Monday Morning Memo

Monday, February 19, 2018

Partnership Presents

Commuter Challenge Week

In partnership with Plan Hillsborough, the Tampa Downtown Partnership invites you to join us in Commuter Challenge Week, and leave your car at home to try another mode of transportation during this week, February 19 – 23. You can participate with us by trying a different way of getting around for a single trip, day, or for the week, and sharing your experience with us on social media by using the hashtag #CommuterChallenge18. This year, we are partnering with Plan Hillsborough and inviting others to join us and give our community’s cars a break. Participants will also gain an opportunity to help air quality, avoid traffic, burn calories and save money. We look forward to seeing how you give your car a break – be sure to share your travel with us at #CommuterChallenge18! Join the staff members of Tampa Downtown Partnership and Plan Hillsborough in #CommuterChallenge18! See coverage in today’s Good Morning Tampa Bay.

Debriefing: Tampa Theatre’s Renovation Project

Join us for the next Debriefing featuring Tampa Theatre’s Renovation Project. Hear from the President & CEO, John Bell, as he discusses how the theater raised the funds, stayed on budget, and met the completion deadline. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 27th at the Tampa Theatre starting at 7:30am with registration and networking with a continental breakfast, then the program begins at 8am with a tour of the theater beginning at 8:30am. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for not-yet members. Mark your calendars and join us! Register here.

Opportunities at the Downtown Development Forum

We are currently seeking sponsors for the 22nd Annual Downtown Development Forum. Sponsorship levels range from Bronze at $250 to Platinum at $5,000. View the sponsorship form. This half-day event focuses on the exploration of innovative ideas in urban development and serves as a catalyst for discussion and problem solving for major urban issues. Attendees hear from developers and industry experts on the front lines of the most significant projects in downtown including sports and learn about Tampa’s city center progress in economic development, higher education, and commercial and residential development. If you are interested in sponsoring and getting your company in front of over 250 downtown stakeholders, please contact Rachel Radawec at 813.221.3686. Registration is open! Reserve your spot today.

Best Practices in Bike Parking Lunch and Learn

The growth of bicycle use for transportation and tourism has increased significantly in the past decade and as a result, deliberate attention to bicycle parking is needed now more than ever. Bicycle storage facilities have become an integral part of new developments and are touted as a premium asset in commercial and residential properties. From noon to 1pm on Wednesday, February 28, this session provides a fundamental approach to comprehensive bicycle parking standards, from selecting the right equipment to adequately preparing the space. The Bicycle Parking Standards and Installation session provides the expertise to improve bike storage to meet the needs of both the developer and the end user. This workshop is brought to you by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Walk/Bike Tampa, and Tampa Downtown Partnership. It is sponsored by Dero. Lunch will be provided. Registration is free but required.

Fourth Friday is this Week

This Friday, February 23, the streets of Tampa light up with music, laughter, art, friends and FREE fun. Stop by one of this month’s participating cultural venues to pick up a wristband which is your ticket to free or reduced admission to a number of Tampa’s museums, galleries, and theaters. Fourth Friday Tampa is a monthly celebration of Tampa’s rich arts and culture scene! An evening of special offerings and programs by cultural venues, restaurants and more! Many restaurant and bar offerings extend beyond 9 pm. See this month’s schedule, special deals and thrills 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

brownsville song (b-side for Tray)

Through Sunday, February 25
Stageworks Theatre
Set in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, this show is a powerful tale of resilience in the face of tragedy and a poignant story for our time. Moving fluidly between past and present, this bold new play tells the story of Tray, a spirited African-American 18-year-old and his family, who must hold on to hope when Tray’s life is cut short. For more information, go to brownsville song (b-side for Tray).

Mary J. Blige

Wednesday, February 21, begins 7:30pm
Amalie Arena
An iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist, Mary J. Blige is a figure of inspiration, transformation, and empowerment, making her one of the defining voices of the contemporary music era. With a track record of eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, a 2012 Golden Globe nomination, and five American Music Awards, Blige is a global superstar. See this music legend take the stage for a masterful performance in Downtown Tampa. For more information, go to Mary J. Blige.

Picture My Life: A Refugee Story

Thursday, February 22, begins 6:30pm
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
This photographic exhibition will offer insight into the lives and experiences of ten to fifteen refugee youth living in Tampa Bay while enriching their lives through a photographic mentoring program. These children received high-quality cameras to keep as their own and have been using them to learn the basics of photographic arts. In addition to learning a new skill, the youth have used the medium of photography as a tool to document and share their lives. This event will display their insightful photos and unique experiences. For more information, go to Picture My Life: A Refugee Story.

Fourth Friday

Friday, February 23, 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.

Free Screening of The Sandlot

Saturday, February 24, begins 6pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Enjoy a screening of the family friendly favorite, The Sandlot! The park along the river will become an outdoor community movie theater for the evening in this free event presented by Glazer Children’s Museum as part of the Gasparilla Kids Film Series. For more information, go to Free Screening of The Sandlot.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Forever Plaid – Through Sunday, March 11
Open Rehearsal – The Marriage of Figaro – Through Thursday, February 22
The Phantom of the Opera – Through Sunday, February 25
Camp-A-Palooza – Saturday, February 24, begins 10am

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Aesop

Aesop, the luxury skincare brand, opened last October inside Oxford Exchange, becoming Tampa’s first signature Aesop store. The brand is committed to bringing morality back to products for skin and hair, and is known for the safety and efficacy of its wide range of products for face, body, and hair. The shop offers a free skin consultation so you can try out the products before you buy. No colorants, mineral oils, silicones, parabens, or pearlising agents are used in production, and animals are never used for testing or contents.

Marketplace News

Tampa Woolworth Project will preview the Historic Marker for the 58th Anniversary of Tampa’s lunch counter sit-ins on Saturday, Feb. 24th at 10am at 801 N. Franklin Street Tampa.

Armature Works is highlighted in a write-up about new restaurants opening in Tampa Bay. Read the full post at

My Hope Chest, a locally based, national not for profit organization and the only national charity funding breast reconstruction for uninsured and under insured survivors, is hosting their annual Butterfly gloWalk, 5K FUN Run & PaRty along Tampa’s Riverwalk on Saturday, April 14th.  You are invited to get onboard to participate, either by sponsorship, volunteerism or participating as a corporate team. More information is available here.

Congrats to Downtown “Coolest” Office Spaces

The Tampa Bay Business Journal announced the finalist for their Coolest Office Spaces around Tampa Bay and Downtown is proud to be home to many on the list including; Symphonic Distribution, Tampa Bay Wave, and The John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa, Sykes College of Business. The Coolest Office Spaces awards produce new inspiration for companies looking to update or create new workspaces for their employees. Over the years there have been slides, arcade games and other surprises. In March, TBBJ will name an overall winner, a video submission winner and a winner in four subcategories — best break room, most creative use of space, coolest office pet and coolest feature.
Light, Bright, Airy and Modern: See Tampa Bay’s Coolest Office Spaces Finalists Of 2018 (Photos)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Wave Receives Grant from Nielsen Foundation

Tampa Bay Wave will use a $100,000 grant from the Nielsen Foundation to create a 90-day accelerator program for tech startups owned by women, minorities, veterans or LGBT entrepreneurs. This summer’s TechDiversity Accelerator will aim to foster the growth and development of early-stage tech companies in the Tampa Bay area and beyond, the two nonprofit organizations said in a joint announcement on Wednesday. Companies chosen to participate in the accelerator will have access to mentoring from tech company founders, guidance from an “entrepreneur in residence,” introductions to investors and access to the Wave’s seed fund for startups, plus coaching on pitching their ideas and making their plans ready for investment. The grant marks one of the Nielsen Foundation’s first signature programs.
“$100,000 Nielsen Grant Seeds Tampa Bay Wave Accelerator For Diverse Startups”Tampa Bay Times

Development and Transportation

Regional Transit Plan in Limbo

Jacobs Engineering is considering potential changes to the current Regional Premium Transit Feasibility Plan after local officials offered several suggestions during a Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership Group meeting earlier this month. Scott Pringle, a project manager for Jacobs Engineering, said he’s taking suggestions to heart. Pringle initially referred to the plan as a final recommendation but is now calling it a draft. He said his firm is in the early stages of working with the Urban Land Institute to address concerns about transit-oriented development. An alternative project in the Jacobs study would create nine miles of urban rail along the CSX corridor, potentially 12 miles, to provide a connection between USF and downtown Tampa. Pringle also weighed in on creating BRT off the highway. The Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Citizens Advisory Committee approved including a BRT study for Florida and Tampa avenues into its transportation improvement plan. The approximately $2.5 million study would be a first step toward implementing an artillery BRT corridor.
“Tampa Bay Regional Transit Plan in Limbo After Calls For Change”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Manor Riverwalk Tops Off

Suffolk celebrated a notable milestone with the topping off of the first building at Manor Riverwalk, a 400 unit luxury rental community being developed by The Related Group in downtown Tampa. Approximately 200 trade partners, along with representatives from Suffolk and developer The Related Group, marked the event with a special luncheon held on Friday, February 16, 2018. This celebration of the tallest north tower building marks the completion of the first phase of the project. Once complete, this transformative multifamily community will include an eight-story waterfront complex with three wings stretching east, a center wing which appears to float over a pool and covered deck. When it’s finished in early 2019, Manor Riverwalk will be part of a massive redevelopment of Tampa’s long neglected west bank that includes the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park and a $750 million mixed-use project for which Related Group is lead developer. Related saved an historic grand oak on the site as well as well as the sign of the Tampa Tribune, which chronicled its city for nearly 140 years before ceasing publication in 2016.

Early Reaction to Raybor City is Positive

Early reaction from Tampa and Hillsborough County politicos about the decision by the Tampa Bay Rays to pursue a new Ybor City ballpark was positive, though it’s still very early in the process and a specific funding plan still needs to announced. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg announced the team’s focus on an Ybor City location on February 9. If the Rays and local officials can successfully complete the effort, the new ballpark would be constructed at a 14-acre site north of Ybor Channel and open by either the 2022 or 2023 season. Why Ybor City? The area is already a popular entertainment destination, and a new ballpark will certainly bring even more investment to the area. It’s easily accessible from downtown as well. The 14-acre site has already been acquired by an area nonprofit, Rays 2020, led by Tampa business leaders Ron Christaldi and Charles Sykes. That nonprofit is an important part of the equation: besides acquiring the land, businesspeople will use it to solicit more support from the local business community.
“Early Reaction to Rays’ Ybor City Plan: Positive” Ballpark Digest

Engineers Push Back on BRT Plan

Proponents of a bus rapid transit system that would connect St. Petersburg, Tampa and Wesley Chapel pushed back against recent criticism of the proposed plan. The lead engineer told a group of regional leaders that they wanted to clear up a “misconception” and “concerns” about their plan to address Tampa Bay’s mind-numbing gridlock. Last month they revealed a proposed 41-mile BRT route, which would connect the region with fast-moving buses using dedicated lanes. That came as a surprise to some, who expected the two-year, state-funded study to recommend that the region prioritize building a light rail system, not BRT. The team from Jacobs Engineering, the firm contracted to develop the plan, has stressed that the details are still being refined. But some traditional transit supporters, such as Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, said that the version of BRT that Jacobs proposed falls short of expectations.
“Engineers Push Back Against Criticism of Bus Rapid Transit Plan”Tampa Bay Times

Member Corner

Stantec Chosen for Interior Design Project

Global architecture and design firm Stantec was selected by luxury multifamily real estate developer, ZOM Living, to spearhead the interior design of Las Olas Walk, a two-building, 456-unit residential development located at 106 S. Federal Highway and 200 S. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The eight-story towers located on the north and south side of S. Federal Highway, pay homage to coastal Mediterranean villages. With direct canal access, Stantec creatively implemented the design aesthetic found throughout the property into the interior atmosphere.
“Stantec Leads Interior Design for Las Olas Walk Residences in Fort Lauderdale, Florida”

StimULI Breakfast on Resilience

On Thursday, March 1, ULI Tampa Bay hosts a StimULI Breakfast on “Realizing Resilience: Lessons from Houston.” Speakers include ULI’s Senior Director on Urban Resilience, a Gensler Sustainability Leader, Senior Planner for Gulf Coast-VHB, and Sustainability and Resiliency Director for the City of St. Petersburg. Moderated by Taylor Ralph of REAL Building Consultants, the breakfast and panel discussion takes place from 7:30am to 9am at The Birchwood Inn. Breakfast is included in registration. Register online by February 27th.

Expanded Tampa Bay History Center Opens

With the opening of a new fourth floor, the Tampa Bay History Center is charting a course for growth, and it’s using maps and nautical treasures from the past to bring this long-awaited expansion to fruition. The 8,500-square-foot expansion includes an interactive exhibit called Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates & Shipwrecks and a special annex that houses the Touchton Map Library and the Florida Center for Cartographic Education. The enhancements, which began construction in early 2017 and officially opened to the public on Sunday, Feb. 18, increase the museum’s exhibition space by an additional one-third. It completes a long-planned expansion for the almost 10-year-old museum, and covers more than 12,000 years of regional history.
“Pirates, Shipwrecks and Maps Await Visitors To Expanded Tampa Bay History Center”83 Degrees

NAIOP Tampa Bay Celebrates Best Of The Best Awards

NAIOP Tampa Bay recognized local businesses and commercial real estate during the 18th annual Best of the Best Awards dinner February 15, 2018 at the Westin Tampa Harbour Island.  Companies and professionals from around Tampa Bay were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the commercial real industry in 2017. In addition, Bruce Lauer, Vice Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, was inducted into the NAIOP Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to commercial real estate and the Tampa Bay region; and Brian Rettig, SIOR, First Vice President at CBRE, Inc. received the 2017 President’s Award for his dedication and commitment to NAIOP programs and initiatives. Tampa Downtown Partnership Board Member, Andrea Zelman, of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney was recognized as Best Attorney View the full list here.

Around Town

Central Avenue BRT Could Win $20M in Funding

A proposed bus rapid transit route connecting downtown St. Petersburg to the Gulf beaches is in good position to receive federal funding, according to a Federal Transit Agency rating released Tuesday. The FTA is proposing a budget of more than $1 billion for 2019 projects. The Central Avenue BRT project received the second highest possible rating on the administration’s five-point scale that officially qualifies the Central Avenue project for a federal grant. The ranking does not mean Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is guaranteed a grant. Of 55 regional transit studies in the past three decades, the Central Avenue BRT project is the first to formally apply for federal funding. The proposed route would run along First Avenues North and South in dedicated lanes to offer a quicker alternative for commuters traveling between downtown St. Pete and the beach. The BRT line would have fewer stops than the existing Central Avenue Beach Trolley making it ideal for longer commutes along the route. People traveling short distances along that corridor could still use the Central Avenue trolley.
“Federal Transit Announcement Could Earn $20 Million for Central Avenue BRT”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Ybor City Street Closure

A portion of E 7th Avenue between Nick Nuccio Parkway and N 21st Street and N Avenida Republica De Cuba between E Palm Avenue and E 4th Avenue will close beginning on Monday, February 12, 2018, for utility construction.  A private contractor will be relocating existing sewer lines on N Avenida Republica De Cuba between E 8th Avenue and E 6th Avenue for a new hotel on the northeast corner of E 7th Avenue and N Avenida Republica De Cuba. E 7th Avenue between N 13th Street and N 15th Street and N Avenida Republica De Cuba between E 6th Avenue and E 8th Avenue will close at 9 am on February 12, 2018.  E 7th Avenue between N 13th Street and N 15th Street and N Avenida Republica De Cuba between E 6th Avenue and E 7th Avenue will reopen to traffic by 4pm on Saturday, February 17, 2018, weather permitting. N Avenida Republica De Cuba between E 7th Avenue and E 8th Avenue will reopen to traffic by 4pm on Thursday, February 22, 2018, weather permitting. Pedestrian access will be maintained via signage to other sidewalks in the area at all times.

Landlords Brace for Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy

One of Florida’s largest grocers is reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy, potentially leaving retail landlords throughout the Southeast with massive empty anchor boxes at a time when most retailers are shrinking their physical footprints. Southeastern Grocers LLC — the Jacksonville-based parent company of Winn-Dixie — has been asking landlords in recent months to lower its lease payments, which is often a sign that a company is struggling, real estate sources in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville have told the Business Journal. Anonymous sources told Bloomberg on Saturday the company could file for bankruptcy as soon as March. SEG, which also operates Harveys, Bi-Lo and Fresco y Mas stores, is burdened by more than a billion dollars in debt coming due in 2018 and 2019. In November, Moody’s downgraded the company’s bonds, saying that although operating metrics had improved, “the current capital structure is unsustainable.”
“As Winn-Dixie Is Said To Eye Bankruptcy, Retail Landlords in Tampa Bay And Throughout Florida Brace For Impact”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Ybor Architecture Hop

Swope, Rodante P.A. law firm will be participating in the seventh annual Buildings Alive! Ybor City Architecture Hop on Thursday, March 8, 2018, 5-9:30 pm. Advance tickets are $45 until February 28th and $55 afterward. YCMS members may purchase advance tickets for $35 and students with valid IDs pay $25. Click here to register. For more details call (813) 247-1434. The law firm is home to the historic Florida Brewery Company building, built in the 1800s and producing beer until 1961. In 1999, the building underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and became the home of the law firm in late 2001. The annual event is presented by the Ybor City Museum Society and features behind-the-scenes tours of five historically significant buildings.
“Historic Tampa Building to Participate in Seventh Annual Ybor City Architecture Hop”Tampa Bay Newswire

Tampa Bay Homes Gain the Most Value

Owners of affordable homes in the Tampa Bay region are seeing the biggest gains in equity among the nation’s top 20 housing markets. A bay area home now worth $110,000 rose 20 percent in value over the past year while a house now worth $337,400 increased only 1.4 percent, according to Zillow. Over a five-year period, the difference was also striking: The inexpensive house nearly doubled in value while the expensive one was worth 43 percent more. Nationally, starter homes have gained 44 percent in equity over the past year compared to 27 percent for expensive homes. Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area are the only large markets where the most valuable homes are gaining value faster than affordable ones, Zillow found.
“Inexpensive Tampa Bay homes gain the most value of any in U.S.”Tampa Bay Times

Connect With Us!

Connect with us on social media to get the latest on downtown events!

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.

Sign Up Now