GASP! at TMA Promo Code
Creative Loafing Tampa is providing our readers with a special $5 off promo code for their annual performing arts festival, GASP!, at the Tampa Museum of Art on March 16. Get $5 off your tickets when you use code DOWNTOWN at check out. Act fast as this code is only valid until Wednesday, February 28. GASP! — created in 2014 by Creative Loafing in collaboration with the Tampa Museum of Art — is the only festival during Gasparilla Arts Month (aka March) that focuses primarily on the performing arts, showcasing multiple genres that collide and surprise. Learn more about the event by visiting their website. Be sure to check out this video to get a glimpse into the sights and sounds you’ll experience at GASP! Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to support GASP! through our Public Space Activation Grant which promotes unique, publicly accessible activations in the public realm.
Tampa Downtown Partnership Gets Initial City Okay to Expand North
On Thursday, February 15, 2018, Tampa Downtown Partnership received approval from City Council to proceed in seeking an expansion of the Special Service District (SSD) into Tampa Heights. “This first step is a milestone in bringing our services to the businesses and residences of Tampa Heights,” said Lynda Remund, Interim CEO and President of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “Tampa Heights is becoming an important gateway into Downtown Tampa with its own eclectic vibe and personality and we are looking forward to bringing our full suite of services to this area just north of Downtown.” The next step in the process is for the Tampa Downtown Partnership to receive approval in August when the organization goes before City Council to renew the SSD, with the expanded Tampa Heights boundaries included. View the current and proposed SSD boundaries. Read the article in the Tampa Bay Times.
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, and 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. Pre-registration closes today at noon! Walk-ups welcome. Register here.
March is Bike Month
March is Florida Bike Month and Tampa Downtown Partnership is celebrating! We will continue to share bike events, promote bike safety and much more. Check out our website for lots of tips and to view the City and County’s Official Bike Maps. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 20 for our Group Bike to Work Rides and Rally. Featured events: History Bike Tampa 3/3 check out the full calendar 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. Enjoy lunch and earn 1 CEU. Registration is free but required.
Volunteers are needed for the Mayor’s River O’Green Fest – sign up today!
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
Downtown Debriefing: Tampa Theatre’s Restoration Project
Tuesday, February 27, begins 7:30am Tampa Theatre Join us for a conversation and tour of the newly restored Tampa Theatre. Hear from John Bell, Tampa Theatre’s President & CEO, on how they raised the funds, stayed on budget, and met the deadline. Introduction by Mickey Jacob of BDG Architects and the Board Chair of Tampa Downtown Partnership. A continental breakfast will be provided. For more information, go to Downtown Debriefing: Tampa Theatre’s Restoration Project.
Rock the Park
Thursday, March 1, 6:30pm to 9pm Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Listen to some great musical talent in a beautiful, relaxing setting. This month’s show features Siobhan Monique: MoniQnation, Spirit and the Cosmic Heart, and Bob Anthony. With food and drinks on the premises and an always exciting vibe, this free concert is guaranteed not to disappoint. For more information, go to Rock the Park.
48th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts
Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4 Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Accomplished artists and rising stars will vie for the Best of Show Award and additional prize money. Featured art will include works in a wide variety of mediums. The esteemed event will also feature the works of local young artists, a weekend full of live entertainment, and a children’s art activity area. For more information, go to Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. Check out the exclusive cultural event on Saturday night at the Tampa Museum of Art; galaRE.
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
Forever Plaid – Through Sunday, March 11 Dana Louise – Monday, February 26, begins 7:30pm Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro – Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 4 Dance Theatre of Harlem: Power on Pointe – Saturday, March 3, begins 8pm
This Week at Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – Monday, February 26, begins 7:30pm Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres – Wednesday, February 28, begins 7pm Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Philadelphia Flyers – Saturday, March 3, begins 1pm
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
Backpack Full of Cash – Monday, February 26, begins 6:30pm WineFest 2018: Wine’s World – Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3 Hollywood Awards Night 2018 – Sunday, March 4, begins 6:30pm
Owner and stylist Danielle Evans founded Don Me Now in 2009 because of her passion and love for style. Since starting the business, Danielle has been wardrobe and personal-styling clients, models, brides, tv hosts, music videos and more. In 2013, styling & retail merged when she opened DON ME NOW – STYLING & CLOTHING LOUNGE, a women’s contemporary boutique offering full service personal styling in Hyde Park Village. After nearly 5 years after opening her first location, Evans is relocating to the ever developing Channel District and DON ME NOW will be the Urbanized District’s first clothing boutique. In addition to a complete buildout in the modern luxury apartment complex The Fitzgerald, the boutique will share the space with Bubbly Barchique, Tampa’s first Champagne Bar. Clients can enjoy all of the unique, fashion forward pieces they love about DON ME NOW while sipping from an array of sparkling wines.
Gasparilla Music Festival Group Tickets
The Gasparilla Music Festival is returning to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park this year and is even bigger and better. Tonight Show house band, the Roots and indie rock heroes Father John Misty and Spoon, headline this year’s festival. Also included in the lineup: Mondo Cozmo, Break Science, the Cave Singers, the War and Treaty, Kolars, and the Eric Tessmer Band. In addition, there is even a children’s portion of the festival, which is headlined by Imagination Movers. Group Sales packages are on sale which feature 10 to 20 tickets at a discount for your employees, colleagues, friends, etc. All proceeds benefit music education, local musicians, and will help grow our foundations programs: Gasparilla Music Festival, Recycled Tunes, and GMF Productions. Get your tickets today before they sell out!
Le Meridien is Downtown Tampa’s highest ranked hotel according to AAA Auto Club. The 150-room boutique hotel planned at Water Street Tampa is the only potential five-star hotel mentioned for Downtown.
Gen X Tavern is getting bigger! Tampa restaurateur Dave Burton had only just begun the permitting and planning process for his latest concept — the ’80s- and ’90s-themed Gen-X Tavern — when he realized it was going to have to be much larger than his original vision.
Threshold 360, a Tampa company with technology that gives users 360-degree videos of restaurants, bars, hotels and stores, has $1.8 million in fresh capital. The company will use the new funding to expedite its growth, expand its content and hire more people.
Equinix, a data center solutions company, has signed a deal to take an additional 18,654 square feet in Two Harbour Place, bringing its total space to 48,818 square feet. It will occupy the building’s seventh and eighth floors.
Sunshine Bank Closes Downtown Location
CenterState Bank Corp. eventually wants to put its name on a downtown Tampa building. But the building housing the branch office at 500 E. Kennedy Blvd that CenterState inherited when it bought Sunshine Bank last month won’t be that site — at least not now. The Sunshine retail branch in downtown Tampa is on the first floor of the building that houses Tampa Bay WaVE. Threshold 360, a Tampa technology firm, will move from a smaller first floor space in the building to the Sunshine office in March, said Jordan Raynor, Threshold 360’s CEO. CenterState decided to close the branch because the transaction count was relatively light, said Angel Gonzalez, the bank’s Hillsborough market president. “At some point you’ll see the CenterState name on top of a building downtown, but first, we want to make sure our team is ready, and they are now, and two, we have to find a building that’s available and that works for us, and they’re pretty much all taken at this point,” Gonzalez said. “But with as much as activity as we’re seeing in Channelside, Westshore and other parts of downtown, that’s on our to-do list. When the time is right we’ll know it.” “Why One of Florida’s Largest Community Banks Is Closing Its Only Retail Branch In Downtown Tampa” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Tampa Bay Lightning Extend Amalie Arena Lease
The Tampa Bay Lightning will continue to call Amalie Arena home for decades, as Hillsborough County has approved a lease extension through 2037 that includes future upgrades. Amalie Arena has become something of a success story. Years of upgrades (including a $60-million overhaul funded by Lightning owner Jeff Vinik) transformed the Tampa arena from a very basic facility to a league showcase. Seeking to build on that momentum, the Lightning and Hillsborough County have been working on a lease extension that would include funding for future renovations. Those plans moved forward on Wednesday, when Hillsborough County Commissioners approved an agreement that includes $61 million from county bed tax revenues to fund arena upgrades. As part of that agreement, the Lightning will remain at Amalie Arena through at least 2037. “Tampa Bay Lightning Extend Amalie Arena Lease” – Arena Digest
Port Tampa Bay Welcomes Test-Run Shipment of Bananas
More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse. It was the first shipment of perishable products to the 135,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse, which was built on Hookers Point specifically to attract shippers of fruit and other cargo requiring cold storage. In recent years, Port Tampa Bay has worked on plans for an on-dock facility that would bring in new business by offering fruit shippers a port of entry three days closer than Philadelphia, which has the most cold storage food facilities on the East Coast. In 2016, construction began on the $19.1 million facility, where employment has been projected at 50 full-time workers and up to 200 part-time workers. Richard Corbett, the developer behind International Plaza in Tampa, financed the new terminal. “Yes, We Have Some Bananas: Port Tampa Bay Welcomes First Shipment In 21 Years” – Tampa Bay Times
HART Makes Route Changes
As a consequence of funding issues, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) made sweeping changes to its bus system last fall, cutting nearly 20 percent of all routes. The decision alienated some County Commissioners, unhappy with the level of service reductions in their districts. HART staff heard those objections loud and clear, saying they intended to tweak the system after a few months. At a news conference Monday in Brandon, officials announced that they were doing just that. The agency is claiming the new changes will increase frequency on key routes, reduce wait times and provide faster connections for customers. Route changes can be accessed online. They went into effect Sunday, Feb. 25. “Hillsborough Lawmakers Pleased With Changes to HART Routes” – FloridaPolitics.com
Who Solves Regional Transit Issues
The Florida Department of Transportation District 7 office is taking heat over a plan it says the agency has no say over. FDOT District 7 Secretary David Gwynn has responded to several emails since Feb. 12, answering questions about the Regional Premium Transit Feasibility Plan, clarifying the agency’s role in the process and redirecting concerns. The email chain between Gwynn and two local transit activists, Mauricio Rosas and Christopher Vela, in which the Tampa Bay Business Journal was copied, highlights the consistent criticism facing transit plans throughout the Tampa Bay region. Critics worry the current draft plan to create a 41-mile bus rapid transit route connecting downtown St. Petersburg to Wesley Chapel along Interstate 275 wouldn’t reduce traffic congestion or attract meaningful transit-oriented development and that it would still require land acquisition, displacing residents and businesses. But the email chain highlights another problem: It’s not immediately clear which local agencies should be fielding those transit concerns. “As Questions Arise About Regional Transit Plan, It’s Unclear Who in Tampa Bay Answers Them” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Tampa Bay Next Hosts Community Open House
On Thursday, March 8, Tampa Bay Next will be giving an update to the Downtown Tampa and Urban /core Area plan. Stop by anytime between 6:30pm and 8:30pm to ask questions, gather information or share concerns. The event will take place at Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave. Learn more about future changes proposed for roads, bike and pedestrian improvements, transit and more. For more information, visit tampabaynext.com.
Multifamily Demands Remain Strong in Tampa
Multifamily demand stayed high in Tampa, thanks to a strong economic engine powered by a talented workforce of local college and university graduates— dynamics that continue to fuel the metro’s booming labor market. Due to the limited impact of Hurricane Irma, Tampa added 33,500 jobs in the year ending in October, primarily in professional and business services. Statewide, the city ranks first in demand for high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations, which are shifting toward smaller metros. In recent years, Tampa has become a tech industry hotbed, due to its housing affordability and favorable tax and regulatory environment. The construction sector is also expanding, boosted by mega-developments such as the upcoming $3 billion Water Street Tampa, which is set to double the city’s downtown footprint by 2027. “Robust Development Tempers Occupancy in Tampa” – Multi-Housing News
BRT is Looking More Feasible
The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority board showed no signs of backing down from plans to implement a regional bus rapid transit connection between Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties during its February meeting on Friday. That commitment could be a big deal for the plan because TBARTA is expected to facilitate its implementation even though the agency’s funding is still not secure. While no formal action was taken on the Jacobs Engineering Regional Premium Transit Feasibility Plan during the meeting, most board members expressed support for the 41-mile BRT route from St. Petersburg to Wesley Chapel along Interstate 275. “After Heated Discussion, Tampa Bay Agency’s Support for Bus Rapid Transit Seems Imminent” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
TECO is Making Streets Safer with Lights
Neighborhoods across Tampa Bay now have a better idea of when they are getting new LED streetlights, a move city leaders say will help make places safer. Tampa Heights is one of the first neighborhoods to get the new lighting, after neighbors and the civic association petitioned to have them put in. The installation should continue throughout 2018. TECO says LEDs minimize glare and capture the authentic colors of objects lit at night. They also achieve full brightness almost instantly and offer very precise control over lighting patterns. LEDs can also operate up to five times longer than conventional lighting, TECO said. Another benefit is with smart LED lights, Tampa Electric will automatically be notified when the light requires attention. This means Tampa Electric will repair the light quicker, TECO said. “Tampa Neighborhoods Now Getting Brighter LED Streetlights To Make Streets Safer” – ABC Action News
Tindale Oliver Welcomes Two New Members
Joshua is a Planner, and is part of Tindale Oliver’s Transportation/Multimodal team. Joshua is a recent USF grad who received his Bachelor’s in Economics, his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning, and recently worked for CUTR. Tanya Archer is an Administrative Assistant and Receptionist. She comes to Tindale Oliver from Pasco County, where she was also an Administrative Assistant. In addition to having worked for Pasco County, she has worked in the public sector, and in agency planning departments in the past.
2018 Recycling Truck Art Design Contest
The City of Tampa’s Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management needs your help in selecting the 2017 3Rs’ Art Contest Winner. The 12th annual 3Rs’ Art Contest is designed to engage the City of Tampa’s youth in recycling while conveying a recycling message. The first place winning art design for each grade level, along with the artist’s first name and school will be displayed on a City of Tampa recycling truck for one year. Over 100 students representing every grade level from 5 local schools and 4 after school programs participated in the contest. For additional questions or concerns, please call the City of Tampa’s Recycling Team at (813) 348-1027.
Annual Race to End Homelessness
The Tampa Housing Authority of the City of Tampa is hosting their 4th Annual Race to End Homelessness on Saturday, March 10. THA will continue to try and assist those families in need in our community and will continue to spread awareness. However, Federal dollars are limited and THA cannot rely on that pot of money to help the homeless so they continue to seek the generous support of our fellow community members. Since 2014, these runs have raised over $18,000 for homeless families residing in our community. All funds raised go back to those in need. Register as an individual or group. Groups can have no more than 5 runners. If signing up as a group, you can come dressed in a theme of your choice. The 5k Bootcamp race is a 5k run combined with bootcamp style exercises or just run a 5K. There will also be a one mile walk.
2018 Design Week Pop-Up Festival
Tampa Bay Design Week in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture and Design and the American Institute of Architects Tampa Bay Chapter is sponsoring the 4th Pop-Up Festival. The celebration will be held on April 14th in Ybor City. The goal is to highlight Ybor’s rich architectural heritage and generate a public discussion about the importance of design and how it can improve the quality of the urban realm with a rich visual and tactile experiences. Tampa Bay Design Week is mapping a path of different activities for our community to experience the rich architectural and cultural landscape of Ybor, and invite artists, designers and, local businesses / organizations to participate. Apply to build an installation as a local designer and artist or apply to host an event as a local business! More information is available here.
Biking Around Tampa Bay
For year-round sunshine, 100-plus miles of bike lanes and flat-to-gently sloping terrain, think Tampa Bay. There are bike lanes on Cass Street and the Riverwalk, bike routes that lead to Ybor City, even pedal bikes that float on the warm waters. Family vacation? Helmets are required for children — pack or rent them along with bikes. As they say in Tampa Bay, which consistently wins praise from cyclist organizations, be prepared to “Put your mettle to the pedal.” To see the sights while cycling, remember to take it slow and watch out for pedestrians! Visitors also can pedal their way around Tampa Bay way off the beaten bike path — on the water. Located on the waterfront by the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Bay Water Bikes rents pedal-powered, pontooned vehicles that give you a chance to see downtown from a whole new angle. The crafts function just like a bike but have paddles where the front tire and back tire ought to be. Take one for a spin and bring the kids; if the dog came along on vacation, it will be welcome, too. Read the full article here.
Tampa Bay’s Population Expected to Grow to 3.1M
The Tampa Bay area’s population, already the largest of any metropolitan area in the state, is projected to grow from 3 million last year to 3.1 million this year, and to 3.3 million over the next five years. That growth is expected to bring corresponding increases in two areas of the local economy, according to a new forecast from market researchers at the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. The average home value is expected to reach $224,760 this year, compared with the state average of $267,510. Analysts are looking for the bay area’s retail sales to grow from $64.6 billion last year to $68.3 billion this year. Statewide, Florida’s population grew by 430,000 new residents to nearly 20.5 million in 2017, boosted by migration from out of state. It is projected to grow another 450,000 this year and is expected to reach 23.3 million over the next five years. “Tampa Bay Area’s Population Projected to Grow to 3.1 Million This Year” – Tampa Bay Times
TIA Poised to Deliver New Office Space in 2020
As part of its $2.6 billion master plan, Tampa International intends to add a new 270,000-square-foot office building that will compete with other Westshore buildings. The proposed nine-story building also will be among the first new properties delivered in a decade if it debuts as expected in late 2020. Under current plans, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which is being forced to relocate because of other construction, will occupy roughly 100,000 square feet of the new Gateway Development building. In all, the $543 million second phase of the airport’s master plan will include the development of the office space, a gas station and convenience store and a pair of hotels containing as many as 350 new rooms on 17 acres. Airport officials expect to select a developer for the $122 million office building from among a trio of finalists this fall. The finalists include Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co.; VanTrust Real Estate LLC, of Jacksonville; and BTV Aviation Developers, in Orlando. “Taking Flight” – Business Observer
Apply for a Hillsborough County College Scholarship
One of the biggest challenges young people face is trying to achieve a higher education. This is why the Hillsborough County Department of Social Services, the Community Action Board, and the Community Advisory Committees offer up to $5,000 scholarships to students who meet the certain eligibility requirements. View all of the requirements, how to apply, and things to consider.
Spring Training is Back in Tampa Bay
Visitors headed to the Tampa Bay area to cheer for their favorite Major League teams competing during spring training will discover a popular destination for baseball fans. Three fan-friendly venues provide up close and personal encounters with favorite players and rising stars preparing for a run at the World Series pennant. Home fields for the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays are all within close proximity to each other and regional airports as well as award-winning cuisine, world class shopping and top-rated beaches. In addition, the Tampa Bay Rays compete at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field Stadium, welcoming regular season fans from March through September. “Tampa Bay is Ready to Play Ball as the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays Return to Central Florida’s West Coast for Spring Training” – Tampa Bay Newswire
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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