance at Bern’s Steak House, across the street from the Epicurean hotel.
The eight-dining-room, 350-seat food palace has a world-famous wine cellar and an entire floor just for desserts and after-dinner drinks.
Where to Stay
Convention and business travelers may land in a big downtown hotel, such as the 260-room Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown; the 520-room Hilton Tampa Downtown, or the 727-room Tampa Marriott Water Street, home to the Anchor and Brine bar and restaurant which has both lobby seating and terrace dining on the Riverwalk. New hotels, such as the 519-room J.W. Marriott, are being readied in advance of Super Bowl LV, which Tampa will host in 2021.
Tampa’s list of boutique hotels is growing, too. A century old former federal courthouse now houses Le Méridien Tampa. And there are two Autograph Collection hotels: the Current, with panoramic Tampa Bay views and a rooftop bar; and the food-and-wine-themed Epicurean, in the Hyde Park district, which boasts a rooftop bar, a culinary classroom and the elegant Élevage restaurant. In the lobby bar, guests may order a Dram ‘n Shine, consisting of Glenfiddich 12-year Scotch, a craft ice cube and a complimentary shoeshine.
“The Overnight: What to do in Tampa if you’re not a beach person” – CNBC
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is moving forward with plans for safety improvements to the Downtown portions of the Expressway. The South Selmon Safety Project will enhance driver safety by constructing a concrete barrier wall in the median of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway between the Hillsborough River and Himes Avenue.
This barrier wall between the Eastbound traffic and the Westbound traffic will prevent deadly crossover accidents. Studies show that median barriers are effective in reducing fatal crashes and serious-injury crashes caused by crossover accidents.
In addition to the barrier wall, the shoulders along the median will be paved to create a safe location for vehicles to pull over and await assistance. This will also help keep Road Rangers and First Responders safe as they help motorists.
There will be no lane closures on the Selmon Expressway during peak travel times and no impact on residents who use the streets under the Expressway.
To have THEA team members brief your neighborhood association or other local organization on the South Selmon Safety Project and other THEA projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority knows that construction can be painful, making the Selmon Expressway a safe roadway for travelers is always a top priority.
Registration and sponsorship/marketing opportunities are now open for the 2020 Downtown Development Forum! The Downtown Development Forum is a half day conference discussing topics and efforts of the downtown community’s development efforts. Hear from expert panelists, speakers and keynote address. Early Bird Pricing OPEN until February 5th at Midnight! Early Bird Partnership Members $65 (Increase after 2/5 is $75) Early Bird SSD Stakeholders & Non Members $80 (Increase after 2/5 is $95)
FRIDAY >> APRIL 3, 2020
Westin Tampa Waterside
725 S. Harbour Island Waterside Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
8:30am – 11:30
Stay tuned for the announcement of our expert speakers and keynote address!
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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